Unique Decking Materials and Top Composite Deck Brands

Unique Decking Materials and Top Composite Deck Brands Installing a wooden deck can be a fantastic way to expand your living space, increase your home's value and add curb appeal. That's why an investment that important should be installed by a licensed professional with plenty of experience. But just because most deck designs incorporate pressure treated decking doesn't mean that you have to settle for the same old cookie cutter deck materials. Use this guide to help find the perfect alternative to boring and bland conventional deck building materials. Redwood and Cedar If you love the look of fine woods, then redwood or cedar decking is the right choice for your deck. Cedar and redwoods are unlike conventional pressure treated decking materials as they don't suffer from rot and decay. Because redwoods and cedar contain oils and tannins that repeal mold, mildew and insect infestation, they are naturally pesticide and chemical free and a favorite for ecofriendly building enthusiasts. Redwood and cedar decking materials can cost up to three times more than pressure treated decking, so be prepared for an increase in price. A protective natural sealant must be applied at the installation to further prevent decay and disease in the wood. Annual cleaning and resealing is required for this gorgeous and unique decking material to stay fresh throughout the years. Tropical Hardwoods For a step up from redwood and cedar, exotic and imported hardwoods elevate a wood deck into the highest of classes. Hardwoods like ipe, massaranduba, tigerwood, Philippine mahogany, cumaru and red tauari all lend an opulence that is unsurpassable to any other wooden decking materials. Many exotic hardwoods are so tough, they require predrilling for fastening. They are often installed with hidden fasteners to save time and money on installation costs. Exotic hardwoods often cost slightly more than redwood and cedar costs, easily placing them within affordable pricing ranges. Composites Wood and plastic composite decking is a relatively new decking material that is increasing rapidly in popularity. Made from recycled wood resins and flours and mixed with a polyethylene or polyvinyl chloride to create strength and prevent decay, these modern decks come in a wide variety of colors and sizes and are installed exactly like conventional decking materials, keeping labor costs in check. Plastics 100 percent recycled plastic decking materials are also considered composites and are available for a slightly higher cost than wood-based composites. Unlike wood-based composite decking, plastics require only basic maintenance keeping overall costs down while increasing the decks lifespan for a lifetime or more.

Bamboo Composites This exotic decking material uses a unique mix of materials—grass and plastic. Bamboo is a fast growing grass and a fast growing alternative to wood. Because bamboo is a grass, it can be harvested quickly, making it one of the best self- replenishing sustainable building materials on the planet. And since bamboo can grow virtually anywhere, prices remain extremely low and consistent around the globe. Bamboo can be painted or stained any color making it just as versatile as it is affordable. Aluminum This impermeable decking surface is usually reserved for commercial applications or for high density residential structures because of the high costs. But just because it costs over eight times more than a pressure treated deck doesn't mean that it can't be used in the average residential home. In fact, it has begun to increase in popularity over the years as a residential decking material. It's durable finish, longevity and ultra-cool temperatures make this decking material an easy favorite among unconventional deck building materials. Top Five Composite Deck Brands Building a deck is a great way to increase curb appeal, raise the value of your home and add functional square footage—all at the same time. That's why it's best to hire a professional decking contractor to ensure your investment is handled correctly and installed the best way possible. But no matter who you hire for the job, it's up to you to choose the materials for your decking project. And with so many choices available, it can be difficult at best to choose the right materials for your decking project. Use this guide to help make an informed decision about composite decking before you hire a decking contractor. Trex One of the top composite decking and wood-alternative materials on the market today, Trex composites look like the finest of woods without the maintenance issues that come along with it. Trex composites—like other composites—use a combination of wood and plastic fibers to create the decking. Trex uses a mix of recycled plastic bags and wood pallet recyclables to create quality ecofriendly decking materials that last a lifetime. Disadvantages: Because Trex is a brand well known throughout the composite building materials industry; it can be more expensive than other similar composites. TimberTech This unique composite material is made from similar materials as other composite decking with the exception that TimberTech gives owners a 25 year warranty for materials. And if you sell your home before the warranty runs out, TimberTech will transfer the warranty to the new owners. Disadvantages: Because these composites have a solid 25 year warranty; they are built tough. A PVC coating is added to the shell of the material, causing prices to be much higher than conventional composites. Azek This composite decking brand claims that their product is scratch and stain resistant. And their warranty proves it. A limited lifetime warranty ensures your Azek decking will last a lifetime. Since Azek Decking comes in such a wide variety of styles and sizes, it's very easy to get exactly the decking you desire without the hardcore maintenance of real wood. Disadvantages: Unfortunately, Azek decking comes in very light colors and doesn't have the dark colors that some exotic real woods have, leaving a hole in color possibilities. EverGrain Another fine product from Tamko, EverGrain is a composite decking that boasts its product has the most realistic wood grains of all composite decking. Colors are rich and wood like, giving one of the best and most realistic choices for faux wood decking on the market. DuraLife One of the leading composite material makers, GAF is owner and creator of this line of composite decking known as DuraLife. Also known as CorrectDeck, this composite decking is long lasting, comes in a wide variety of colors and styles and costs are comparable to wood decking.

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