Choosing the Material for Your Deck

Installing a new deck is a huge project to take on. However, it can provide a major return on investment if done properly.  

One of the most important things to consider to ensure your deck is properly installed is the material. Selecting the right material is very important. However, it’s also one of the most difficult decisions you’ll ever make during the project. This is particularly true if you don’t know what your options are.  

Usually, there are a couple of common materials for decks. A reliable deck builder can help you choose the right one for your needs.  

How to Pick the Right Material 

If you want to make huge updates to your outdoor area, you should consider treated lumber for your deck. Unfortunately, you should also remember that treated lumber requires more maintenance compared to composite decking.  

Fortunately, a lot of manufacturers nowadays offer premium treated lumber that is durable, long-lasting and is resistant to decay and rot. You should ask your deck builder if they know where to find this material. 

If you want affordable material for your deck installation project, your best bet is Wood-Plastic Composite. There are reliable manufacturers, such as Vista and Trailhead, that offer affordable and high-quality wood-plastic composite deck boards.  

If your outdoor area regularly comes into contact with water, you should consider Mineral-Based Composite. Manufacturers, such as Frontier and Vault, offer a 50-year warranty for these types of materials.  

Mineral-Based Composite 

This is perhaps one of the most popular deck materials out there. MBC provides improved traction, unmatched strength, and has almost no thermal movement. It’s also rated for ground and water contact.  

Usually, manufacturers selling MBCs offer a 25-year fade and stain warranty, 50-year removal and replacement, and 50-year structural warranty.  

Wood-Plastic Composite 

You can think about this material as a combination of composite decking and traditional lumber. Wood-plastic composite (WPC) is made from a compressed wood-plastic core. This deck material provides a long-lasting style at an affordable price.  

This type of material usually offers a high-density polyethylene cap. This makes every board resistant to scratches, fading, and stains. They’re also extremely durable.  

Two of the most popular manufacturers of WPC are Trailhead and Vista. They’re ideal for a new deck build. They also provide a 25-year replacement and removal, 25-year stain and fade, and 25-year structural warranty.  

Treated Lumber Decking 

When it comes to decking, treated lumber is the economical and traditional choice. While there is a huge increase in the prices of lumber, it is still a popular option for homeowners looking to save money on their deck installation project.  

While wood needs more maintenance, it provides a couple of excellent advantages. This includes: 

  • The look of a traditional wood deck will not go out of style.  
  • There is no risk of the material being discontinued if you want to replace the board. 
  • You can stain the wood to change its color.  

Unlike composite decking, you’ll have to conduct routine maintenance to keep your decking in excellent condition. However, it is perhaps the most affordable option out there.  

How to Stain Decks

A deck provides an excellent way to enjoy your outdoor area. Unfortunately, they fall victim to the outdoor elements since they’re located outside your house. This is particularly true if your deck is made of wood material rather than composite.  

To give your deck a new life, you will have to refinish it. Doing so will improve the resale value of your home and make your deck more attractive.  

You can always hire a professional deck builder to stain your deck. However, if you want to do it yourself, here are some steps to follow: 

Examine the Deck 

First of all, you need to conduct a thorough examination of your deck to figure out its condition. You need to search for indications of rot. You’ll probably find rot hidden in areas where wood and concrete meet. You should also search under the deck to see if there’s rotting in the substructure or if the posts are cracked. 

Fix and Clean the Deck 

Before starting the refinishing project, make the required repairs if you do have to replace a rotten or damaged deck board. Replace any damaged or rotten deck parts and make any required repairs.  

Once you’re done fixing the deck, the next thing you’ll need to do is to clean it. The method you will use will greatly vary on the current finish of the deck.  

If you have painted or varnished wood, you need to get rid of the paint or varnish first using a paint stripper.  

Make sure you sweep the deck to get rid of any dust before you proceed with the next step.  

Deep Clean the Deck 

You should consider using a pressure washer if you need to deep clean your deck. Pressure washing is an excellent method to deep clean your deck, especially if it is made of wood.  

However, you need to do it properly to avoid damages. You might etch the wood if you do it wrong.  

When deep cleaning your deck, you should start in a corner and walk your way across the deck. You can always hire a professional cleaner if you aren’t confident using a pressure washer.  

Sand the Deck 

If your deck’s surface is still in excellent condition, you might want to skip this step and continue to sand the handrails. However, if the boards are damaged by the sun, you should consider sanding the deck before you stain it.  

Make sure you use the right sandpaper grit. Professionals typically recommend sanding the deck with 60-80 grit sandpaper.  

Stain the Deck 

When choosing the stain for your deck, keep in mind that the finish you pick might be a bit different from what you see in the photos. Because of this, it’s a wise move to purchase a small sample and test it on the deck before you commit to the entire surface. 

The ideal method of staining the deck is to apply the stain using a brush. A brush will help guarantee you apply the stain uniformly. This will also ensure the results will look great.