Decking Materials: Aluminum Decking

Learn all about aluminum decking, one of the most durable and long-lasting decking materials.
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In this series, Chip Wade shows you how to build a deck from the ground up.

If you have a deck project on the horizon, it may be the case that aluminum decking doesn't immediately spring to mind as the right material for your deck. However, if you're looking for a deck surface that will stay cool even in the hottest temperatures and is extremely long lasting and durable, aluminum decking may just be right for you.

At one time, pressure-treated lumber was about the only option for a deck surface. Now, it's possible to build a deck with several types of exotic woods, plus composite lumber or plastic decking. All of these decking material options have their advantages and disadvantages, but aluminum decking boasts certain features that compare favorably to all of them.

For example, it won't rust, rot, warp, splinter, crack or check, and it's extremely resistant to mold, weather and slips. It will never peel or blister, and its powder-coated surface may outlast not just redwood decking, but some of the red woods themselves.

Aluminum decking is three to four times lighter than the most popular wood decking species, but also two to three times stronger. It can be cut with the same saws used to cut wood. Many aluminum decks have interlocking edges, making them watertight. Self draining channels can dispose of rain water easily, and keep lower deck surfaces dry.

Those are the pros of aluminum decking. Now for the con: it's the most expensive decking option of all, coming in at about $10 or more per square foot (installed).

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