While wood is the most popular type of decking, other materials are catching on with homeowners. Here are four types of decking material to consider.
Authenticity. Most is pressure-treated pine, but more expensive options include cedar, redwood, and tropical hardwoods.
Wood tends to change color, crack, and stain if it isn't refinished. Hardwoods and exotic choices can be expensive.
Price: About $225 to $825 or more per 100 square feet.
Best for the look of wood without the need to stain. It's made of plastic and wood fiber and sometimes can be stained to change its look. Most now also come with some or all sides encased in plastic to prevent mildew growth.
Some offered far less resistance to slips, stains, and mildew in our tests. Most choices are heavier and more expensive than the usual pine.
Price: About $425 to $650 per 100 square feet.
Best for resisting the elements without staining. Choices include PVC and polyethylene. It's also lightweight.
Some can look cheap, some is slippery, and all sagged more than wood.
Price: About $525 to $625 per 100 square feet.
Toughness, rigidity, and slip resistance. Its baked-on or anodized finish should last a long time, and its textured surface added traction in our tests. Sections sometimes interlock so that rain won't drip through.
It's expensive, and no one will mistake it for wood.
Price: About $700 per 100 square feet.