A deck adds value to your property and provides an outdoor space to enjoy time with family and friends. Let’s look at different types of decking materials so you can make the best choice for your home and budget.

Cedar Decking Materials

Cedar is widely available in America. It is a popular decking material because it is strong, yet lightweight. It has a natural look and is very durable. This type of deck material is resistant to insects and rot, due to its natural oils and tannins. Splinters and cracks are prevented by applying sealers or stains.

One downside to using cedar is that the color fades to gray if you don’t protect the wood. Expect to pay around $5 per square foot for cedar decking materials.

Types Of Decking Materials: Redwood

Redwood is another popular material for decks. It has a rich color and is strong and is lightweight. Like cedar, this decking material has natural tannins that make it insect and rot-resistant.

A redwood deck will need to be sealed every couple of years. It also requires periodic power-washing to keep it in good shape. It’s harder to find redwood on the east coast, so it’s more expensive. Redwood will cost, on average, $6 to $8 per square foot.

Pressure-Treated Wood

Pressure-treated wood is a chemically-treated option. The chemicals help it resist mold, insects, and rot. It is a less expensive option, costing around $3 per square foot. This decking material is easy to find and install.

Pressure-treated wood needs a lot of maintenance in order to prevent it from warping or cracking. You’ll need to sand, stain, and seal it annually.

Tropical Hardwood

Tropical hardwoods are attractive, strong, and durable. A deck made from this material will last for several decades. Some types to look for include Cumaru, Ipe, Garapa, Tigerwood, and Cambara.

Tropical hardwoods are an expensive choice. You should expect to pay up to $12 per square foot, depending on the wood species. It’s difficult to drill through this material because it is so dense. It is also heavy, so it takes longer to work with.

Composite Types of Decking Materials

Composites are made from recycled plastics and wood fibers, so they don’t splinter. Insects and rot don’t affect them either. You won’t have to do much maintenance or upkeep with composites. Simply pressure-washing it occasionally is enough to keep a composite deck looking good.

Mold and mildew can grow on composites. This decking material is an expensive option; you will pay around $8 per square foot for it.


Aluminum won’t splinter, warp, crack, rust, or rot. It’s a lightweight material and is mold resistant. There isn’t much maintenance required after installation.

You’ll pay up to $11 per square foot for aluminum decking materials. It is available in many colors, though it doesn’t have the rich natural tones of redwood or cedar. Aluminum has an industrial look that doesn’t appeal to some people, and it can be slippery when wet.

Research these various types of decking materials to choose the right option for your deck. Building a deck can add value to your property. Consider the upkeep and maintenance that is required for the material you choose.

Tri-County Inspection & Consulting Services provides home inspection services to Greater Charlotte. Contact us to schedule an inspection.