Two people lying down on a wooden deck

How to Choose the Best Decking Material for Any Job

There are a lot of elements to consider when selecting a deck material. Cost, durability, workability, colour, maintenance, and other characteristics should all factor into the final choice. Read on below for more information on materials commonly used for decking projects.

Select the Right Fasteners

Fasteners, anchors, and hardware are important components for a decking project as well. If the fasteners and decking material are not compatible, then the fasteners can corrode, stain the material, or fail. For example, pressure-treated wood, IPE, and cedar will damage copper fasteners. When available, go with high corrosion-resistant stainless steel and always avoid electroplated galvanizing fasteners.

Hidden fastener systems are also a good option for a clean and seamless look. Hardwoods such as IPE sometimes come with pre-milled clips. Vinyl and composite systems are also known for having proprietary hidden fasteners.

For more tips and tricks to planning a decking project, check out our guide to building a deck.

Hot-dipped Galvanized
Stainless Steel
Aluminum
Copper
Hidden Fastener System
Use Manufacturer’s Associated Fasteners
Pressure-Treated Wood
Cedar
Redwood
IPE
Composite
Vinyl
Euro-Tiles
Hot-dipped Galvanized
Stainless Steel
Aluminum
Copper
Hidden Fastener System
Use Manufacturer’s Associated Fasteners
Pressure-Treated Wood
Cedar
Redwood
IPE
Composite
Vinyl
Euro-Tiles
= compatible
Logo of Reno-Depot’s sustainable products program
Make the Sustainable Choice

Today, there are many environmentally sustainable options for decking materials. Composites are manufactured using recycled plastic, pressure-treated wood is made with less harmful chemicals than in the past, and vinyl can be recycled at the end of its usable life. Hardwoods like cedar, redwood, and IPE from certain suppliers are also certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) of Canada and the USA. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification ensures that wood products are grown and harvested according to approved sustainable practices and supplied by approved providers.

Reno-Depot carries over 100 environmentally friendly products for decking projects. Just look for the ECO logo to make more sustainable decisions.

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Pro Tip

Not all scrap materials can be disposed of in the landfill, so verify any disposal regulations first. Pressure-treated lumber, for example, contains chemicals that can leach into the soil and harm the ecosystem. A building repurposing store may be able to accept large scrap piles.
Additional Considerations

On top of being a common finish decking material, pressure-treated wood is also commonly used for the framing and foundational structures of the deck due to its affordability and durability. It is a good choice both for building a one-level deck or a multi-level deck.

When using composite or vinyl decking, keep in mind that the manufacturer may have a proprietary system of tools and fasteners for which they offer guides like installation videos and checklists. Homeowners may find this extra manufacturer support to be very helpful.

Finally, take furniture placement into consideration when designing the deck. Ensure that there is enough room to comfortably walk around, and consider adding outdoor outlets to limit the need for extension cords.

And remember: the qualified professionals at Reno-Depot are always here to help.

Olympic Weather-Ready stain for wood deck
Apply Stain on a Rainy Day

While conventional wisdom says to avoid staining in the rain, Weather-Ready™ Technology allows for exterior wood surface staining in damp conditions, whether it is hot or cold. It also takes less time.

  • Enjoy the ability to clean and stain after it rains
  • Feel free to mist and apply when it is hot and sunny out
  • Effective stain application down to 0°C (35°F)
  • A deck refinished with Weather-Ready™ stains is rain-ready in just 8-12 hours
SHOP OLYMPIC EXTERIOR STAINS

Suggested products

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