Choosing The Perfect Board for Your Deck
Choosing the right board for your deck can be one of the hardest parts about making (or replacing) it. The right board isn’t just about looks, or strength, or even budget, but it is a combination of all of these and more!
Some of you may be thinking about adding a new deck or giving an old one a facelift with new decking boards. Over the last few years, the decking market has grown tremendously and has become somewhat confusing with all of the different types of decking boards available. With pressure treated, cedar, mahogany, composite and PVC boards being offered, how do you know what is the best product for your situation?
To help you navigate the deck board market let’s discuss the following topics:
- What your deck is used for
- Different materials and different price levels
- Overview of available products
Let’s jump in!
1. What is Your Deck Used For?
The first thing to consider is what you will be using your deck for. Different decking boards will hold better under rigorous use. If you plan on holding nightly barbecues or hanging out outside on chairs that scrape and move around, then a sturdier capped board might be for you. If your deck is a place that will be visited less frequently and by fewer people, then a less rugged pressure treated board with a sealant might offer you the results you need at a better price.
2. What is Your Price Range?
The other thing to consider is pricing. There are several different levels of price starting with pressure treated boards, then wood composite boards, capped wood composite boards, PVC boards, and lastly, variegated capped composite boards, which are at the higher end of the price spectrum.
Since different materials yield different maintenance and upkeep, as well as a different look, it’s important to determine your price range while also thinking about what you’d like your deck to be used for. A cheaper deck up front could lead to higher maintenance costs later in the life.
You can talk to our deck experts in each location for assistance in setting a budget for your project. We have sample deck quotes with current pricing that will make it easy to start considering your deck project. The deck boards can range from $3-$15/sq ft and railing options can run $7-$70 linear foot – so there are a lot of options to consider. When comparing prices, be sure to consider all costs including concrete, posts, fasteners etc. Again, we’re here to help you with all of that so there are no surprises! Sit back, relax, and enjoy your new deck.
3. What Type of Materials Are Available to You?
Composite decking is made from furniture quality wood flour which is mixed with a polymer to achieve a strong, high-density end product. This means that composite deck boards will not shrink, expand, warp or split like wood decking. Also, you won’t need to remove splintered boards or sand the entire deck surface.
From left to right, Tiki Torch, Spiced Rum, Pebble Gray, Saddle Tan
Koopman offers capped composite decking. This is manufactured just like straight composite decking but then is capped with a rugged polymer that gives it stain and fade resistance. For this type of decking Koopman Lumber stocks Trex Select. It is available in Pebble Gray and Saddle Tan.
It carries a 25-year no-stain warranty and has great color retention. It also has a solid board, which in most applications you would still want to install perimeter board to hide the cut ends.
VARIEGATED CAPPED COMPOSITE DECKING
Finally, Koopman offers a variegated capped composite deck board called Trex Transcend. It mimics the look of tropical hardwoods and has a high-performance shell that wraps around the composite to protect it from the elements. This board also has a stain and fade warranty and has the look of real wood decking. It is available in Spiced Rum and Tiki Torch.
Pressure Treated Wood Decking
If you’re looking to save some money on your deck, then Pressure Treated Wood is a good compromise on a deck that will last, but won’t break the bank. Stainable, durable, and inexpensive, pressure treated decking is a great choice for an introductory deck. But buyer beware, not all pressure treated decks are equal! These decks are prone to shrinking unevenly and twisting when it does. They may last near forever, but they won’t look good for that long! Buying a “premium” version of pressure treated decking may help, as higher cost pressure treated boards are often kiln dried for before and after the treating process, and tend to have less warping than generic “off the shelf” pressure treated decking.
Now that we’ve covered deck boards, we’ll move on to the other component of your deck system: railings. Koopman offers a variety of products and materials to meet your needs.
The Endurance Railing by RDI has been a favorite product with Koopman customers for many years. It is a low-maintenance, aluminum reinforced vinyl system coupled with a variety of accessory brackets that allow installation to any surface at any angle. The unique patented locking pin design provides secure, invisible attachments of the aluminum reinforcements from the deck railing to the building structure. Koopman stocks this product in white with square balusters, but it can be special ordered in Sahara or Earth with either colonial, aluminum or glass balusters.
A newer product from RDI is the Transform Railing. It has the look and feel of a wood railing but does not actually contain wood. Unlike wood, Resalite won’t absorb water so it resists rot, weathering, discoloration, and sagging. Brackets are completely concealed within the rail structure, providing a clean finish look. One bracket is used for all applications level, stair, and angled installations. Transform’s exterior surface is 100% acrylic which is so durable that Transform CRUSHES composite railing with a limited lifetime warranty. In fact, bulletproof shields are made of acrylic!
As a complement to the Trex decking products that Koopman stocks, there are 3 varieties of Trex Railing that you can order to complete your project. Trex Railing’s modular components let you mix and match a myriad of colors, finishes and materials nearly any way you wish. The Select line is available in white and the Transcend is available in seven colors. The Reveal line is made out of aluminum, which allows it to be used in applications beyond decks, such as a hardscaping project like a stone patio, if you want to go with the design then contact a paver patio service. This can make any home look amazing, just make sure to get the proper hardscape installation.
The KOOPMAN LUMBER DECK SELECTION
When it comes to selling deck, we pride ourselves in only recommending and selling the best. Why make a deck that will underperform, provide risks, and not look as good? For that reason, we recommend Trex to all of our prospective deck owners, and some awesome RDI products for the railings.
- Trex Select
- Trex Transcend
- Transform by RDI
- Endurance by RDI
The 2019 Line!
2019 brings some exciting changes to the Trex line, as they have introduced a number of new products to their already astounding lineup! The new Trex Enhance scalloped back decking line includes the “Basics” and “Naturals” line, each with a number of new looks and that same Trex guarantee.
These new lines are backed by the 25 year residential and “Fade & Stain” warranties, meaning you’re protected for a long, long time!
Trex has this to say about thier new lines:
Enhance Basics offers the performance and beauty of Trex in three proven and popular shades – Clam Shell, Beach Dune and Saddle – featuring realistic grain patterns. Offering all the benefits of composite, this collection is ideal for DIYers and would-be wood deck builders with its unprecedented affordability that narrows the price gap between composites and wood.
Enhance Naturals introduces five contemporary, multi-tonal hues that resemble the streaked looks of natural wood. The new shades of Foggy Wharf, Rocky Harbor, Toasted Sand, Coastal Bluff and Sunset Cove feature the authentic charm and color variations of wood, without the hassles of ongoing maintenance and upkeep. Just like Enhance Basics, Enhance Naturals won’t rot, warp, crack or splinter, and maintenance is hassle-free. Spills wash off easily with just soap and water. And, unlike wood, Enhance requires no sanding, staining or painting, and its protective shell defends against severe weather and heavy foot traffic.
If you’re looking for a standout addition to your home, there has been no better time to try Trex!
We stock more than Trex, so if that’s not what you’re looking for then we have what you need! We stock Azek and Timbertech, as well as other artificial decking and composite decking brands. Just ask us and we’ll be happy to get you a quote on what you’re looking for!
Learn More About Trex at Koopman
All of the composite deck boards offered by Koopman Lumber are available with grooved edges so that they can be installed with hidden fasteners. They are also available with square edges in certain lengths and can be installed with Cortex hidden fasteners so you do not see the screw or nail holes.
Whatever it is that you’re looking for, we offer a full lineup of products to cover every need and we gladly welcome you to come into one of our stores and speak with the knowledgeable sales staff to figure out the best product for your needs! To see a list of our locations, click here.