Deck Tiles and Planks

If you’re still under the impression that the only way to build a deck is with wood, you might be surprised to find this isn’t true anymore. Wood still happens to be the most popular choice in deck materials, however certain other materials are making a huge push toward the top of the list. Whether you’re building an all-new deck or patio this summer or simply breathing some fresh air into an existing one, you should know the pros and cons of each material so you can pick one you’ll enjoy for years.

What kinds of decking can I choose from?

Each material comes with its own set of pros and cons, so it’s important to fully understand how each one holds up to weather, insects and other hazards out of your control, as well as how often it needs to be maintained and other qualities. Here’s a quick breakdown of the most common styles available to you:

• Pressure-treated wood: With affordability, availability and ease of installation rounding out its list of pros, it’s easy to see why pressure-treated lumber remains one of the top choices. On the other hand, pressure-treated wood can easily crack or warp, plus regular maintenance is required to keep it looking like new. If you do choose pressure-treated lumber, be sure it has been treated with less toxic chemicals like alkaline copper quaternary (ACQ) or copper azole instead of chromated copper arsenate (CCA), a toxic substance that was discontinued in 2003.
• Cedar or redwood: If you’re all about natural materials but want a durable solution, cedar and redwood top the chart. Along with rich color, these hardwoods are filled with oils and tannins that make them rot, decay and insect resistant. The amount of tannins and oils in each plank depends on how much heartwood is in the mix. Of course, with so many pros you can expect to pay at least 3 times more for cedar and redwood than you might if you purchased pressure-treated wood. You’ll also need to power wash it at least once a year, and re-coat it with finish every 3 to 5 years.
• Tropical hardwoods: On the exotic end of the scale, these rich-grained woods present a hard, durable and naturally resistant surface that’s perfect for your deck. Yet their hardness makes them quite heavy and difficult to cut or drill. This density can also keep them from absorbing a stain, so you’ll need to grab an oil-based product for the best results. If staining isn’t in the books for your tropical hardwood deck or patio, be sure you still cover it with an UV-blocking preservative every 3 to 5 years. Depending on where you live, tropical hardwood can be one of the most expensive choices. If you do choose to use it, be sure it’s been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, which means it was harvested in a legal and sustainable way.
• Composite: While man-made decking may lack the rich, natural grain of hardwood, it more than makes up for this in ease of installation, less maintenance and durability. Plastic or composite decking comes in dozens of colors and is usually made from polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride or a combination of wood fibers and recycled plastic. It won’t warp, split or splinter, and is extremely weather, insect and stain resistant. Composite tends to be cheaper than fully plastic decking.
• Aluminum: Aluminum decks may be a rare sight, but that doesn’t mean they should be overlooked. Similar to composite and plastic, aluminum won’t rust, rot, warp or crack. It’s weather, insect and mold resistant and extremely strong. However, it tends to be the most expensive choice of all.

Can I refinish my deck or build a whole new one with deck tiles?

Deck tiles came about as a DIY alternative to having a contractor install your deck, so you can be sure they’re a breeze to put together. You should be aware, however, that deck tiles do require a concrete slab underneath for support. You can install deck tiles by simply snapping pieces together without screws or adhesives. This means you can plan out a pattern for your deck or patio floor ahead of time. Feel free to get as creative as you like. Mix textures and colors to create zigzags, chevrons and more. You can find deck tiles in natural materials such as tropical hardwoods, redwood and cedar, or in man-made composites or plastic. Some even feature ceramic or stone, and can be used to create an elegant poolside patio.

Get inspired with our curated ideas for Deck Tiles & Planks and find the perfect item for every room in your home. With such a wide selection of Deck Tiles & Planks for sale, from brands like Furniture Barn USA, Premier Copper Products, and Stratastones, you’re sure to find something that you’ll love. Shop from Deck Tiles & Planks, like the the 12"x12" U-Snap Interlocking Wood Floor Tiles or the Roll-Up Boardwalk Composite Deck Board, while discovering new home products and designs. Whether you’re looking to buy Deck Tiles & Planks online or get inspiration for your home, you’ll find just what you’re looking for on Houzz.
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