Warm weather is right around the corner, so it’s time to start putting a little thought into your outdoor living space! Perhaps you’re hoping to refresh your existing space, or perhaps you’re starting completely from scratch. Either way, one of the most basic, yet important elements you’ll have to consider is decking.
The deck material you choose for your outdoor living space is important. You need it to function well, look even better, and hold up for a long time. And, of course, you want all of that without the hassle of regularly cleaning, restaining, and/or repairing it!
So what’s the best low-maintenance, high-quality deck material? Let’s take a look!
3 Best Low-Maintenance Deck Materials
Decks offer the perfect space to sit outside, enjoy the fresh air, and soak up the sunshine — but that relaxation time can be limited if you have a deck that needs constant maintenance and repair.
Since they’re located outside and regularly exposed to unpredictable elements, decks receive a lot of wear and tear. The key to minimizing that is finding a material that holds up in those conditions. Below, we’ve ranked our top three low-maintenance deck materials that help ensure your money is well spent, and that you spend more time enjoying your deck than working on it!
1. Composite Decking
Composite decking combines wood fibers and recycled plastic to create a highly durable, weather- and stain-resistant decking material that won’t warp, split, or splinter. It’s available in styles and colors that closely resemble the appearance of natural wood.
The best part? It doesn’t require any refinishing, sanding, or staining. So you get all the benefits of natural wood appearance, without the hassle of maintaining it. This is what makes composite decking the best low-maintenance deck material.
At Zeeland Lumber & Supply, we’re proud to offer our customers Trex® composite decking. As the world’s #1 wood-alternative decking brand, Trex® has the largest, highest-quality selection of composite decking on the market — and all it needs is a little soap and water to keep it looking brand new!
Here are some other reasons why Trex® works so well for our customers:
- Doesn’t warp, split, splinter, or fade
- Made of 95% recycled materials
- No annual maintenance
- 25-year lifetime guarantee (and warranty)
- 21 different color options to fit your home
- Optional railing additions
2. Pressure-Treated Wood Decking
Although it doesn’t guarantee all the same benefits of composite decking, pressure-treated wood is a more affordable alternative. It’s resilient, easy to work with, and can be painted or stained to match any color you wish. It’s also able to resist mold, fungus, and pests, which help to make it a durable deck material.
In past years, homeowners shied away from pressure-treated wood because of health and environmental concerns about the chemicals used to treat it. However, recent advances in lumber treatment technology have allowed for solutions that utilize safer, less toxic substances.
Pressure-treated wood decking does require regular maintenance in order to keep it in tip-top condition. Usually, this consists of applying an annual water-repellent deck sealer and stain. Depending on how the weather conditions are where you live, you may be able to push each treatment to last two years.
For pressure-treated wood decking, we recommend going with the best: Biewer Select Cut. When you choose Biewer, you can be assured that you’re working with the best — as each individual board is carefully inspected and selected for quality and appearance.
3. Ipe Decking
Well-known and beloved for its durability, Ipe is a Brazilian hardwood that can last for decades with little to no maintenance. Naturally rot-, mildew-, weather-, and scratch-resistant, Ipe lumber can withstand the wear and tear of everyday life and more without compromise. An Ipe deck means no staining, sealing, or finishing required for years to come!
As a decking material, Ipe is extremely safe. Even when wet, the smooth-medium texture of the lumber helps to prevent slips, and the wood rarely splinters, keeping bare feet protected. Ipe carries a Class-A fire rating, meaning it’s one of very few lumbers to be nearly fireproof.
Seem too good to be true? You might be wondering what the catch is! Ipe is one of the priciest lumbers on the market. Beyond the high cost of material, be aware that Ipe and other specialty lumbers like Tigerwood, are typically more difficult to install, making it a more expensive installation as well. There are so many benefits to this luxury material, but many wonder if it’s worth the hefty price tag. If you opt to go with an Ipe deck, you’re definitely making a large upfront investment, but it’s guaranteed to pay off in the long run (we’re talking upward of 70 years!), with minimal effort on your part.
Tired of putting hours of maintenance into your deck every year? Check out some of the low-maintenance deck materials we offer at Zeeland Lumber & Supply! We’re proud to supply great treated wood options, as well as top brands in the composite decking industry. By choosing one of these, you’ll be able to enjoy your outdoor living space without the hassle of frequently maintaining it. Contact our team to learn more.