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Find the best decking materials for your outdoor space

Consumer Reports News: June 02, 2010 05:12 PM

A tester examines mildew on composite decking.
If you've neglected your deck, try these cleaning and repair moves to deal with mildew, sagging and flexing, loose railings and popped nails, and other common problems. But if you need to replace your deck or are building a new one, check out our new review of wood, plastic, composite, and aluminum decking materials.

In our latest tests of decking materials, some nonwood products were impressive. But at $575 and $1,000 per 100 square feet, the two top-rated nonwood materials are quite pricey compared with wood decking, which costs as little as $175 per 100 square feet. (Some woods, like the cedar and ipe we tested, cost $800 and up.) An alphabetized list of tested products by type appears below. For more details, read our new report on decking and see our ratings of decking materials (available to subscribers).

Wood: ACQ Southern Yellow Pine, Cedar (generic clear grade), Ecolife Stabilized Weather Resistant Wood, Iron Woods Ipe, Redwood 2x6 (generic heartwood grade), and Wolmanized Outdoor Wood Residential.

Composite: Choicedek, CorrectDeck CX, Fiberon Professional, Fiberon Tropics, Geodeck Tongue and Groove, Latitudes Composite Decking, MoistureShield, Monarch Exotics, Rhino Deck Vision Solid, TimberTech Earthwood, and Veranda.

Plastic: Azek with Procell, Bear Boards, CertainTeed EverNew Vinyl Decking, Deck Lok, Eon Classic, and TimberTech XLM Plank.

Aluminum: LockDry.

No matter the material you choose, help your deck look better longer by following these steps.

Gian Trotta

Essential information: Check out our Home Remodeling & Improvement Guide and Lawn & Garden Guide for advice for your spring and summer projects.

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