How to Choose the Right Type of Decking Material for Your Property

When you're ready to have a new deck installed on your property, you may be surprised, and even a little overwhelmed, by your many choices of materials. Some wood species may be a better choice than others, depending on your family and the location of the deck itself, and some materials may not even be wood, but a composite of plastic and wood pieces that are pressed together to form planks. To determine the best choice of decking material for your property, note a few tips to keep in mind, and ask your contractor their recommendation as well, as their expertise can help you make the best decision overall.


When choosing a material for your new deck, you may have your heart set on a rich dark wood, such as jarrah or cherry. These choices can certainly look very nice outside your home, but note if that darker wood might hold heat, especially if you won't be installing an awning or other covering over the deck. If the deck will be exposed to lots of hot, direct sunlight, choose a lighter oak or other similar wood that will be cooler underfoot.

Splintering and water damage

If you have children who might be riding their bikes or running their skates over the deck, or pets with claws, you need to choose a material that will withstand splintering. A composite material, mentioned above, is often more resistant to chips, cracks, and resultant splintering. Opt for this material if you know your deck will need to withstand any type of heavy foot traffic that would otherwise cause chips and cracks.

A composite may also be more durable against water damage. If you live in a tropical area or are installing the deck close to a pool, avoid solid timber and choose a composite instead.


If you want to install a hot tub or porch pillars on the deck, be sure you ask which type of wood is good for holding up that weight. Some composites may not be strong enough for any added weight, especially a hot tub full of water, and softer woods may be more likely to splinter or crack. You may also need thicker planks and additional joists under those planks in order for the deck to hold added weight. Ask your contractor or someone at the lumberyard about the weight resistance of any wood you might choose for the deck, so you're sure to get something strong enough to hold everything you want to attach to that wood.

For more information, contact companies like Greenmount Timber & Building Supplies.