25th June, 2021

The Different Materials You Can Use for Decking

Decking can serve as the foundation for creating an outdoor space for a building. The fact that you arrange boards together to form a deck means that it will instantly stand apart from any nearby structures made of solid concrete, stone, or other materials. While wood is most commonly associated with decks, it’s not the only option you can use in your construction projects. Read about the different materials you can use for decking here.


As stated, wood is the traditional material for decking. Its main draw is that it has a rich appearance, with grainy patterns and a host of naturally occurring shades to choose from based on the type that you select. Although you can find scratch-resistant and relatively durable varieties, wood has higher maintenance requirements than other materials. You’ll need to stain or seal it to protect it from the elements. Otherwise, moisture will eventually cause the wood to warp, decay, and discolor.


Composites are decking materials that contain both wood particles and plastic mixed together. The wood grants them an organic look, while the plastic improves their longevity when compared to pure wood. They don’t need painting or staining to protect them from sun-based fading since they often include UV-resistant additives. Besides occasional scrubbing to rid composite decking of mildew, its required upkeep is far simpler than wood. You can find composites with different textures and colors, making them aesthetically versatile. However, you should note that composites are more prone to warping from temperature shifts than wood, and they’re not as hard as wood, either.

Plastic Lumber

Of the different materials you can use for decking, plastic lumber is perhaps the ideal choice. It’s comprised of high-density polyethylene (HDPE), which is plastic that manufacturers can source from recycled plastic materials. When combined with additives, HDPE forms a tough, versatile material. As such, plastic lumber is UV-resistant and not prone to scratching, chipping, or splintering. Because it’s entirely inorganic, plastic lumber won’t rot or fall victim to pests and doesn’t need any treatment to resist water. HDPE lumber can also include fiberglass to make it even firmer when it needs to support a lot of weight. Visually, plastic lumber is able to hold its own because manufacturers can mold surface textures on it that resemble graining. Additionally, you can choose from browns, grays, and bright colors depending on what a particular deck calls for.

Tangent is the number one producer of HDPE lumber in the industry. With our wide selection of product variations, you’ll be sure to find the perfect plastic lumber material for your decking applications. Get in touch with us today.