Decking Materials

Decking Materials

Decking is what adds up to the largest portion of your deck price.

You have 6 options or categories for decking material: Pressure Treated, Cedar, Composite, PVC, and Hardwood.

Here are four features related to price to help pick your decking material.

Decking Materials Best for:

Listed in order of least expensive to most expensive

Pressure Treated - Best price

Pressure Treated has the lowest price, which allows for more deck or features in your budget.

Cedar - Our Favorite

Cedar has a more appealing look than pressure treated, naturally water-resistant for durability, but low on low maintenance if you want to keep that colour. It also costs more than pressure-treated lumber. It's our favourite because it's light, attractive appearance, and that cedar scent.

Composite - Best Low Maintenance

Composites have plenty of low maintenance options with a wide range of colours, warranties, and prices.

PVC - Best Warranty

PVC decking is often the premium tier of composite deck manufacturers. They offer big warranties, detailed grain, completely waterproof, low maintenance, but high prices.

Hardwood - Best Appearance

The look, feel, durability, and uniqueness is what you are paying for. These decks last decades when taken care of. And the style is likely to last just as long.

#1 Warranty

The range of warranties is between 15 to 50 years. If you want longer assurance for your decking material, the price will go up.

#2 Colour / Appearance

You have three base colour families for decking. Red, Brown, and Grey. There used to be green pressure treated decking. Thou it's much harder to find green from suppliers due to the popularity of brown pressure treated lumber.

You can get all three colours in any material choice if you add staining for your natural wood materials.

Appearance is where the prices start to vary. When looking at composite and PVC decking appearance, you have colour variation (streaking) and grain that adjust the price. The more colour variation like a blend of browns and reds, the higher the price. Next comes wood grain or texture. Composite and PVC brands premium lines have more detailed and randomized grain. There's a PVC brand called Zuri that prints photo images of high-end hardwoods as one of many layers to get their realistic appearance. They are priced for that effort.

#3 Low Maintenance

What makes a deck low maintenance is its ability to keep its colour and appearance with little effort. For example, cedar will turn a silver-grey with time if not stained. Some purchase cedar decking with the intent for this colour change, and they don't have to do anything to get it.

If low maintenance is essential, your likely looking for a composite or PVC deck.

# 4 The Price

Decking prices change through the season. Lumber is a commodity, so suppliers are adjusting their prices several times each summer. And similarly, composite and PVC brands adjust their prices with demand. In general, the cost of decking material has risen each season.
Decking Material Price per linear foot How many times more than Pressure Treated Decking
 Pressure Treated $1.6
Cedar $2.2 1.3X
Composite Low $3.5 2.1X
Composite Medium $5.7 3.6X
Composite High $10.3 6.2X
PVC Average $9.1 5.5X
PVC Premium $14.3 8.6X
Hardwood Always costs the most