There are several different types, styles and kinds of garden deck for your outdoor space. With so many choices to select it can be hard to know where to start. In this section of the Deck Cost Guide website you will find guides on all of the most common types and styles of decking. To make things really easy for you, we’ve included the considerations, advantages, disadvantages, costs, maintenance and FAQ for each type of decking material.
The following list is updated on a regular basis so be sure to bookmark this page and come back soon for more deck types and options.
Aluminum decking is a lightweight metal with impressive strength. Most aluminum decks can handle 225-260 pounds per square foot with joists spaced 16”.The aluminum is extruded and then powder coated with an extremely durable, fade-resistant material such as polyurea elastomer.
Cedar deck material is cut from the heartwood of the cedar tree. Cedars do well in wet areas because they produce natural oils known as extractives that make the wood resistant to rot. Having said that, it is still recommended that you seal your cedar decks to enhance the wood’s resistant to moisture and decay.
Elevated decks maximize your enjoyment of outdoor space around your home. They’re especially popular on houses with a walkout basement, but can also be used where there is no walkout to create an upper deck accessed from the second story.
Composite decking is made from a blend of equal parts wood fiber and plastic. The materials are mixed with colorants, preservatives and UV inhibitors to prevent fading. The mixture is heated, and the boards are extruded. A texture is cut or pressed into some composite materials while cooling.
Ipe deck is a hardwood grown in Central and South America, with a large percentage of it coming from Brazil. The wood is sold under other names including Brazilian walnut and pau lope. It has earned the nickname “ironwood” due to its extreme hardness of 3,600 on the Janka scale (compared with 690 for PT lumber and 580 for western red cedar).
Often referred to as PT lumber by deck builder professionals, it is used in more than 70% of the decks built in the United States. That’s a hefty piece of the deck material pie. Pressure treated lumber is mostly made from pine, with southern yellow pine being a top choice.
PVC is polyvinyl chloride, a very common plastic. Most of the material used in decking is called cellular PVC due to the structure of the plastic which makes it stable and resistant to cracking or warping.
This deck material is harvested from redwood trees native to California and a small section of Oregon. The timber is classified as either “heart” or “common.” Wooded graded “clear all heart” is the choicest material, and it is therefore 50% to 100% more costly than common redwood.
Tigerwood Deck is grown in sustainable and managed forests from southern Mexico south through Central America and South America. Tigerwood is also called Brazilian Koa and Goncalo Alves along with many regional names.
Multi-level deck design allows you to use your outdoor space to its best advantage. Add a secluded upper deck outside a bedroom. Build a tiered deck to enjoy the vistas of a rolling landscape. There is no end to the possibilities.