Deck Materials 101: The Right Options for Outdoor Decking

In construction, outdoor decking stands out as a significant and impactful element of many projects. As a contractor, knowing how to choose the right deck materials is crucial to the success and longevity of your builds. In this guide, we’ll explore essential factors that influence material selection and help you make informed decisions that align with your clients’ needs and preferences.


Understanding Client Needs

Before diving into the vast sea of outdoor decking options, it’s important to understand your client’s vision and requirements. Consider factors like the intended use of the deck, maintenance preferences, and budget. Whether they are looking for a low-maintenance family-friendly space or a luxurious entertainment area, your role as a deck builder is to align these needs with the suitable materials.

A 3 story house with white railings and a glass deck that lets in natural light to the hot tub below.


Wood: The Classic Choice

Wood has long been a favorite for outdoor decking due to its natural beauty and versatility. From pressure-treated lumber to exotic hardwoods, wood decking can fit a range of budgets and styles. However, it’s essential to consider maintenance needs, as wood decks require regular staining and sealing to prevent decay and weather damage.

An overhead view of a wooden deck with glass decking inserts, above a beautiful green lawn.

Composite Decking: Durability and Ease

For clients seeking a balance between aesthetics and low maintenance, composite decking is an excellent option. Made from a blend of wood fibers and plastic, composite decks resist rotting, warping, and insect damage. While the initial cost is higher than some wood options, the longevity and minimal upkeep make it a cost-effective choice in the long run.


Glass: Innovative and Modern

As specialists in glass flooring, we understand the unique value this material brings to outdoor decking. Glass decking provides a sleek, modern look and allows for creative design elements, like under-deck lighting or viewing panels. It’s particularly fitting for clients looking to create a statement or take advantage of scenic views.

An apartment with glass walls and a deck made of walkable glass.

Aluminum and Other Metals

Aluminum decking is a less common but highly valuable option for outdoor decking. It’s lightweight, incredibly durable, and requires minimal maintenance. It also offers a unique aesthetic that can set a deck apart. Other metals like steel can be used for structural components, offering strength and longevity.

The exterior view of an apartment with glass walls and glass decks, with text overlay stating 'Deck Materials 101: Choosing the Right Options for Your Project'

Choosing the right deck materials is a critical decision in any outdoor decking project. By understanding the pros and cons of different materials and aligning them with your client’s needs, you can ensure the success and durability of your decks. Whether it’s the natural charm of wood, the durability of composites, the innovative appeal of glass, or the strength of metal, your choices will shape the enjoyment and value your clients get from their outdoor spaces.

To talk to one of our professionals about the best options for an upcoming project, contact us today!