Choose the Best Decking Materials


Creating a beautiful and functional outdoor space begins with selecting the right decking material. Choosing the right material is important for the look, strength, and upkeep of your deck, patio, or dock. In this article, we discuss various materials for decking and railing. Additionally, we answer a few common questions to assist you in making an informed decision.

Decking Material Options

When it comes to decking material, there is a wide range of options available in the market. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular choices:

Wood Decking: Traditional wood decking, such as pressure-treated lumber, cedar, or redwood, offers a natural and timeless appeal. While wood requires regular maintenance to prevent rot, warping, and fading, it remains a popular choice due to its affordability and classic look.

Composite Decking: Composite decking material, made from a blend of wood fibers and recycled plastic, provides the best of both worlds. It offers the natural appearance of wood while being resistant to rot, insect damage, and fading. Composite decking requires minimal maintenance, making it an attractive option for homeowners seeking durability and aesthetics.

PVC Decking: PVC (polyvinyl chloride) decking is a synthetic material known for its exceptional durability and resistance to moisture (which makes it great outdoor decking material), stains, and scratches. It offers a wide range of color options and requires minimal maintenance. However, PVC decking tends to be more expensive than other options.

Aluminum Decking: Aluminum decking provides excellent strength and durability, making it ideal for areas with high foot traffic or harsh weather conditions. It is resistant to rot, insects, and fire and requires little maintenance. While aluminum decking is relatively costly, its longevity and low maintenance make it a worthwhile investment.

Best Decking Material Options

Now that we’ve explored the different decking material options, let’s discuss the best choices for specific scenarios:

Residential Decks: For homeowners seeking a balance between affordability and durability, composite decking is an excellent choice. It offers a long lifespan, low maintenance requirements, and a wide variety of color and texture options.

Commercial Decks: In high-traffic areas such as restaurants, hotels, or public spaces, aluminum decking proves to be the most robust option. Its durability and resistance to wear and tear make it suitable for heavy use.

Marine Decks: When it comes to boat decking material, the requirements are unique. Composite decking with high resistance to moisture, mold, and UV rays is often the preferred choice for its durability and ability to withstand harsh marine environments.

Best Composite Decking Options

Composite decking has gained immense popularity due to its durability and low maintenance requirements. But which is the best composite decking option? While personal preferences and budget play a role, here are a few highly regarded options:

Trex: Trex is a leading composite decking brand known for its durability, realistic wood grain patterns, and eco-friendly manufacturing processes. With various product lines, Trex offers a range of options to suit different budgets and style preferences. Explore Trex brand decking products today.

TimberTech: TimberTech’s composite decking is known for its high-performance and innovative designs. With a protective polymer shell, TimberTech decking offers enhanced resistance to stains, scratches, and fading. Explore Timber-Tech brand decking materials today.

Deck Railing

Deck railing is an essential component of any deck, serving both functional and aesthetic purposes. It provides safety by acting as a barrier to prevent falls and creates a defined space for relaxation and enjoyment. Deck railing comes in various materials, including wood, metal, and composite, allowing homeowners to choose a style that complements their overall design scheme.

The Best Deck Railing Options

Beyond safety, deck railing adds visual appeal and can enhance the overall look and feel of the outdoor space. While just like the decking material, personal preferences, and budget play a role in railing as well. Here are a few highly regarded options:

TimberTech: TimberTech Railing delivers enduringly beautiful designs as well as superior performance, whether choosing from our composite, PVC, or metal railing collections. And with lots of customization options, it’s easy to create a unique look. Explore TimberTech brand railing solutions today.

INTEX: Renowned for its durability and reliability, INTEX offers a wide range of railing options to suit various architectural styles and outdoor spaces. Crafted from premium materials, INTEX deck railing provides superior strength and weather resistance, making it ideal for regions with challenging climates, including the Northeast United States. Explore Intex brand railing solutions today.

Phoenix: Phoenix deck railing is a top-tier choice known for its outstanding craftsmanship and premium quality. Designed with durability and longevity in mind, Phoenix deck railing is constructed from high-quality materials, ensuring its ability to withstand the challenges of the elements, making it especially suitable for homes in the Northeast United States. Additionally, Phoenix is committed to eco-friendly practices, ensuring their manufacturing processes are sustainable and environmentally responsible. Explore Phoenix brand railing today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Builders’ General understands that there’s much to consider regarding decking and railing and many questions that need to be answered. So, to provide the best service possible, below are answers to some frequently asked questions about decking and railing to help you in your research and decision-making.

Are composite decking materials more expensive than traditional wood decking?
Composite decking materials do tend to have a higher upfront cost compared to traditional wood decking options. However, it’s important to consider the long-term value and savings that composite decking offers. Unlike wood, composite decking requires minimal maintenance, eliminating the need for staining, sealing, or painting over time. Additionally, composite decking is highly durable and resistant to rot, insect damage, and fading, which can extend its lifespan. When factoring in the reduced maintenance and longevity of composite decking, it is often a cost-effective choice in the long run.

Can You Paint Composite Decking Material?
One common question regarding composite decking is whether it can be painted. Unlike wood decking, composite decking generally does not require painting or staining. Its color is designed to be long-lasting, and painting can compromise durability and aesthetic appeal. However, some composite decking brands offer products with a coating that allows for painting. It is crucial to check the manufacturer’s guidelines before attempting to paint composite decking.

Can composite decking be installed in various climates?
Yes, composite decking is designed to withstand various climates and weather conditions. Unlike wood decking, which can warp, crack, or rot in moisture-prone or high-temperature areas, composite decking is engineered to be highly resistant to these issues. It can effectively withstand moisture, humidity, UV rays, and temperature fluctuations without compromising its structural integrity or appearance. However, it’s always recommended to choose composite decking materials specifically formulated for the climate in which they will be installed to ensure optimal performance and longevity.

How High Should a Deck Railing Be?
The height of a deck railing is an important safety consideration that must adhere to local building codes and regulations. In the United States, most building codes require deck railings to be at least 36 inches in height, measured from the surface of the deck to the top of the railing. However, specific requirements may vary depending on the location and the intended use of the deck. In some instances, such as commercial properties or decks with elevated drops, higher railing heights may be necessary to provide increased safety and prevent falls. It is crucial to consult with local building authorities and adhere to their guidelines to ensure that your deck railing meets the required height standards and provides a secure environment for anyone using it.

What are the Best Decking Options for the Northeast?
Builders’ General is proud to call New Jersey home! So, no list of FAQs would be complete without paying special attention to the region we and millions of Americans call home.

Trex and TimberTech are widely regarded as the best decking options for homes in the Northeast United States due to their exceptional performance and resilience in the region’s challenging climate. The Northeast experiences harsh winters, heavy snowfall, and varying temperature extremes, making it essential for decking materials to withstand such conditions. Both Trex and TimberTech are industry leaders in composite decking, offering a blend of wood fibers and recycled plastic that provides excellent durability and resistance to moisture, rot, and warping. Their protective polymer shells ensure minimal fading and staining, making them ideal choices for areas with significant weather exposure. Moreover, their low maintenance requirements appeal to homeowners seeking long-lasting and hassle-free decking solutions. With a vast array of styles and colors available, Trex and TimberTech provide homeowners in the Northeast with versatile and visually appealing decking options that can handle the demands of the region’s climate with ease.

If you’re interested in decking materials made to endure the Northeast and look great doing it, contact Builders’ General today about Trex and TimberTech decking materials today!


Choosing the right decking material is crucial for creating a beautiful and long-lasting outdoor space. While wood decking offers a classic look, composite decking stands out as the best overall option due to its durability, low maintenance, and aesthetic versatility. Remember, it’s essential to consider the specific requirements of your project before making a final decision. So, start exploring the possibilities and create your dream outdoor living space with confidence.