Decking Material Options

decking material options

When building a new deck or redoing your existing deck, the type of deck boards you use will have the biggest impact on its price, its look, and its maintenance needs. Since material type is one of the most crucial choices you need to make, we’re here to help. Check out this honest breakdown of the three tiers of decking material options: wood, 3-sided composite, and PVC/capped composite.

At Eby Exteriors, we’re a Lancaster, PA deck builder that crafts custom decks for homeowners throughout our county and beyond. Our experienced team builds a wide range of decks, from simple wooden decks to sprawling PVC spaces. Keep reading to see the pros and cons of the primary decking material options — or reach out to talk to one of our outdoor designers right now!

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Eby Exteriors’ Decking Options Comparison

When deciding on the deck material that you’ll enjoy for the next several years — or even decades — you want to balance the upfront price against the lifespan, while comparing how much hard work you’ll need to put into it over the years. In many ways, the three common tiers of deck boards have a good, better, best structure. Follow along with our decking options comparison guide to find the right material for your project:

Decking Material: Pressure-Treated Wood

decking options comparison

The classic option, wooden decks are built from pressure-treated lumber and at some point must be stained or painted to stay protected. This is by far the least expensive upfront option, but it won’t last nearly as long. In addition, regular maintenance is essential to prevent the deck from rotting in the elements. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the expert installation will make a wooden deck last longer.


  • Wood is the least expensive decking material option.
  • Since you can use any paint or stain you want, the color choices are limitless.


  • Wooden decking requires regular re-painting or re-staining (every year or every other) to keep from rotting out and falling apart.
  • Even with regular maintenance, a wooden deck lifespan can’t come close to the other materials.
  • Generally, there won’t be any warranty options for wooden decks.
  • Wooden decks can cause splinters.

See some of our absolute favorite deck color schemes.

Decking Material: 3-Sided Composite

3-sided composite decking material

The middle-tier in our deck material options comparison, 3-sided composite provides some of the convenience of deluxe materials at a more reasonable price. As the name suggests, these boards have composite material on 3 of the sides for added resilience. TimberTech Edge is the best-known brand of 3-sided composite, and they manufacture the type we install.


  • Isn’t susceptible to the rot and mold that damages wooden decks.
  • Won’t ever require being re-painted or re-stained no matter how long you have it.
  • Often comes with a 25-year warranty, depending on the specific manufacturer and product.


  • Costs about 1.5 — 2 times as much as wood decking.
  • Fewer color options and a less “authentic” texture and appearance compared to the higher-grade decking options.
  • Will show some degree of fading but will still look great.

Decking Material: PVC or Capped Composite

capped premium polymer decking options

While PVC and capped composite decking are different in how they are made, they have many of the same advantages — and both represent the elite tier in our decking options comparison. TimberTech, AZEK by TimberTech, and Fiberon are some of our most-trusted manufacturers.


  • Isn’t susceptible to the rot and mold that damages wooden decks.
  • Won’t ever require being re-painted or re-stained no matter how long you have it.
  • 50-year warranty often comes with these types of high-end products.
  • You can count on an ever-increasing range of colors and hues, ranging from the modern to the rustic.
  • Both of these decking material options have a distinctly modern look.


  • Both PVC and capped composite decking cost about two and half times as much as wood decking.

Ultimately, all three tiers of decking material options are right for someone — and that’s why we gladly build all of the above. It’s also important to remember that the complexity of the build significantly influences the total overall price.

Get an idea of what deck installation costs!

A Complete Outdoor Living Company

Just like we believe in offering different decking material options to everyone, we craft different-sized decks as well! So, whether you want to build a small but eye-catching deck, or a massive multi-level space, we want to work with you. Our teams of builders and designers are able to craft complicated spaces that combine open and exposed decks with covered porches and patios. However, our teams also bring the same skill, precision, and inspiration to an average-sized deck as well. Ultimately, no matter the size, we want to make your outdoor living dream come true.

While working creatively with a customer to build a new space is great, we are also able to handle simple repair and refresh projects. If that means replacing old deck boards or adding a drink rail, we would love to be involved in your project.

See some of our favorite deck restoration ideas.

Discuss Your Decking Material Options & Get Quotes

We hope our decking options comparison guide gave you some idea of the advantages you get from each type of deck material — and where you want to be with your project budget. Simply put, all of these options are great and you’ll enjoy your new space no matter what! If you’re still deciding on the decking material options that are right for your project — or you want a quote — reach out to our team today!

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