Garage Door Portland 10 Viable Wood Decking Alternatives -
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10 Viable Wood Decking Alternatives

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Wow, there are actually quite a few alternatives to wood decking available. 2 of them are mighty popular (we tell you the 2 popular options right off the bat). We also showcase some interesting decking options that you probably haven’t considered.

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Stunning deck with composite decking.

Wood decking alternatives were not readily available until the late 1990s when composite decking hit the scene. Until then, your only real decking material option was pressure treated wood.

Not surprisingly, composite decking plus many other wood decking substitutes are now very popular because of the cost-savings, low maintenance requirements, durability and the fact it looks good.  It’s a viable option that many homeowners opt for these days for good reason.

If you’re replacing your decking or building a new deck, consider the following list of alternatives to wood decking.  After our list, we set out an extensive list of example products you can check out.

The most popular non-wood decking materials are composite and PVC.  The rest in the list, while an option, aren’t terribly popular.

1. Composite Decking

Swimming pool surrounded by composite decking.

There are many options other than natural wood for a deck. Composite decking has gained popularity over the last few years, due to the durability and strength. Constructed of recycled plastic and wood fibers, the resistance to slips, rot, UV rays and pests is unmatched. This virtually indestructible composite is appropriate for a wide range of decking needs. The cost of composite is relatively higher, at 2 to 5 times more than a traditional wood deck.

A very popular option which is synonymous with composite decking is Trex decking.  Available in a wide range of colors, offers very low maintenance, and looks good year-round. In harsh environments, composite decking material provides a long life for your deck.

Other brands include NewTechWood, Fiberon, MoistureShield, TimberTech and Veranda.

Features to consider:

  • Paintable:  Can you paint it or not.  Some you can and others you can’t.
  • Pool: Is it suitable as pool decking (if that’s your use).
  • UV protected: Does it come UV protected?
  • Water resistant:  Is it water resistant?
  • Slippery factor: Is it non-slip?

Pros:

  • Strong And Durable
  • Recycled Materials
  • Low Maintenance
  • Most Are Tongue-And-Groove Install
  • Warranteed

Cons:

  • Must Collect Shavings (Not Biodegradable)
  • Colors Fade Over Time
  • Some Have A Plastic Looking Finish
  • Not A Natural Wood Appearance
  • Some Are Not Building Code Compliant
  • Joists Must Be Closer Together To Prevent Sagging Or Bowing

2. PVC Decking

Example of PVC decking.

Source: Home Depot

Plastic Decking sounds a little weird, doesn’t it? However, it is in fact a thing, and many homeowners find this type of decking best suits their needs. It is strong, will not splinter, and makes little noise. It also is easy to install, which makes it a great candidate for DIY projects. Crafted from PVC, the strength of this type of decking can withstand the elements, and is free from bugs and rot. Tongue and groove installation can be applied over existing surfaces, and are constructed in ridged design to ensure hardness. Like most things plastic, the cost is a little more affordable than some other materials, at $4 per board.

Pros:

  • Strong And Durable
  • Will Not Rot Or Decay
  • Pest Free
  • Affordable
  • Looks Similar To Wood
  • Noise Reducing

Cons:

  • It IS Plastic
  • Will Fade With Direct Sun Over Time
  • In Some Climates, Can Become Brittle
  • Not As Long Lasting As Wood
  • Potential to Bow Or Warp

3. Vinyl Decking Systems

Just like your inexpensive kitchen vinyl tiles or planks, there are vinyl deck materials available for outdoor use. Econodek offers a membrane that can cover simple plywood decks to offer a waterproof finish, and complete DIY kit for a 12′ x 12′ deck will run you around $1500. Of course if you choose to hire a professional to install the price rises. The advantages of vinyl are similar to anything else that is made with vinyl, including resistance to wear, durability, and water resistance. Additionally, the vinyl material is resistant to UV rays and sun damage. VersaDry is an alternative brand that boasts a cooler surface in the sun, comfort coating for shock absorption, and scratch and stain resistance. Adding additional options such as no-fade colorfast from manufacturers such as EZ Deck, Kroy, and Dream Deck. Prices are between $13 and $22 per square foot, and this does not include substructure.

Pros:

  • Durable And Resilient
  • Feels Good Under Foot
  • Waterproof
  • Can Be Installed Over Existing Decking
  • Resists Heat

Cons:

  • Can Get Brittle With Age
  • A Bit Pricey
  • Will Fade Over Time
  • Doesn’t Last As Long As Wood Or Composite
  • Not Biodegradable, Must Collect Dust

4. Aluminum Decking

The cost of materials for Aluminum comes in at an average of around $10 per square foot, and depending upon the results that you are looking for aluminum may be the choice. Rust and rot free, Aluminum provides a lasting deck that needs little maintenance and upkeep. While a bit more pricey than wood, the life of Aluminum pays for itself over time. Considered the most durable decking material on the market, Aluminum does not succumb to rot, mold, termites, or rust. Strength and durability are unparalleled, and the finish is equally appealing. Due to its lightweight properties, it is also easily installed.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Low Maintenance
  • Unmatched Durability
  • Resists Pests, Rot, And Mold
  • Long Lasting Material
  • Recyclable

Cons:

  • More Expensive Than Other Materials
  • Will Not Capture The Same Look As Wood
  • Noisy Surface
  • Not As Readily Available As Other Materials
  • Limited Color Choices

5. Vinyl Tiles

If you are starting with a concrete slab or patio, wood tiles are a viable option to update that existing pad with a new and fresh design. Available in Hardwood and basic wood styles, these tiles are specifically designed to work with an existing slab. Durable, rot and mold resistant, as well as pest-resistant wood tiles create an appealing finished design that differs from standard plank installation. Set in a contrasting pattern, this type of deck offers a unique design without a complete deck install.

Available in several finishes, the tiles are strong and resilient, resistant to weather and compliments any landscape. A lot of old concrete slabs begin to chip, crack, or just look worn, sometimes having an old ugly coat of paint. Adding wood tiles gives the appearance of a brand new deck, with a much easier application process. They range in price depending upon material, and can cost upwards of $18 per square foot. Tigerwood tiles are a beautiful option and widely available.

Pros:

  • Replacing Tiles Is A Snap
  • Available In Many Types Of Material
  • Fast Installation
  • Ability To Install Over Existing Surfaces
  • Many Colors Available
  • Easy For DIY Projects

Cons:

  • Do Not Add Value To Your Home
  • Even Though They Can Be Used Long Term, They Are Still “Temporary”
  • They Are Not Seamless After Install
  • They Do Not Attach To The Subsurface
  • Need Subsurface, They Cannot Sit On Lawn Or Soil
  • Wood Still Needs Treated Yearly
  • Most Can’t Be Used In Curved Designs

6. Bamboo Decking

Example of bamboo decking.

Taking the world by storm, Bamboo has been implemented in many materials, due to the strength of its fibers, the pulp inside, and ability to withstand moisture. The pulp inside the bamboo has been harvested to make even pillows and quilt batting due to the incredibly soft nature, even more so than cotton. There are two distinct types of bamboo decking, woven fibers and non woven fibers. The stronger of the two is obviously the woven type. The natural beauty of bamboo is undeniable, and in many climates can provide a lasting deck if maintained properly. With any wood style deck, it is going to take work to keep it at its best. Bamboo is no exception, and will need sealed and stained or pigmented. It will fade over time, so slapping on a coat of sealant in its natural state is not recommended. Additionally, areas that see a lot of rain or flooding, puddling, or marshy lands will not benefit from bamboo. It will deteriorate and harbor mildew. Woven types of bamboo is much more resistant to this problem, but still not waterproof. In standard moist areas and hot climates bamboo will serve you well.

Pros:

  • Beautiful Finish
  • Lightweight Yet Durable
  • Handles Moisture Well
  • Strong And Resilient
  • Does Not Expand Or Contract

Cons:

  • Not Mildew And Rot Resistant In Pooled Water
  • Fairly Expensive
  • Will Fade With Age
  • Needs Regular Upkeep To Maintain Beauty
  • Not Advised In Many Areas

7. Rubber Paver Tiles

RevTime Garden Rubber Paver 1 Inch Thick for Patio and Garden Safety Rubber Walkways, Interlocked Rubber Paver, Park Sidewalk Paver, Terra Cotta (Pack of 20)

Overview

This interlocking rubber paver is made using granular material which is micro-porous. The granular material itself is made from high density rubber. It is therefore very durable, wear resistant and comes with very good elasticity which is ideal and comfortable for the feet. The paver is water permeable, non-slip even in the rain and suitable for outdoor use. It comes with an interlocking design that can be installed without adhesive. They are hence very easy to install.

Features:

  • The product size is 200 by 160 mm with a thickness of 1 inch
  • Weighs 28 lbs per pack
  • Made using granular high density material which is wear resistant and durable
  • Has an interlocking design for easy installation

Pros

  • Is water-resistant and durable
  • Has good elasticity hence very comfortable
  • Made using granular material which is micro-porous hence is permeable and breathable
  • Are weather resistant
  • Very easy to install because of the interlocking design

Cons:

  • Cannot be used with petroleum based solvents such as gasoline, thinners and engine oil
  • Loose ground may lead to unevenness hence the ground has to be trimmed before installation

Example product can be viewed here.

8. Interlocking Grass Deck Tiles

GOLDEN MOON Grass Tile Series PP Interlocking Grass Deck Tiles, Artificial Anti-wear Turf Tiles, 1'x1' (9 Pieces)

Overview

These artificial deck tiles come with 9 pieces of 1*1 inch interlocking grass deck tiles with a height of 1.5 inch pile. The grass is top quality, very durable with low maintenance. There’s no need for fertilizers, pesticides or mowing. The grass deck tiles are thus able to provide beauty to your patio, rooftop, yard or deck. It also has a great drainage system that makes it easy to clean. The materials used are environment friendly and can be recycled. The latter are also non-toxic making it safe for use by children and pets. It is suitable for outdoor activities such as camping, picnics and parties.

Features:

  • 30*30 cm in size
  • Two layers of base fabric
  • Material made of Polypropylene
  • 18,900 tufts/sq. m
  • 40 mm pile height
  • Uses backing gluing of SBR
  • 8000 DTEX

Pros

  • The grass tiles can be used in any climate, be it snow or rain
  • Grass turf is made of high quality material
  • Has a function of relieving shock and pressure
  • Cannot cause large-area burn when in contact with an open flame (passed the flame retardant test)

Cons

  • Has to be used with back up gluing

Learn more here.

9. Marine Flooring Composite Decking Synthetic Sheet

Marine Flooring Composite Boat Decking Sheet Synthetic Teak 94.5"x35.4" Grey With Black Lines

Overview

This decking material is made out of high quality EVA(Ethylene-vinyl Acetate) materials. These materials are elastic and environment-friendly. The EVA floor has good ability of seismic resistance, buffering, chemistry resistance, moisture resistance and non-absorbent qualities. It offers a good choice for boat building. This is because they tend to provide an efficient non-slippery surface for the boat in both wet and dry conditions.

Features:

  • Length of 94.5 inches
  • Width of 35.4 inches
  • Thickness of 0.24 inches
  • Made of high quality EVA(Ethylene-vinyl Acetate) which are environmental protection materials
  • Odorless and non-toxic
  • Has a high density, hence is not easy to damage
  • Non-slippery surface for the boat in both wet and dry conditions
  • Good sound installation
  • High tensile elongation, hence not easy to tear
  • Smooth surface
  • Stain resistant

Pros

  • Made from high quality environmental materials
  • Not easy to damage due to high density
  • Is non-toxic
  • Has perfect shock/cushioning performance
  • Resilient to cold and exposure
  • Easy installation
  • Resistant to acid, alkali and other chemical corrosions
  • Provides non-slippery surface for both dry and wet conditions
  • Easy to maintain since it can be pressure washed

Cons

  • Only suitable for boat decking

Learn more here.

10. Interlocking Garage Flooring Tiles

IncStores 12in x12in Grid-Loc Garage Flooring Tiles (12 Tile Pack) Interlocking Modular Floor System With Built-In Drainage and Snap Together Installation

Overview

These Grid-Loc floor tiles are designed to withstand the harshest environments especially encountered in garages. They are therefore designed to handle very heavy rolling vehicle loads. They are also resistant to grease, oil, petroleum products and other chemicals that may be dangerous. Installing them is easy, as it involves snapping adjacent garage floor tiles together to form a garage floor that can last for very many years. They are UV stable, stain resistant and slip resistant. They provide high quality garage tile alternatives with a 12 year warranty.

Features

  • 12 by 12 inch in size
  • Thickness of ½ inch
  • Constructed using very high quality resistant polypropylene
  • Weighs 0.80 Lbs. per tile

Pros

  • Stain resistant
  • UV stable
  • Odorless
  • Slip resistant
  • Made using high quality resistant polypropylene

Cons

  • Can be damaged under the weight of a car jack
  • Has to be combined with a separate vented grid-loc tiles

Learn more here.

More Product Examples

1. UltraShield Spanish Walnut Wood (12*12) ft. Outdoor Composite Quick Deck Tile

Overview

UltraShield Outdoor Composite Deck Tiles by NewTechWood are an easy and quick fix for covering up unsightly or cracked balcony or concrete patio. These deck tiles snap together and allow rain water to run through. They are a perfect solution for a deck or roof top patio since they are made from high density recycled plastic composite material. They are made from NewTechWood proven UltraShield technology that covers the core material with multi-chromatic poly shell hence protecting it.

Features

  • 10 Tiles per case
  • Heat resistant
  • Have snap together tiles
  • Tiles can be cut using a jig saw, hand saw, table saw or a circular saw
  • Has complete DIY solution to beautify your space
  • Easy and quick installation, hence no tools required
  • Flexible locking system that is easy to snap together hence can be secured from any side
  • Edge type is snap on

Pros

  • Made of highly resistant stain
  • Ultra low maintenance
  • Easy and quick installation
  • Made of high grade recycled materials
  • Is both water and weather resistant

Con

  • Can only be installed on cement and wood

Learn more here.

2. DuraGrid Plastic 12*12 inch Plastic Interlocking Deck Tile

Overview:

This Interlocking Deck Tile provides a modern outdoor modular flooring. It comes with a self-draining surface that is specially designed to withstand excessive use and extensive UV exposure. It works best to provide an upgrade to your outdoor space, as well as cover for unsightly cracks.

Features:

  • 12 by 12 (inches) in size
  • Made of plastic material
  • Has snap on edge type
  • Can be installed on wood and cement
  • No glues or tools required for installation, hence it is easy to install
  • Suitable for patio, entry or deck

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Water resistant
  • Weather resistant
  • Designed to withstand extensive UV exposure

Cons

  • Installation surface is limited to wood and cement only

Learn more here.

3. Interlocking Patio Square Tile Flooring

Collections Etc Interlocking Patio 11-1/2" Square Tile Flooring - 6 Piece Set - Easy to Install, Terracotta

Overview

These decking tiles come with 6 interlocking tiles that are closely snapped together. They are made from durable polypropylene that comes with an openwork pattern that ensures effective water drainage. Each of the tiles measures 11 1/2 inch square and covers a paved area of 3 ft by 2 ft.

Features:

  • 6 polypropylene interlocking tiles that are snapped together
  • Open water pattern that is effective for drainage
  • Tile measurement of 11 ½ inch square

Pros:

  • Has effective water drainage
  • Easy to install
  • Interlocking tiles can easily snap together

Cons

Learn more here.

4. Slate Flex Multi-Purpose Interlocking Textured PVC Floor Tiles

IncStores Slate Flex Multi-Purpose Hidden Interlocking Textured PVC Floor Tiles 6 Tile Pack Covers 16.67 sqft (Light Grey)

Overview

These interlocking tiles are made from flexible PVC plastic. For this reason, they produce a warmer, softer and a more comfortable option compared to the ceramic and natural stone alternatives. The material also ensures chemical resistance and long wear life associated with PVC tiles. Coming with a 25 year warranty, they not only look beautiful; but are also long lasting. The beautiful collection of tiles features different colors hence you get to pick a choice of your liking. It can be installed in garages, kitchens, playrooms, garages, basements and laundry rooms.

Features:

  • Size: 20 by 20 inch with 6 tiles per case
  • Made using flexible PVC that guarantees vibrant, low cost and durable floor tile solution
  • Thickness of o.197 inch (5.0 mm)
  • Weighs 4.1 Lbs. per tile

Pros:

  • Easy to maintain, clean and repair
  • Highly stain resistant
  • Has hidden interlock design hence is very easy to install
  • No adhesive required for installation
  • Resistant to chemicals associated with PVC tiles.

Example product here.

5. Ultrashield Naturale Outdoor Decking Tile

NewTechWood US-QD-ZX-AT Ultrashield Naturale Outdoor Composite Quick Deck Tile (10 Case), 1' x 1', Roman Antique

Overview

Ultrashield natural outdoor composite deck tiles are outfitted by exotic composite finish to give it a trendy look. The tiles are easy and quick to fix which enables it to be fixed without much time wastage. The tiles are made using high quality density recycled composite plastic material. They therefore offer the perfect solution for decks and roof top patios. The deck tiles can easily snap together and allows rain to easily floor through. They are manufactured using ultrashield technology which protects the core material with a multi-chromatic poly shell. It provides one of the best wood decking material options.

Features:

  • 10 sq. ft. per box
  • Made from high grade recycled materials of wood and plastic
  • Water resistant
  • Protective shell due to the ultrashield technology

Pros

  • Water resistant
  • Ultra durable
  • Low maintenance
  • Made from high quality density recycled material

Cons

Learn more here.

6. Duragrid 12×12 Plastic Interlocking Decking Tiles

Overview:

This Interlocking Deck Tile provides a modern outdoor modular flooring. It comes with a self-draining surface that is specially designed to withstand excessive use and extensive UV exposure. It works best to provide an upgrade to your outdoor space, as well as cover for unsightly cracks.

Features:

  • 12 by 12 (inches) in size
  • Made of plastic material
  • Has snap on edge type
  • Can be installed on wood and cement
  • No glues or tools required for installation, hence it is easy to install
  • Suitable for patio, entry or deck

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Water resistant
  • Weather resistant
  • Designed to withstand extensive UV exposure

Cons

  • Installation surface is limited to wood and cement only

Learn more here.

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