Libby Smoot, September 29, 2015
You have a plan, and now it’s time to select what materials you want to use to bring your outdoor living space to life. A major decision! With a variety of outdoor materials available, it can be hard to know which product is right for you, so, in this second installment of our five-part deck planning series, here’s a quick guide:
• Wood – A wood substructure may seem like the obvious choice for a deck, but in reality this material is susceptible to termites and rotting. Wood also has a tendency to warp over time, leaving your deck boards with an uneven walking surface.
• Steel – Steel deck framing offers durability that other materials can’t. It’s essential to ensure that your deck frame is safe, and a steel frame, such as Trex Elevations®, provides the proper support for your outdoor living space. Elevations offers unparalleled strength and stands the test of time without shifting, splitting, warping, rotting or rusting, making it a great choice for all decks, especially multi-level structures.
• Composite – High-performance composite decking offers the best of both worlds for homeowners who like the look of real wood paired with low maintenance. For decking you spend more time enjoying than cleaning and maintaining, opt for Trex Transcend® – our most popular line of composite decking. Transcend is available in a wide range of colors from premium tropical hues to classic earth tones that work with a variety of outdoor styles and designs. We also offer our Enhance® and Select® decking, both of which come with rich, sophisticated finishes at a value that only adds to the appeal.
• Treated Wood – This is one of the most common types of decking and is popular because of its initial cost. However, most wood is prone to splintering, fading and decay, leading to ongoing maintenance and cleaning costs that quickly add up.
• PVC – Plastic vinyl decking requires little maintenance, and won’t warp, crack or splinter like traditional woods. Yet, it rarely offers the aesthetic appeal of a composite deck. Additionally, PVC decking can take on a chalky texture over time and boards tend to squeak with age.
• Composite – Composite railing has a strong, sturdy look and feel that will last for years. Our composite Transcend and Select railings blend seamlessly with all of our decking collections and are available in various colors and finishes that you can mix and match to find a look that complements any style of deck.
• Wood – Similar to wood decking, this type of railing has a tendency to rot, warp and splinter, requiring frequent sanding and staining.
• Aluminum – A sturdy material with a sleek finish, aluminum railing is the perfect option for any homeowner who's looking for a contemporary aesthetic. Trex Reveal® railing requires minimal maintenance and easily affixes to decks and hardscapes like stone patios.
• LED – Energy-efficient LED lights, such as Trex® Deck Lighting™ and Landscape Lighting™ will not only brighten your outdoor living space and its surrounding landscape, but will also ensure that it remains safe and enjoyable long after the sun goes down.
• Incandescent – These electric lights provide a bright glow, but burn hot and have a much shorter life than LED lights.
If you are still struggling with what materials are right for you and your outdoor space, we now offer samples of all our decking options. Simply visit www.shop.trex.com to order samples, have them shipped directly to your house and eliminate the guesswork that comes with picking the perfect decking for your outdoor oasis.
Another helpful tool is our Cost Calculator, which allows you to compare and contrast estimated pricing between different types of decking and railing and will help you stay on track with your budget.
With Trex materials, your outdoor space will wow during the day, glow bright at night and stay beautiful for years to come. Visit the Trex blog next week when we will discuss whether you should build your own deck or hire a TrexPro® contractor.
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