How to Choose a Deck Board

Posted 10 June 2021 7:34 PM by Jase DeBoer

Building a new deck is a big project to take on, but one with a large return on investment. Choosing the right materials is likely the most important, yet the most difficult, decision to make during the planning process. The word “composite” is used frequently, but with so many options, how do you know which is best? We’ve outlined the key features and benefits between choosing traditional lumber, wood-plastic composite and mineral-based composite.

Treated Lumber Decking

Historically, lumber has been the traditional, economical choice for decking. Even with recent spikes in lumber prices, it’s still a go-to choice for those looking to save money in the short term. Although wood requires more annual maintenance, it has some good benefits.

  • You can change the color of your deck by staining it.
  • If you need to replace a board, there is no risk of it being discontinued.
  • The look of a traditional wood deck will always be in style.

Unlike composite decking, you will still need to perform regular maintenance to keep your decking in tip-top shape. There are color-infused lumber options, such as ProWood® Color-Treated lumber. With color driven deep into the wood, you’ll only have to maintain it with regular waterproof sealers.

Wood-Plastic Composite

Consider this a “best of both worlds” combination of traditional lumber and composite decking. Constructed of a compressed wood-plastic core, this decking offers a long-lasting style at an affordable price.

Each of the Deckorators® wood-plastic composite (WPC) decking options features a high-density polyethylene cap, making each board extra strong and resistant to stains, fading and scratches. Our two WPC options are Vista and Trailhead; both are an excellent choice for a new deck build. Both offer a 25-year Structural, 25-year Stain & Fade and 25-year Removal & Replacement warranty.

Trailhead: Offered at an entry-level price, it’s an excellent choice for a long-lasting yet budget-friendly build. The durable cap is on three full sides, including through the side grooves. Trailhead is offered in three colors and displays a rugged, natural-looking wood grain.

Vista: Showcasing four interchangeable colors for unique combinations, it’s offered in 3.5” and 5.5” widths. Each board features a linear, hairline grain akin to exotic hardwoods.

Mineral-Based Composite

Leading in the industry, mineral-based composite (MBC) offers unmatched strength, enhanced traction, has virtually no thermal movement and is rated for water and ground contact. Each of the three decking families offers a 50-year structural, 50-year removal and replacement, and 25 year stain and fade warranty.

Give Your Garden and Lawn Some TLC

As perennials begin to make their appearance, take special note to the plants that are starting to fade. Perennials have different life spans; some range a few years, while others will last over a decade. As you see the older bulbs beginning to wane, go ahead and dig them up now, before you lose sight of them later in the season. While the ground is soft, aerate and seed your lawn, as well as edge your landscaping.  

Schedule Any Necessary Repairs

If you’ve come across any outdoor necessities that need immediate attention, you’ll want to schedule repairs as soon as you’re able. Roof damage from snow and ice, rusted spigots and damaged decks may require the attention of a building professional. Most contractors have a busy building season ahead of them, so thoroughly evaluating your home exterior is a must in order to get on their calendars.

If some items, such as your deck, are beyond normal maintenance and repair, it may be time to replace! Reach out to a local Certified Pro to get started.