previous
  • 9 Concrete Countertops Ideas
    9 Concrete Countertops Ideas
  • Solid Deck-Framing Advice
    Solid Deck-Framing Advice
  • Master Carpenter Videos
    Master Carpenter Videos
  • 7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
    7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
  • All about Roofing
    All about Roofing
  • Basement Remodeling Tips
    Basement Remodeling Tips
  • Magazine Departments
    Magazine Departments
  • Video Series: Install a Rock-Solid Tile Floor
    Video Series: Install a Rock-Solid Tile Floor
  • Remodeling in Action
    Remodeling in Action
  • 12 Remodeling Secrets
    12 Remodeling Secrets
  • Read FHB on Your iPad
    Read FHB on Your iPad
  • 7 Small Bathroom Layouts
    7 Small Bathroom Layouts
  • Video: Install a Fence
    Video: Install a Fence
  • Deck Design & Construction
    Deck Design & Construction
  • Gallery: Custom Flooring
    Gallery: Custom Flooring
  • 7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
    7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
  • Clever daily tip in your inbox
    Clever daily tip in your inbox
  • Energy-Smart Details
    Energy-Smart Details
  • Tips & Techniques for Painting
    Tips & Techniques for Painting
  • Video: Build a curved step
    Video: Build a curved step
next
Pin It

Buyer's Guide to Decking: Aluminum and Stone

If you want zero worries about whether the latest synthetic decking will prove as good as the advertiser claims, these low-maintenance options should put your mind at ease.

Aluminum

Click to enlarge image Photo by: LockDry

Not all homeowners will respond to the limited choice in colors or the way it sounds when they walk on it, but aluminum’s powdercoated surface, made from the same material used to coat pickup-truck beds, is slip resistant and durable.

Aluminum decking has another advantage: Some planks lock together to form a rainproof surface, meaning a dry storage area or even an extra room beneath the deck. Water that does get through the surface of the deck is directed away from the house by small internal gutters. One downside is cost. Aluminum decking is even more expensive than capstock planks.

Pros: Impervious to insects and fire; watertight surface; cool underfoot

Cons: Limited color choice; expensive; unfamiliar material


Stone

Click to enlarge image Photo by: EzyTile

Also in the ultra-low-maintenance category is a deck made from stone tile. Paverdeck sells a deck frame that consists of 16-ga. galvanized-steel beams and planks designed to be installed on concrete piers. Once in place, the substrate can be capped with stone tile. Decks are designed to last 60 years and come with a structural warranty of 30 years. The steel beams and planks retail for between $12 and $15 per sq. ft.

Another manufacturer, EzyTile, says that its product can be installed over virtually any flat, solid surface. Tiles have interlocking bases that automatically set the spacing. Because there’s no grout, water can drain between tiles. The system sells for between $8 and $12 per sq. ft.

Pros: Extremely durable surface; unaffected by water; impervious to insects and fire

Cons: Relatively high cost; some systems are labor intensive to install



 
From Fine HomebuildingDecks and Outdoor Projects , pp. 44-50