The Deck: Choosing Decking Material

Last week we had our decking material delivered! Which means we are finally ready to start the finishing phases of the deck! Of course, since we’ve got our decking the weather has been windy and really rainy. So, while we are waiting for some clearer skies we have been inside our garage painting the boards for the railing.

Decking & Railing 1

I won’t lie; the painting process has been pretty tedious. We have to wait a minimum of 8 hours in between coats and we can really only paint half of each board at a time. Since the white stain needs at least 3 coats it’s been a lot of painting and waiting around to paint again.

Decking & Railing 2

Since we are stuck inside and all we’ve been doing is painting I thought I would share a little about what decking material we chose and why before we actually get around to installing it.

To start with we chose to go with composite decking over the usual cedar deck boards. We chose the composite for may reasons. One major reason is that we don’t want to be frequently sanding and staining our deck just to keep it looking nice. We thought it would be well worth the investment to go with the higher initial cost to have lower maintenance in the long run.

There are a number of choices when it comes to composite and PVC decking. We visited a couple local lumber stores and picked up several samples and got some price quotes. Below is a couple of the choices we liked and picked up samples of.

Choosing Decking Materials 1

To try and get a better indication of how the decking colors would look with the house we set them on a ledge against the house and stood back. The first board on the left is the Azek Arbor Collection in Acacia which is a PVC product and as such it was one of the more expensive choices. Next up is TimberTech XLM in Walnut Grove which is another PVC and is about the same price as the Azek decking.  The third is another TimberTech product. It’s an Earthwood Evolutions in Pacific Walnut. We both really liked this one and the price was about in the middle. The next sample was the only Trex product we considered. It’s Trex transcends in Spiced Rum. We both liked the texture and color of this one but it did come off a little red next to our house which we didn’t like as much. The final sample is TimberTech Earthwood Evolutions in Brown Oak.

Choosing Decking Materials 2

The brown oak decking was the least expensive option and it also has the most unique profile.

Choosing Decking Materials 12

After weighing the costs and doing a lot of research on decking brands, materials, and processes we chose to go with the TimberTech Earthwood Evolutions in Brown Oak. Below is the sample of it next to some paint chips that are close to our house colors.

We both liked the price of course since it was the cheapest. We also liked the wood grain pattern, the variation in colors and the fact that it’s a fully capped composite board. Another plus for us is the rougher texture which we heard makes the decking less slick and we just liked the feel of.

Choosing Decking Materials 3

After we chose the decking we also picked out two stain colors to use on the railing. The first is Country Club White from Storm stain. You can also see the color in the photos at the beginning of the post as well as in our last post about installing railing.

Choosing Decking Materials 4

The other stain color we chose is a chocolate brown called Bear in Mind.

Choosing Decking Materials 5

Since the decking boards come in twenty foot lengths we had them delivered to our house. Last week while we were home waiting for the inspector the delivery truck showed up and backed into our driveway.

Choosing Decking Materials 6

It was kinda fun to see how they unloaded the truck. The driver just unstrapped our decking and tilted the bed of the truck up. I’m pretty sure the driver thought I was a little crazy for taking photos of the truck. I guess that’s the life of a blogger you sometimes do crazy things for the purpose of documentation and sharing with others.

Choosing Decking Materials 7

Then the driver just slowly pulled forward and everything just slipped to the ground.

Choosing Decking Materials 8

Choosing Decking Materials 9

Choosing Decking Materials 10

After he was done we were left with a big ole pile of pretty decking that hopefully will be installed on our deck one day.

Choosing Decking Materials 11

Has anyone else chosen to go with composite decking? How did you chose what you wanted to use?

Update: If you want to see the decking installed check out this post.

Want to catch up with the rest of the deck process? Up until now we have explained how we designed the deck. We also talked about how we got our permitprepped the ground, and dug our footing holes. After the holes were dug we poured concrete and put down landscape fabric and gravel. With the base completed we installed our posts and beams. Then we came back and installed the joists, blocking and railing posts and passed our second inspection.


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