What’s the Best Choice for Your New Deck? Wood, Composite, Vinyl or Fiberglass
When it’s time to build a deck or replace your old one you might know exactly what you want or you might have a few questions on what your decking material choices are.
Here on the west coast four of the most popular choices are wood, composite, vinyl and fiberglass for decking material.
Wood is the most popular for deck building because of its look, price point and longevity. And wood can be stained or painted with your choice of color.
Cedar decks can last 25 – 30 years if maintained properly, 10 -15 years if the deck is neglected. Mahogany decks can last up to 40 years. Pressure treated lumber can also assure up to a 50 year deck if maintained.
A well-ventilated deck will also prolong your wood deck.
Composite is popular for longevity, easy care and low maintenance year after year. Modern composites are made entirely of plastic or vinyl fibres and may be made from recycled or new materials.
Composite is definitely more costly than other choices. But since you’re not staining it every two years and maintenance is relatively easy (hosing it off when dirty) you are eliminating certain costs associated with a wood deck.
Since composite is fairly new to the deck scene estimates range from 25 years to much longer. Time will tell.
Vinyl is popular for its ease for cleaning among other traits. Take a mop or brush to it every spring or anytime it gets a little dirty. Hose it off and you’re good to go.
It’s recommended that you do not power wash a vinyl or fiberglass deck if you want it to last longer. The added plus of a vinyl deck is it being a water barrier. If you’re looking to put vinyl down on a second story deck you are creating a dry area below that can be used for seating or storage purposes.
A vinyl deck choice will last upwards of 30 years if maintained properly. Some suggest heavy-duty cleaners with chemicals for maintaining and keeping clean but I’ve found that household cleaning products, a good brush and hosing off do the trick just fine.
Fibreglass is definitely more labor intensive and if you are not a confident DIYer, you are best to leave this one to the professionals.
These decks can easily last 25 to 30 years but maintenance, like all the deck choices mentioned, is key for achieving this.
When it comes to building your new deck and deciding on decking material, you really can’t go wrong with any of these options. It all depends on preference.