Different Types of Decking Material | Deck Board Options | Naperville, Chicago


Different Types of Decking Material Are you a DIYer looking to sharpen your skills,
looking for solutions for home improvement issues, getting advice needing to hire a contractor,
and staying up to date on the latest the industry has to offer on news and trends? You are in the right place. Welcome to Discover Your Home with your host,
Mark Lotz. Hey guys, Mark here with Discover Your Home
and tonight we’re going to talk about decking materials and what it takes if you’re either
looking to build a new deck or replace your existing deck with a new material. I’m going to run through the list of the four
main materials that we see out in the field and …. Hey Dan, thanks for joining us. And I want to talk a little bit about the
kind of the basic cost looking at maintenance, what it’s going to take to upkeep them, some
of the benefits, some of the drawbacks. Every product, I don’t care what’s out there,
there’s no silver bullet. Every product has its benefits and some have
their drawbacks. So, let’s start off with the four main materials
we’re talking about tonight. pressure-treated or wolmanized lumber that’s
the first one. It depends on where you’re located and wolmanize
is kind of more of a branding type term. Then we’ve got cedar or redwood and these
are kind of going up the price scale, then Ipe and then we have the composite decking. So, let’s start with our entry-level material. This is, as you can see here, is a pressure
treated lumber, and let me try to explain that to you without getting too technical. They take a piece of, I believe this is like
a southern yellow pine and through a process, they kind of force in with like water as its
vehicle, a type of preservative that allows the wood to be decay resistant, rot resistant,
keeps insects out. So, great entry-level product. It is the most cost-effective material out
there for the use of decks and like I said, this is entry level. As far as the maintenance of this material,
it depends on where you’re located. Let’s say if it’s a southern exposure, let’s
say on the south side of your house and you don’t have a lot of tree cover, this is going
to take a little bit more abuse so you’re going to want to put a preservative or stain
on top of it every two to three years. If it’s a northern side of the house without
tree cover, you want to just make sure you keep this clean. You may not have to put as much of a preservative
on it with that. If you let this go, just say it’s in direct
sunlight and you don’t do anything to it, and about 8 to 10 years, what you’re going
to see are a lot of lines. It opens up because what’s happening is the
chemical that’s in the wood leeches to the surface, eventually starts to dissipate and
goes away. So yes, I would recommend maintaining it with
a semi-transparent deck stain. It looks good, it may be a little hard to
see. It’s green and it’s kind of a greenish yellow
natural state. So, a lot of folks don’t like that necessary
green color so what we try to recommend to kind of tone it down and maybe look at being
a little bit more like cedar would be usually like a cedar tone stain or like a California
rustic, something to kind of give it just a little bit, tone that green down, and in
the paint world, red kills green so it makes it look a little bit brown. Probably the downside to this product, you
know realistically, probably over time when it opens up, it can warp a little bit too
because it is basically water saturated. It’s very heavy when it comes out from the
lumberyard, and as it dries, it becomes lighter. This is a much lighter piece because it’s
dried out so it has a tendency to warp, it has a tendency to have a little bit more knots. So, I would not probably recommend walking
around in bare feet on this deck because you can get to catch quite a few splinters as
it ages. If you preserve it every two to three years,
that will save that little bit of life but that’s probably I think the biggest downside. The one thing that is great about this product
is it takes a very, very, very long time for it to rot. In fact, I’ve only seen a few pieces in my
years ever really rot and the substructure like the floor joists and everything are usually
made of pressure treated lumber. That’s pretty standard other than going up
to maybe like a steel. So, I’ll start off with pressure treated. Let’s go over to our next up the ladder
as far as selecting a material, and this is a piece of western red cedar, and we have
any extra preservative on it. Also, I don’t have a piece but redwood falls
in this category. We don’t see as many redwood decks. This kind of goes up the level as far as cost
goes in comparison to the pressure treated lumber. So, it is a little bit pricier, it looks absolutely
beautiful. This is a natural transparent stain on a newer
piece of cedar so it looks fantastic. Maintenance. Since it’s cedar, which has kind of natural
things in it to keep it from rot and decaying, this will rot and decay over a longer period
of time. It takes a while and I’ll give you a couple
of tips on how to make your cedar deck look good for a longer period of time and not have
any rot issues. Your maintenance with cedar. There again, every two to three years, I always
recommend putting some sort of treatment on there. If you want to do it more frequently, that’s
fine, it really depends on the location of where your deck will be. So, you’re building this brand new deck, it
looks gorgeous when it’s brand spanking new. Let it weather a little bit and then you can
apply an oil-based semi-transparent or transparent stain. Natural, I think looks the best. There’s not a lot of pigmentation so you’re
going to be needing to do that, like I said every two to three years. It is a little bit more maintenance to really
keep the natural beauty of the wood. So, I love the look, I love the smell of it. Cedar natural sweetener is fantastic. There again, redwood kind of falls in that
category. We’re not seeing as many redwood decks being
built… lack of supplies, cost of material… in the Midwest. We probably would say western red cedar is
probably a little bit more what you’re going to see out there. You have different grades of decking so the
higher the grade, the less knots, the better your material will hold up. If you can in this type of material, especially
if the deck is built close to the ground, this is really only if it’s built close to
the ground. If you want to put a coat of preservative
on the underside before you put it in, you can do that. That’ll just give it a little bit more like
if it’s built real close to the ground. If you have a lot of water issues So. drawbacks, it will rot. I don’t care what everybody says, cedar eventually
will start to rot. The more you take care of it, the more you
preserve it as it goes, the better and longer the life. It will rot, it is a little bit more expensive
than your pressure-treated lumber, but as far as looks go, I would say, if I’m giving
a choice between Western red cedar or a wolmanized deck as far as overall look, most folks have
a tendency, depending upon their budgets, to select more the cedar look. It’s just a different look. So, but I always want to give you the positives
and the negatives because, like I said, not every product is perfect. So, we’re going to move on to something we’ve
seen, probably in the last 10 to 15 years. This is called Ipe. It is a South American hardwood. It is a very, very dense piece of wood. This probably weighs more than these two pieces
of wood together, that’s how dense this material is. So, cost wise, going up the scale a little
bit more expensive than the cedar. I’m not going to get into board foot cost
or per square foot cost. There’s a lot out there on the net. Just go take a look and find it, but yes,
it is a considerably more expensive material than the cedar, going up that ladder, that
price ladder. So, what do I like about it? What its maintenance issues are, what are
good what’s bad. So, let’s start with maintenance. This is Ipe with an Ipe oil on it. This is the other side, this is what it looks
like with no Ipe oil on it. It’s kind of a nutty brown color and then
you put a preserver on and it really kind of brings out just a little bit deeper kind
of mahogany look. It is a very hard wood. So, how often do you have to maintain this? I would say probably every two to three years
or never and I’ll tell you why I say never. Well, let’s first start with every two to
three years, probably every two years. This wood is so dense that the material cannot
penetrate deep enough for it to really get into the wood. It will, it’s a very top layer. I mean, I don’t know how thin that would be
but about as thin as a sheet of paper. Since this material is so dense, the product
doesn’t penetrate very deep into the wood so it’s more of a topical preservative. It’ll wear quick and now some folks like to
let it gray, and if you let this go and let the sun do its work over two three years,
this starts to turn kind of a silver gray, kind of like a driftwood. Now, some people love that. No problem with that, it’s a kind of a cool
look to it, but some people fall in love with that real deep kind of mahogany color, so
that choice gets back to you. We’ve done some patio furniture made of very
similar materials with this for several of our clients where we’ve cleaned them, sanded
and re-oiled them, and we’re doing it a bit every year to every two years. So, depending upon how much direct sunlight
it gets, if you have a lot of tree cover but incredibly dense maintenance wise. It’s a little bit more maintenance because
if you wanted to look this beautiful, it’s going to require a little bit more work on
your behalf or somebody that you bring in your home and do this for you. Benefits. I’ll tell you what. I ran into a guy that the first time I saw
this was building a deck in northern Wisconsin, and he told me why he was doing it. And he said, I don’t have time. It was a resort a fishing resort and he goes,
I love it. The challenge with my business is I don’t
have time to handle the maintenance so this is going to last twenty to twenty-five years
without really doing anything to it. He said if I want to I can and we had a great
long discussion. This is many years ago that we talked about
it. We’ve seen a lot more of these and
it’s worth it if you don’t like to maintain. If you like a really dense wood that you really
don’t have to do too much to, if you like that grayed look, this is a great product,
and like I said, incredibly hard. In fact, I heard, I don’t know if that’s true
and I’ve never tested it, maybe one of these times we’ll test it, that if you took a torch
to this, you couldn’t literally start it on fire because it’s so dense. It’s that solid. I think I said that a thousand times. Drawbacks. If you don’t like the maintenance, if you
don’t like to do maintenance, that could probably be the biggest drawback. It really gets back to if you really are in
love with that look. If you are, expect to spend more time on maintaining
it. If you don’t mind being out on a weekend and
taking care of your deck and doing this every year and I do mean probably every year, especially
with Mother Nature, and in the Midwest here, between the snow, the rain and the sun, yeah,
I’m going to highly recommend that you stay on top of this because if you don’t maintain
it properly, it can start to look a little nasty and we can talk about maintenance and
how we do that later. So, on our price structure, that’s three on
our list. And our final product tonight is the composite
decking, and a lot of what’s out there today. You might see, I think we’ve got Trex, Fiberon,
I think Timber Tech is another company. There’s several out there and I’ll show you
a big piece of this. This I believe is, I think this is a Trex
product. This is definitely the most expensive material
because there’s a lot involved in this that’s a little bit more so than the things I’ve
being showing you tonight. It’s really a system, probably more than anything. So, definitely expect to spend more money
for this product. So maintenance. I do not like using the words maintenance
free because there is no such thing in my world is maintenance free. This is the minimal amount of maintenance
that you’ll have to deal with, and it’s really just keeping it clean. I tell folks when you’re having a deck built
or you’re replacing the deck flooring that you should really treat it like your kitchen
floor. You spill food on it, you clean it up, you
track mud on, you try to keep it clean. So, when you’re outside, you got a grill on
there, the dogs walk through, the kids track through some mud, try to keep it clean. With this, it’s a little soap and water. Scrub, brush and rinse off or a pressure washer
with the right amount of pressure. Don’t get crazy. A lot of times, since it’s such a dense material,
and what it really is, it’s a composite decking that is a mixture of recycled wood and recycled
plastic, and basically, it is kind of molded together to make this. So, in your maintenance cost, very low, and
really just kind of rinse it off. You might get a little algae on the north
side of your house. Use a cleaning agent that will handle the
algae. There are some great products out there you
can use and I think one is called wet it and forget it or wet it and set it. I can talk about that in a later show. But they basically spray it on, let it go
and as it rewets itself, it’ll clean itself off, so not a lot of work involved in this. So, that’s probably one of the nicest benefits
with this material. As far as I have seen, no issues with any
sort of rot. Right now, I’d say it’s been 25 years since
the first series of decks were put together. This should last from anywhere from 25, I’m
guessing up to who knows? We don’t really know how long these will last. I mean we’ve seen them, I’m going to say conservatively
25 years. So, the downside to this product, I would
say sometimes they can find that they’ve had some issues with a little bit of warping,
a little bit of mold and mildew issues, but a lot of that I’ve seen with a lot of the
companies have kind of worked that out. Probably, the downside I would say from the
average homeowner perspective is probably cost. It really is a substantial investment in your
home but it’s an investment that can be worth it if you’re going to plan on staying there
a long period of time. I’d highly recommend, if you think you’re
going to be in your home 10, 20 years down the road, this definitely would be a good
investment. So, I think that’s about wrapping us up here
tonight at Discover Your Home. Thank you again for joining us. I’m Mark and we’’ll catch you next week. Thanks again. Thanks so much for listening to this episode
of Discover Your Home with your host, Mark Lotz. Online at LotzRemodeling.com. That’s LotzRemodeling.com and on Twitter and
Facebook @LotzRemodeling. We’ll catch you next time.

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3 thoughts on “Different Types of Decking Material | Deck Board Options | Naperville, Chicago

  1. Check out the other videos I've made on deck projects on this playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDBIn_aN0_cEyw-i4V_FQ75wmuI3L2bF-

  2. Another con for pressure treated wood planks is chemical exposure. Some folks are more aware or sensitive about it. I probably wouldn't have the kids play on a PT deck without being very aware about washing hands afterwards.

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