A decking area plays different important roles in many homes today. It can serve as a nice place to enjoy the weekend and grill watering dishes. It can be a space where you can relax, meditate or read a book. Also, in many homes, the decking area is where gardening activities take place. If asked to define what a decking board is, most people will describe an outdoor structure made of wood.
However, things are changing. Because of the numerous drawbacks of pressure-treated wood, there are varieties of materials used to create innovative decking designs. This implies that you now have a wide range of options for your outdoor area. In this guide, we will explore the best alternatives to the pressure-treated deck.
Let’s explore the drawbacks and environmental concerns associated with pressure-treated lumber.
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What are the disadvantages of pressure-treated lumber?
Since a lot of chemical treatment is used to manufacture pressure-treated wood, it has some presence of toxic chemical content. So it can expel toxic materials whenever you saw, burn or trim it. These chemicals can have a negative impact on your health when exposed to them.
Warping and shrinkage
Pressure-treated wood has the risk of crack and warping. Since the wood is permeated with chemical solutions, it requires months to totally get dried and seasoned. It will increase the likelihood of shrinking and deformation of the wood when dried.
After the chemical dissipates, the treated wood colour starts to get a greyish and lighter look after prolonged exposure to sun rays.
Negative impact on the environment
During the manufacturing process of pressure-treated wood, the environment is heavily polluted. From cutting down trees to the use of harmful chemical agents, this type of decking material has a negative environmental impact.
Uneven & dull colour
After the chemical is added to the wood, the wood takes the appearance of the chemical colour and looks green. But it also has an uneven and inconsistent texture.
Difficult to recycle
Because of the application of different chemical agents to prolong the span of the wood, it is hazardous to humans and animals. It needs to be treated from time to time, making it expensive to maintain. And since these chemicals make the wood unrecyclable, it depletes valuable natural resources.
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7 Alternatives to pressure treated wood decking
This lovely material is known for its longevity and is popularly utilised for industrial applications like balustrades, resorts and terraces. Because of its unrivalled durability and sturdiness, it is a top choice for commercial decking contractors. Furthermore, it is low-maintenance and can last for decades.
A lot of aluminium decking products are simple to install. Tongue-and-groove panels or hidden fasteners shield the surface from perforation. This provides a hassle-free option for positioning on rooftops or other areas of the home where standard wood materials fall short.
Composite decking is a mixture of wood and plastic materials. Through the use of polymer and wood fibre, this decking material is an aesthetically appealing and unique decking option. One of its major benefits is that every framing component is crafted from aluminium. It is also resistant to fading, pests and decay. Furthermore, it is even sturdier than traditional pressure-treated 2×6 and 2×8 decking boards.
Finding decking products is easy today. It exists in a diverse range of shades and colours, and there is no need for painting or staining. It is incredibly low-maintenance, as a wipe with soap and water will keep it looking beautiful. Since composite decking is so moisture-resistant, it can be used in swimming pools, rainy and flood-prone areas and hot tubs.
Bamboo decking is a truly one-of-a-kind product. Most people erroneously believe that bamboo is a wood. However, bamboo is never a wood. It is a flowering plant or grass with rapid growth. Since it has a maturity period of four years, in contrast to pine trees, which take a minimum of fifteen years to attain cutting age, bamboo composite decking is a unique eco-friendly outdoor building material.
Bamboo composites consist of bamboo-based cellulose and polymer resins like other composite materials. It is available in a diverse range of colours and styles that can be tailored to unique designs. Most importantly, bamboo composites are crafted into furniture, decking boards, decors, fixtures and structural components for a full bamboo outdoor look.
Compared to vinyl cladding on homes, vinyl cladding can withstand any climatic situation and still retain its beautiful look. It is also resistant to staining, and when properly maintained, it can last for decades.
Vinyl is widely available in different shades and colours to complement the looks and styles of your residential space. You can simply attach it to traditional framing structures or composite materials without hassle.
It can be easily fastened to standard framing members or composite materials without difficulty. As time passes, surface openings from screw holes will seal themselves; this lowers the likelihood of decking fasteners rot. Sturdy and over time, screw holes often self-seal, reducing the risk of fastener decay due to surface penetrations. Durable and sturdy, vinyl decking is a superior option to pressure-treated wood.
Interlocking deck tiles
Although these decking products are manufactured from wood (such as cedar), most of them have the appearance of pavers or tiles. However, they are sourced from composites. Interlocking deck tiles can be placed on any levelled surface. This implies that you can use them to cover up old pressure-treated 5/4 decking boards.
As outdoor spaces seamlessly merge with the indoors in modern residential spaces, interlocking deck tiles have emerged as a great flooring option ideal for both outside and inside areas. They facilitate a coherent flow between outdoor and indoor areas for the perfect outdoor space layout.
With this unique decking material, you can easily upgrade any raised wooden deck with brick, tile, slate, pavers, stone and many other concrete binding materials. Since combining wood and concrete can be challenging, the Silca System utilises a plastic tray that affixes the wood surface and facilitates the seamless connection between the two distinct materials.
Among the numerous benefits of the Silica System, the one that stands out is its ability to combine multiple materials for any traditional wooden frame. You can position wood next to stone, pavers adjoined to bricks and many more. The design options are limitless. On top of that, you can easily and affordably upgrade your existing elevated wooden frame deck because of its compatibility with any decking material.