Pros and Cons of Various Decking Materials

Posted on: 22 August 2018

An outdoor deck is a great choice for any property, as it can extend your living and entertaining areas while also keeping your patio furniture, grill and other items off the ground. When you're ready to have a deck installed on your property, note a few pros and cons of various decking materials you might consider.


A metal deck is very durable and easy to clean. Metal can also last indefinitely without needing repairs or replacement. Metal decking material is usually insulated and coated so it doesn't 'ping' the way you might expect and is virtually fireproof, which is something to consider if you cook with an open flame or have a fire pit on your deck.

The downside to metal is that it is very dense and hard underfoot, so it may not be comfortable for walking or children playing. Metal is also very difficult if not downright impossible for a homeowner to fabricate on their own, so you would need to hire a contractor or buy a kit and assemble the deck yourself, which can be costly. Changing the colour of metal decking is also difficult, as paints meant for metal may not hold up to constant weather exposure; you may then simply be stuck with the colour of the decking material you choose initially.


Composite decking material is made from a mixture of plastics and wood. These materials can offer the look of real wood, while the plastic mixture makes the slats and posts more durable and water resistant. The downside to composites is that they will have an artificial look and feel that a homeowner might not like, and they are also typically somewhat uncomfortable underfoot. A homeowner may also not be able to change the colour of a composite deck.


Timber decking can be cut and fabricated by most homeowners themselves with a few standard household power tools; in turn, you can fabricate and install a deck on your own, saving money and ensuring the deck fits your needs precisely. Wood is also naturally softer than metal and composite materials and doesn't conduct heat and cold and easily as metal, so a timber deck can be most comfortable for walking and for children playing.

A homeowner can also easily paint and stain wood, so you can change the look of your timber deck as it suits you. The downside to timber is that it does need consistent cleaning, but typically nothing more than an annual power washing, sealing and coating is required.