Advancements in decking materials have created new options for creating relaxing outdoor spaces in almost any home environment you can imagine. Whether you own a mobile home, a two-story Victorian, or a brick ranch, adding a deck to your property is a great way to add more Mother Nature into your life.
Thanks to increased affordability for materials, the overall cost of these structures is now more attainable without sacrificing the quality of traditional wood. When you add in lowered maintenance demands, it’s no surprise that home values receive a boost from a well-constructed deck.
Let’s look at the different decking options available on the market today.
One of the most popular wood deck alternatives available is composite decking. This product has enhanced strength and durability as well as improved UV resistance. Made out of a wood and plastic blend, your deck will have fewer issues with rotting, pests, and splinters.
Despite the higher price tag for a composite deck, the savings on maintenance and ease of installation make it more than worth the initial investment. Plus, much of its material comes from recycled elements, making it more earth-friendly.
When you think about concrete, a deck probably doesn’t come to mind. However, concrete is a durable and more affordable decking material than natural wood. Other benefits include minimal maintenance, no discoloration, and, most importantly, a safe walking surface free of splinters and uneven boards.
Professional installers can also imprint a pattern on its surface, making it even more attractive. Add a matte or gloss finish that has anti-slip properties, and you won’t have to worry about slipping.
Another eco-friendly alternative to wood decking is bamboo. This versatile plant has given humanity everything from cotton to paper and even acts as a food source for a large part of the planet!
This versatile material is moisture resistant, has powerful fibers, and is aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Still, while bamboo is moisture-proof, it can get waterlogged, so choose this option if you live in a humid area that doesn’t see a lot of rain.
The idea of a plastic-based deck probably sounds unappealing and rather cheap. Believe it or not, PVC decking has grown in popularity because it is quiet and doesn’t splinter. Its durability is undeniable, and its resistance to rot and pests makes it an ideal option when creating elevated outdoor spaces.
Installation is pretty simple, and many homeowners can do it independently, though paying someone to install it is still quite budget-friendly compared to other alternatives. The drawback is that plastic isn’t good for the environment. However, if you’re on a budget, you will save money without sacrificing durability.
If you don’t care if your deck has a natural wood look, then aluminum is a terrific decking option. Not only can it resist mold, rust, pests, and rot, but it doesn’t have as hefty a price tag as you think. Its strength and durability can’t be matched by any other decking material on the market today.
Aluminum is lightweight, which makes installation a breeze. When you consider that it’s also recyclable, you can feel good knowing it won’t ever go to waste should you remove your deck later.
The main downside to using this metal as a deck material is it can be noisy when raining and doesn’t have many options when wanting to explore color.
If you want simplicity, a wide range of color and pattern options, and not have to rip out your existing deck, vinyl decking is a convenient option. Like the tiles you can put down in your kitchen, this material can go right on top of plywood surfaces. You should install a waterproof membrane around existing planks before installing, or you can hire deck builders in Adams County, PA to handle the whole process.
Vinyl has grown in popularity due to its toughness in extreme temperatures, slow wear, and UV resistance. Just like in your home, you can also include a shock-absorbing coating that will keep it looking beautiful for years to come. Homeowners often choose this option because their current deck has permanent staining and discoloration.
If you don’t want the look of PVC or aluminum but want to avoid wood, rubber paver tiles are the next best option. Unlike wood, this alternative is hardy and can handle significant foot traffic without losing elasticity. If you’re worried about possibly slipping, these tiles are slip-resistant even during extreme rain events.
Homeowners choose rubber pavers for their decking because they are easy to install due to their interlocking design. This means you won’t need special adhesives and can use your new deck right away.
However, one issue you may run into is if your deck surface is uneven. These are stiff tiles, so if you don’t want to install these on warped boards without using underlayment to level things out first. This will ensure you and your guests won’t trip or fall due to slants or dips in the floor. Because rubber is the primary material, you can’t expose these pavers to anything with a petroleum base.
Want your deck to look like your lawn? You might like interlocking grass decking for your outdoor space. The materials used to make this are of the highest durability, it’s cleaned easily, and it won’t require a tedious lawn care regimen like your actual yard.
Most wood-alternative products involving fake grass are entirely recyclable and non-toxic, so you can feel good about your new outdoor space being eco-conscious.
With the broad range of decking options available on the market, it’s never been easier to create a truly unique outdoor space that fits your personal style. Because many of these options are also more affordable than wood, you might be surprised at how much you’ll save. Imagine the stylish lighting, furniture, and other decor you can invest in with the savings!
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