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Remodeling Guide: Decking

How to choose the material for your style and budget

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Photo 3 of 6Composite boards won't warp, rot, crack, or peel.

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Description Boards are created from wood fibers and plastic resins (some manufacturers use recycled materials such as wood scraps and plastic bags).

Options Many styles mimic the texture and color variations -- tan, gray, and burnt sienna -- of actual lumber.

Pros It doesn't require a sealer. The boards can be made into curved shapes, allowing for a wide range of designs.

Cons Composites can fade (stain can be applied to restore color) and mildew. Deep scratches and tough soils -- red wine and berries, for instance -- require replacing the board.

Care Wash away surface dirt weekly. Clean yearly with a composite solution (try Corte-Clean Composite Deck Cleaner, $20,

Cost $5.25 to $6.50 per square foot

Shown Above Premium Grain in Driftwood Grey, Tuscan Walnut, Sandalwood, and Western Redwood. $5/square foot. WeatherBest,

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