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Choosing the Best Material for Your Deck

3 Things to Think About

A deck from B.R.A.G. Contracting not only adds a beautiful new living space, but it also adds value to your home. So that you can make the best choice for your home and your budget consider how the three most used choices (pressure treated wood, natural cedar, and composite) stack up against cost, appearance, and required maintenance.  

Pressure Treated

In Ontario (B.R.A.G. Contracting Inc.’s Service Area) the vast majority of decks are built with pressure treated lumber. Out of the three choices discussed in this post, pressure treated wood is the least expensive choice. Pressure treated wood is treated with exterior chemicals that slow down natural decay and woodboring insects. Pressure treated lumber is somewhat moisture resistant, but not completely. Annually sealing it, can give it a much longer life.

Pressure treated lumber has been injected with three different colors, grey, brown, or green. Often, chemicals used to treat pressure treated wood is formulated for specific tree species in the country they are used. If maintained properly this type of decking can last up to forty years!

To maintain a pressure treated deck, wash annually with a pressure washer using a fanned-out spray nozzle. Once dry, add a water repellent. Throughout the year keep clean from dirt, debris and anything that might stain the wood.

Best Material for Your Deck - Pressure Treated
Brown Pressure Treated Wood Decking
Natural Cedar Wood Decking
Natural Cedar Wood Decking


Canadian Cedar trees contain a natural oil preservative giving them an innate resistance to decay and insect damage. Cedar also is beautiful, light in color, and expels a pleasing aroma. The wood itself is soft compared to others, making it easier to cut, sand, and shape. It’s a perfect material for decking and carpenters love working with it. It’s not used as often as pressure treated as it’s 25% – 35% more expensive.

Because cedar is much softer than other woods, you should not use a pressure washer to clean it. Instead use a mild detergent with warm water and wash by hand. Thoroughly wash it every year. Once dry, remember to finish it with stain or sealant designed for cedar. A well-maintained cedar deck can last as long as a pressure treated deck.


Made from strong resins and natural wood fibers, composite wood can outlast its competitors. Many composites come with 25-year warranties and will last much longer. The most enduring quality of composite decking is that it requires zero maintenance. Just keep it clean and it will stay beautiful for years to come. There is no painting or staining a composite deck.

Composite decking looks like wood, some are even designed with wood grain patterns. Many are hard to tell apart from wood unless you look very closely. But they can also resemble stone and marble. Composites don’t, splinter, crack, warp, or rot like wood does. And unlike wood, composites don’t fade much in the direct sunlight, and there are a wide variety of different colors available.

It can be the most expensive type of deck material as it is usually 30% – 45% more than pressure treated wood. However, some cedar decks are comparatively the same cost as composites.

Best Material for Your Deck - Composite
Grey Composite Decking

Make a Comparison

If you are having a hard time choosing what type of decking to use, talk with Brandon Glass, owner / operator of B.R.A.G. Contracting Inc. Choose a material right for you according to your budget, your preference, and your lifestyle (how much time you can spend maintaining it). Just as important as the type of material is the company that installs it. For a properly built deck that will last decades call B.R.A.G. Contracting, now booking for Spring 2022.