In earlier times, only wood was used for deck flooring. However, today a number of options are available to those who might want to look. The kind of deck flooring you choose gives definition and beauty to your deck. A lot of consideration should go into what flooring material you finally choose since that will ascertain the usability of the deck. The material should be chosen keeping a few things in mind: your budget, the longevity of the material, and the maintenance required post installation. There are quite a few outdoor deck flooring solutions available. These options can also be used for patio flooring.
Wood Deck Flooring
Wood is the most popular of materials for decking and patio flooring. A number of woods are used, including pine, cedar, ipe, rosewood, and mahogany. Pine is treated so it would not rot before being used. Cedar resists rotting as a wood and is preferred for deck and outdoor flooring. Ipe is one of the strongest and hardiest woods around, and can last for a long while. In case you choose ipe, you might have to use special drill bits. Ipe is rot and pest resistant. Redwood and rosewood are also popular, though toward the expensive category.
Wooden deck flooring looks elegant and beautiful. Mostly wood is available in the form of decking tiles that you can either install and fix yourself or have a technician do it for you. Wood tiles usually connect with an interlocking mechanism, though it can vary from tile to plank.
Wood flooring can be an expensive proposition. Wood also loses color with time, and you might have to get it polished regularly. This might be a difficult task if you have a wood color that is not natural to the wood. When the wood planks or tiles are fixed, make sure you leave room for the expansion of wood in high temperature and its contraction in lower temperature.
Check out SwiftDeck.com and DeckTiles.org for products in this category.
Composite Deck Flooring
Composite flooring is a combination of different kinds of materials like wood dust and plastic. It is available in a variety of textures ranging from wood grain to grooved or smooth ones. Composite deck flooring costs a little more than wood but has a lower maintenance. Make sure the composite flooring you buy is colorfast. Also, this flooring contracts and expands like wood, so enough space needs to be allowed for this or the planks would shear.
Composite flooring is more prone to mold, mildew, stains, and scratches than wood; common and mold stains cannot be cleaned unless done professionally with chemicals. The wood element in the composite decking material leads to mold and mildew since wood absorbs water. Even then, the flooring would look more worn out over a short period of time, maybe two or three years, than would wood. Composite wood is made in the likeness of wood, but it does not really look like wood.
Check out Trex.com, Evergrain.com and Latitudes at Ufpi.com for composite deck flooring ideas.
Vinyl Deck Flooring
Vinyl flooring is one of the most common terms you will find floating around in the market, though there are many kinds of vinyl, and their quality differs according their exact formula. PVC and vinyl are essentially the same thing. Both come under ‘Plastics’ as a category but you will find different results if you search for plastic flooring and vinyl flooring. Vinyl is specially crafted plastic with a textured or smooth top, and is fixed to a cement floor.
Vinyl flooring is available in two forms, one as VCT or vinyl composite tiles and the other in sheets and rolls. While vinyl rolls give waterproof, anti-skid, and stain resistant flooring, VCT are a good option for tiling outdoor spaces like decks and patios. Deck tile flooring of this kind may require waterproofing because of the gaps between the tiles.
The best place to check out vinyl composite tiles for decking is Armstrong.com. For vinyl sheets for exteriors, check out DuraDek.com and TufDek.com. For PVC deck flooring, have a look at WeatherReady from GossenCorp.com.
Plastic Deck Flooring
Plastic deck flooring comes in a number of designs and finishes ranging from wood grain ones to smooth or textured ones. Plastic deck flooring has a really long life with very low maintenance required. It does not lose color, nor looks faded over time. Like wood and composite materials, plastic flooring expands in high temperatures and contracts in lower ones. Space has to be left for this expansion. Although it is a long-term investment, plastic flooring does not look half as elegant as wood. Check out samples at CartWheelFactory.com.
Ceramic Wood Finish Tile Deck Flooring
Ceramic tiles are long-lasting, anti-skid, moisture resistant, fire resistant, do not stain or scratch, easy to clean, and generally low maintenance if they are good quality ones. Since many people like the look of wood tiles, ceramic tiles now come in a number of wood looks and finishes from pine and redwood to teak. Ceramic wood tiles are a wise investment when it comes to deck flooring since you will not have to care for them like wood, will not need to get them polished, and will not need to worry about water and mold. Check out WoodLookTiles.com.
Laminated Membrane Deck Flooring
An alternative to wood and plastic flooring is the three-ply laminated membrane that is waterproof, anti-skid, and stain and mildew resistant. These laminated sheets can stand the sun, the wind, and the rain, and are perfect for decking. Check out Deckrite.com for laminated membrane flooring.
Metal Deck Flooring
Most homeowners do not opt for metal decking. However, aluminum flooring comes with the look of wood minus the maintenance worries, usually in the form of planks. This kind of flooring is waterproof and extremely low maintenance. You can take a look at LockDry.com and at AridDek at WahooDecks.com.
In the end, knowledge is power. Know what every material entails, and then make an informed choice. Do not overlook the maintenance cost involved in any decking material along with the initial one. How long the flooring will last and what it takes to maintain its color are other considerations. Also find out in detail about waterproofing solutions for a flooring material, should it require any, to know about additional costs you might incur.
This article was supplied by Nidhi Varma.