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Deck Material Choices - In the past Twenty years the decking industry has changed considerably. Decking surfaces are available in a variety of different materials ranging from natural wood to composites to many forms of plastics and even aluminum. After the natural wood choices for decking there are a vast number of manufactured low maintenance products. Each and every one of these products has pros and cons.

Pressure-Treated Lumber - Southern yellow pine formally known as CCA (Chromium Copper Arsenate); now newly formulated treated pine - Known as ACQ which is arsenic free and eco friendly. The most affordable decking choice on the market, This Green tinted wood will grey and splinter with time. The downside to PT lumber is that it's not very dimensionally stable, so it has a tendency to crack, split, and warp. Routine maintenance of sealing and cleaning is necessary to prolong its life.

Cedar - It's a very affordable choice considering its unsurpassed natural beauty. The softest of wood choices prone to scratches, splintering and checking if untreated will grey overtime. Cedar is resistant to decay and insects and stays cool to touch in the summer months.

Tropical Hardwoods - These exotic, rich grained woods are extremely hard, very durable and naturally resistant to rot and insects. Because of their dense characteristics they don't accept stains very well. However they have a minimum amount of maintenance issues of all woods.

Mahogany - A dense grained, reddish-brown hardwood Typically from Honduras that ages to a silver gray like Teak. More durable than it's Redwood alternative. See the rich color of the unstained wood below. Generally marketed as Honduras Mahogany its Philippine cousin (not really mahogany at all) is a cost effective option. Mahogany is not as stable as other hardwoods and can shrink through time.

Ipe (Ironwoods) - The most common of all tropical's also known as Pau Lope
A chocolate brown family of heavy and durable South American hardwoods, that's similar in appearance to mahogany, but a darker, richer crimson including Ipe and Pau Lope. They offer excellent termite and weather resistance. However, they are somewhat more labor intensive and costly.

Composites - The lower maintenance cost effective composite decking was first introduced by the Trex- company over 20 years ago. Most products are made from polyethelene or polyvinyl chloride some are blended with 50% recycled wood and come in a wide range of colors. In fact, most manufactures offer a line of handrails, balusters, facias and other decorative trim. Composites like Trex and Timbertech have become leaders in the industry. Composite decking does have certain advantages over wood: they are extremely low-maintenance and never need to be sanded, refinished or stained and occasionally need to be cleaned.

Cellular PVC - Relatively young compared to composites cellular PVC is made from 100% plastic (recycled and or virgin) it contains no wood fibers and is highly scratch and stain- resistant. PVC offers better protection than most composites due to its non pourus composition. Many manufactures now offer exciting colors to compliment this new addition in the industry . PVC decking compared to composites requires extremely low maintenance.