A Guide to Decking Materials

The end of summer is a great time to consider a deck remodel, whether you want it completed in the fall or simply prefer to plan in advance for home improvement projects for next year. Improving upon your outdoor living space is a great way to ensure you spend more time outdoors while the weather is still comfortable. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of the different options you have for decking materials:

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Ipe Wood

Known also as Brazilian walnut decking, Ipe wood is an exotic hardwood that is increasing in popularity in both residential and commercial decking remodels. Its natural beauty and strength make it a top choice for decks across the nation.


  • Naturally rot and decay-resistant
  • Eco-friendly
  • Very strong and durable
  • Can last over 75 years
  • Termite-resistant


  • Requires regular maintenance
  • Prone to fading
  • Needs sealing or coating to preserve appearance

Pressure-Treated Lumber

As you might have assumed by the name, this decking material is lumber that has undergone a process that uses pressure to force chemical preservatives into the wood. This unique process helps to make the lumber stronger and resistant to premature decay.


  • Added protection against termite and fungal damage
  • Low initial costs
  • Readily available


  • Shorter lifespan than other materials
  • Splinters
  • Not scratch-resistant
  • Porous material, prone to stains

Composite Decking

A great wood decking alternative, composite decking is a manufactured material consisting of wood fibers and recycled plastic. This material stays cool to the touch unless it goes through prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, so many of those looking to remodel their decks with composite choose lighter colors as they are known to absorb less heat.


  • High durability
  • Environmentally-friendly
  • Low maintenance
  • Longer lifespan than wood
  • No splintering
  • Rot-resistant 
  • No staining necessary


  • More costly than wood
  • Susceptible to mold
  • Fades over time with consistent sun exposure

Johnson Lumber is one of the top deck remodelers in the area, serving Maryland, D.C., and Virginia homeowners and commercial property owners alike. Reach out to our deck construction experts for more information on the types of decking materials we have to offer you! 

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