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Understanding the Different Types of Decking Materials

Understanding the Different Types of Decking Materials

Choosing the right decking material is crucial for creating a durable, attractive, and functional outdoor living space. With so many options available, it can be challenging to determine which material best suits your needs, lifestyle, and budget. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the various types of decking materials available at CMS, including popular brands like Trex, Azek, Envision Decking, and many more.

Types of Decking Materials

1. Wood Decking

Wood decking is a classic choice that offers natural beauty and warmth. It comes in various types, each with its own characteristics, advantages, and maintenance requirements.

Pressure-Treated Lumber

  • Overview: This is the most common type of wood decking, treated with chemicals to resist rot, mold, and insects.
  • Pros: Affordable, readily available, and relatively easy to work with.
  • Cons: Requires regular maintenance, such as sealing and staining, to prevent weather damage and prolong its lifespan.
  • Common Uses: Residential decks, porches, and patios.

Cedar and Redwood

  • Overview: Naturally resistant to rot and insects, these woods are prized for their beauty and durability.
  • Pros: Rich color, pleasant aroma, and naturally resistant to decay.
  • Cons: More expensive than pressure-treated lumber and requires regular maintenance.
  • Common Uses: High-end residential decks, garden structures, and outdoor furniture.

Tropical Hardwoods

  • Overview: Hardwoods like ipe, teak, and mahogany are incredibly durable and resistant to rot and insects.
  • Pros: Exceptional durability, stunning appearance, and long lifespan.
  • Cons: Expensive, difficult to work with, and can be hard to source sustainably.
  • Common Uses: Luxury decks, outdoor structures, and premium outdoor furniture.

2. Composite Decking

Composite decking is made from a blend of wood fibers and recycled plastic. This combination creates a durable, low-maintenance decking material that mimics the look of wood without the upkeep.

Trex Decking

  • Overview: Trex is a leading brand in composite decking, made from 95% recycled materials.
  • Pros: Durable, low-maintenance, resistant to fading, staining, and scratching, and available in a variety of colors and finishes.
  • Cons: Higher upfront cost compared to wood, but lower long-term maintenance costs.
  • Common Uses: Residential and commercial decks, outdoor living spaces.

Envision Decking

  • Overview: Envision Decking combines the beauty of wood with the durability of composite materials.
  • Pros: High performance, beautiful finishes that mimic natural wood, and low maintenance.
  • Cons: Similar to other composites, the initial cost is higher than wood.
  • Common Uses: Residential decks, patios, and pool surrounds.

3. PVC Decking

PVC (polyvinyl chloride) decking is a synthetic material known for its exceptional durability and low maintenance. It is resistant to moisture, mold, and mildew, making it an excellent choice for areas with high humidity.

Azek Decking

  • Overview: Azek is a top brand in PVC decking, offering a variety of styles and colors that resemble natural wood.
  • Pros: Highly resistant to moisture and insects, very low maintenance, and long-lasting.
  • Cons: More expensive than wood and composite options.
  • Common Uses: Residential decks, pool areas, and coastal environments.

4. Aluminum Decking

Aluminum decking is a durable and lightweight option that is resistant to rust, rot, and insect damage. It is an excellent choice for homeowners looking for a low-maintenance, long-lasting deck.


  • Durability: Resistant to rust, rot, and warping.
  • Low Maintenance: Does not require sealing, staining, or painting.
  • Safety: Slip-resistant surface and stays cool to the touch.
  • Environmental Impact: Recyclable material.


  • Cost: Higher upfront cost compared to wood and some composites.
  • Appearance: Industrial look that may not appeal to all homeowners.

Common Uses:

  • Residential decks, balconies, and commercial applications.

5. Concrete Decking

Concrete decking is a versatile option that can be customized with various finishes, textures, and colors. It is incredibly durable and low maintenance, making it an excellent choice for modern and contemporary homes.


  • Durability: Long-lasting and resistant to weather and wear.
  • Customization: Can be stamped, colored, and textured to mimic other materials.
  • Low Maintenance: Requires minimal upkeep.


  • Cost: Higher installation costs.
  • Cold Feel: Can be cold underfoot, making it less comfortable in cooler climates.

Common Uses:

  • Patios, pool decks, and modern outdoor living spaces.

Why Choose CMS for Your Decking Needs?

At CMS, we understand that choosing the right decking material is essential for creating a beautiful and functional outdoor space. We offer a wide variety of high-quality decking materials to suit every need and budget. Our knowledgeable staff can help you navigate the options and find the perfect solution for your project.

Our Top Brands

  • Trex: Leading composite decking brand made from recycled materials.
  • Azek: Premium PVC decking known for its durability and low maintenance.
  • Envision Decking: Beautiful composite decking that combines the look of wood with the benefits of composite materials.


Choosing the right decking material is crucial for creating a durable, attractive, and functional outdoor living space. By understanding the pros and cons of each type of decking material, you can make an informed decision that suits your needs, lifestyle, and budget.

At CMS, we’re committed to providing you with the best decking materials available. Our wide selection of high-quality products ensures that you’ll find the perfect decking solution for your project. Visit our showroom in Michigan or contact us today to learn more about our offerings and get expert advice on your next decking project.

#DeckingMaterials #HomeImprovement #CMS #Trex #Azek #EnvisionDecking #OutdoorLiving #BuildingMaterials #MichiganHomes

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