Discover the Top 9 Decking Alternatives

Are you dreaming of sipping your morning coffee on a deck, basking in the warm sunlight, or hosting lively gatherings under the open sky? Owning a house with a deck in the backyard can turn these dreams into a delightful reality. Not only can a deck elevate your lifestyle, but it can also boost your property’s value. However, traditional wooden decks can be expensive to build, and they demand ongoing maintenance. Luckily, there’s a world of decking alternatives out there that can deliver the same charm without breaking the bank or requiring endless upkeep.

In this article, we’ll dive into some of the best decking alternatives that perform just as well, if not better, than traditional wood decks. Whether you’re thinking of adding a deck to your home or upgrading an existing one, these options can save you money and time while enhancing your outdoor experience.

1. Concrete Decking: The Beauty of Wood, The Strength of Concrete

Concrete decking offers a striking blend of aesthetics and durability. Pattern-imprinted concrete, in particular, is a cost-effective choice that mimics the appearance of wood while providing the robustness of concrete. You can customize the colour to your liking, and the wooden design ensures it looks as close to real wood as possible.

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Concrete decking comes with a host of benefits. Say goodbye to splinters, discoloration, and the constant upkeep that wooden decks demand. Concrete boards won’t warp, ensuring a smooth surface. To prevent slips, top your concrete deck with a matte or gloss finish and an anti-slip coating. Concrete is also adaptable, allowing you to add features like pits or mounds, and it thrives even in wet conditions.

In a nutshell, concrete decking is a low-maintenance, budget-friendly, long-lasting, and attractive alternative that’ll have you reaping the savings on maintenance costs over time.

2. PVC Decking: Affordable, Low-Maintenance, and Eco-Friendly

PVC decking, despite the term “plastic,” is gaining popularity for all the right reasons. It’s a breeze to install, boasts strength (no more splinters), and remains quiet with no creaks or noises. DIY enthusiasts will find it straightforward to build PVC decks, and they are impervious to decay and insects.

If you’re all about cost-effectiveness and ease of installation, PVC decking has got you covered. While it’s not the most environmentally friendly option, it’s easy on the wallet, costing around $4 per board. Plus, it offers the visual appeal of wood.

However, bear in mind that PVC may degrade over time, especially when exposed to prolonged sunlight, and thinner boards can bend or become brittle. Nonetheless, if you’re looking for a hassle-free, wallet-friendly option, PVC decking is a solid choice.

3. Interlocking Grass Deck Tiles: Lush, Low-Maintenance Luxury

If you desire a deck that resembles a lush lawn without the hassle of maintenance, interlocking grass deck tiles are an excellent choice. These tiles feature high-quality synthetic grass that instantly transforms your space without the need for pesticides, fertilizers, or mowing. Some variants come equipped with efficient drainage systems for easy cleaning. What’s more, they are non-toxic and environmentally friendly.

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One minor drawback is that you might need adhesive backing to secure these tiles in place. However, the benefits outweigh this inconvenience. They are fire-resistant, suitable for all weather conditions, and offer pressure and shock relief.

Whether you want to skip maintenance entirely or cover a small backyard area, synthetic grass deck tiles offer a fuss-free solution.

4. Vinyl Decking: Waterproof and Easy on the Eyes

Vinyl, once a staple in kitchens, is making its mark in outdoor spaces. You can opt for a waterproof membrane to overlay basic plywood decks, purchase DIY kits, or enlist experts for installation. Keep in mind that prices vary depending on your choice.

Price-wise, vinyl remains a budget-friendly decking option. It boasts durability and resistance to UV rays, water, wear, and environmental factors. Several companies offer vinyl decking solutions, some with shock-absorbing comfort coatings and resistance to fading, staining, and scratching.

Vinyl can also give a new lease of life to an aging deck. However, it’s crucial to invest in the right brand, as low-quality vinyl can become brittle or fade over time. Cleaning is a breeze, making it a practical alternative to wood decking.

5. Interlocking Garage Flooring Tiles: Rugged and Resilient

Don’t let the name fool you; interlocking garage flooring tiles are not just for garages. These Grid-Loc floor tiles are engineered to withstand heavy rolling loads, making them suitable for a range of outdoor applications.

These tiles are built to resist harsh chemicals, grease, oil, and other substances. Installing them is a snap; you simply snap together adjacent tiles to create a durable surface. They are slip-resistant, stain-resistant, and UV-stable, and some even come with a 12-year warranty.

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6. Composite Decking: A Sustainable Marvel

Composite decking is gaining popularity thanks to its combination of recycled plastic and wood fibres. This material offers resistance to UV rays, pests, slipping, and decay. Although it may cost more than traditional wood decks upfront, composite decking proves its worth with its longevity, ease of installation, and minimal maintenance.

Not only is composite decking cost-effective, but it also earns eco-friendly points due to its recycled materials. However, it’s essential to choose your composite deck wisely, as some may fade or appear artificial over time. Proper construction is crucial to prevent bowing or sagging, so make sure to place the joists close together.