10 Solid Alternatives to Wood Decking

Having access to a backyard deck is one of the best things about being a homeowner. It’s not only an enjoyable addition to your home, but it can add a lot of value to your property, and you can add decking to your home without it costing you an arm and a leg now, too. For many years, wood decks were the most popular types of decks homeowners put in, and depending on their size, they could be quite costly, not to mention, they require a lot of upkeep. Wooden decks aren’t the only types of decks homeowners are looking into anymore, however. If you are looking into adding a deck onto your home but don’t want something that will break your bank or be the cause of a lot of maintenance, then keep reading to learn about other materials that are now being used as decking material that could be a better fit for your wallet and lifestyle. Here are 10 solid alternatives to wood decking.

1. Bamboo Decking

Bamboo is a common material today, used for many different products due to its strength and durability, as well as its ability to withstand moisture. One way bamboo is really starting to make a difference is by using it to construct outdoor decks. There is something about the look and texture of bamboo that many people find appealing to use in their home design projects. Well, here’s another one. Bamboo is one of the top alternatives for wooden decking and it definitely makes for a beautiful option for a back deck for your home. The best reasons to use Bamboo are for it’s beautiful finish. It’s both, light weight and durable, as well as strong and resilient to many conditions it’s put under. Bamboo is also known to handle moisture well, however, it is not recommended for areas that get excessive rain or water pooling. It can rot and harbor mildew. It also requires regular maintenance to keep it looking fresh and new, otherwise, it will deteriorate like many other wood-type materials. If you like the look of bamboo, this is an option for you instead of a traditional wood deck.

2. Composite Decking

If you are familiar with plastic lumbar, then you already kind of know what composite decking is. Composite decking is related to plastic lumbar, and is one of the most popular, and fastest-growing deck materials on the market today. The majority of composite decking materials are made of either polyethylene or polyvinyl chloride. And both products are available in a wide range of colors.

3. Plastic Lumbar

Plastic lumbar was just mentioned above, and it is not made of anything other than plastic. Despite its main composition being plastic, it may have some other additives that help give it a resistance to certain elements, like sun damage, harsh weather, even resistance to scratching, which makes it a great choice for families with children or pets, both which can be hard on a deck. Other benefits of a plastic lumbar deck include, stain and fade resistance, it’s waterproof and will not rot or mold, it’s slip resistant, making it a great choice around swimming pools and hot tubs,  and it can be molded into a variety of shapes and sizes to easily fit unique designs, including curvy areas.

4. Aluminum Decking

Aluminum is durable and is often used in commercial-type settings, for example, hotel balconies and railings are often made of aluminum. Now homeowners are finding out the benefits of using aluminum for their decking material and installing beautiful aluminum decks that are not only beautiful, but they may even outlive the owner. Aluminum decks are easy to assemble. They are made with tongue and groove panels or hidden clips so that the surface is not penetrated at all. This type of material is the perfect solution for areas where wood just won’t work or is not a conventional option.

5. Interlocking Deck Tiles

Like a puzzle, interlocking deck tiles fit together to create a large covered area. They are typically made of unconventional decking materials, however, they can be made of wood, such as cedar or redwood. They’re smart looking and you can create a beautiful design pattern to give your deck a unique look that differs from the traditional wood deck look. One thing homeowners who choose this type of decking find to be helpful is that the interlocking deck tiles are easily installed over any old flat surface. So if you already have old pressure treated decking laid and want to redo the area with a beautiful, easy-to install and maintain deck option, simply lay the interlocking tiles on top and in no time, you’ll have a new and stylish deck to enjoy.

6. Silca System Decking

Silica system decking is the footprint for a more beautiful deck than a traditional wood decking. Silca System decking is a plastic tray system that allows you to lay any number of materials over it. Your raised wood deck can be transformed into a slate, tiled, paver, stone or any other type of deck, or make your deck a combination of materials if you prefer. The tray system creates a bond to the material so that you can lay a single type of material anywhere the tray system is set, or you may combine a variety of materials to get a unique look for your deck. Systematically combine wood and concrete, or brick pavers and slate – or any other combination of materials to create your own look and design. The innovative superstructure tray system lets you lay these materials where you once could not, and it can all be done effectively, and more inexpensively.

7. Vinyl

You know what vinyl siding is on a home. This same, durable material can be used as decking material and it’s tough enough to handle just about any type weather thrown at it, just like the vinyl on the side of a home. There’s really minimal upkeep needed to keep it looking good. With a biannual cleanup, your vinyl decking can look good as new year round for as long as you have it. You can choose from a wide variety of colors, and shades of those colors to create your own look and design. For easy to maintain decking that’s durable, lasts for years, and looks great, vinyl is a great alternative to wood decking, and it’s reasonably priced too, which means your wallet won’t take a beating either.

8. Rice Hull Decking

If you’ve ever gotten a splinter off a weathered back deck, or your kids like to run barefoot all summer long without worries of getting one, here’s a material that will keep your kids’ feet splinter free, summer-after-summer. Rice Hull decking is a beautiful material that is durable and splinter-free. One of the newer materials for decking, Rice Hull is quickly becoming a popular choice for those who don’t want the traditional wood deck that requires so much upkeep to keep it looking good, and as splinter-free as possible. Rice Hull is highly resistant to stains, which means you can cook out all summer long without worries of your deck taking a hit for the spilled plates of food or drinks.

9. PVC Decking

PVC decking is tough and durable. You won’t find dents, scratches, stains or scuff marks on PVC decking like you can see in typical soft wood decking. More and more homeowners are going to materials like this for their decks to help get them get more enjoyment out of them and less maintenance and repair time. While wood decks require regular cleanings, staining and sealing, you won’t have to do that with a PVC deck. You simply choose your style and color of decking, whether you choose a coordinating color to your home, or colors that match the colors of your home. Once it’s installed, you can instantly begin to enjoy your deck with your family and friends and let the beauty of the deck speak for itself all year, and year-after-year.

10. Rubber Paver Tiles

Rubber tile pavers are made from a high density rubber using a granular material that is mirco-porous. It’s very comfortable to walk on. Your bare feet will love how it feels compared to wood materials that can splinter or be rigid under the foot. It’s also very durable and lasts forever. You won’t have to worry about water issues, whether it be water stains, mold, and it’s slip-free, making it a perfect addition around pools and spas. The pavers are easy to install due to their interlocking mechanism and you can arrange them to create your own unique design pattern.

Before you decide on a deck for your backyard, consider all your options so that you get the best product for your budget and lifestyle. For years, traditional wood decking was the most popular decking found on homes of all prices and sizes. Today, you can find decking that’s made of much more non-traditional materials and they are beautiful, and most times, more efficient, longer lasting, and less expensive.


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