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What is Best in Patio Deck Materials

Answered by Jeffrey ~ March 11, 2010 ~ Comments

We have heat and rain in the summer here in Port St. Lucie and cool temperatures in the winter. Would treated wood or manufactured products be best for an outdoor patio deck?

Ted H. ~ Port St. Lucie, Florida

Jeffrey Anderson

Hi Ted, I think a lot of it comes down to personal preference. I have built many decks with treated wood, including my own, and I have also built many decks with manufactured decking, and have not had a major problem with either. Treated wood can warp and twist, but once the decking is secured down, that usually is no longer an issue. Of course with treated wood, to keep it in good shape you will need to put a protectant on it every couple of years. Manufactured decking needs no maintenance other than hosing it down every so often. Manufactured decking can lose some of its color over the years, especially if it is in an area where it receives a lot of direct sunlight, like Port St. Lucie, Florida. Supposedly the manufacturers have corrected some of this problem, but it will take a few years to know for sure.

Manufactured decking is a little more expensive than treated wood, but you should make up that difference over time, with the upkeep that is required of the treated wood decking. If manufactured decking gets scratched or gouged, it remains that way unless you replace the board, treated wood decking can be sanded down.

I think one of the biggest advantages of manufactured decking, especially if you have children or your family spends time on the deck in their bare feet, is that it doesn't splinter. Treated wood can splinter over time, and a treated wood splinter can be very painful, I speak from experience.

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