Pressure treated pine decking is the most affordable decking option. The upside to using pressure treated wood decking is that it is readily available and cheap. The downside of pressure treated lumber is that it has a tendency to crack, split and warp. Routine maintenance is necessary to prolong the life and look of the deck. This will include power washing and an application of stain or wood preservative every two or three years.
Cedar decking is a great choice for a deck building material because of its combination of unique properties. It is dimensionally stable meaning that it lays flat and stays straight. Cedar's even grain and consistent density make it less likely to warp, cup, or twist. Cedar deck boards naturally resist rot and insect infestation in outdoor environments without the need for preservative chemicals. When exposed to weather it will change in color to silver gray. Cedar’s softness makes it easy to work with and readily accepts protective stains although its sawdust can be irritating to the skin and lungs. Its thermal properties allow it to stay cool to the touch in summer heat. Cedar is slightly more expensive than treated pine, but the benefits of cedar far outweigh the costs. It should be more available and less expensive than redwood and composite decking. We recommend that Cedar should be protected by the use of a stain. Cedar has a flexural toughness that can flex more without shattering and is also less dense and has less natural oil that make it easier to accept stain. Cedar forests are also more abundant and present somewhat less of an environmental issue for commercial logging if managed responsibly.
Nebraska Handyman Recommends Cedar
Composite decking has a long life-span and they never splinter, rot, or need staining. Composite decking is easy to work with, and comes in many different colors and sizes. Composite decking can be installed using screws, or by using hidden clip attachments. The main benefit of low maintenance decking is that you will never have to stain, seal or paint the decking like wood materials. Most higher quality synthetic decking materials are sold with a warranty against splitting, cracking, rotting and insect damage.
Nebraska Handyman Recommends Composite