Environmentally Friendly Deck Materials

There are several products on the market today that call themselves environmentally friendly. Sadly, most of the companies that offer eco-friendly wood simply slap a label on the very same decking they were selling before. When comparing eco-friendly decking, it's important that you be informed and aware of the devious marketing campaigns that are out there. Here some of the things wrong with some of the Eco Friendly decking materials that on the market today:

Decking Material Construction Common Problems & Issues
Composite Decking

Made of recycled plastics and wood fibers and/or pulp and/or sawdust. This leads to a very porous and absorbent decking material. In addition, because they use recycled plastics, the plastic is weakened and more likely to become sun damaged.

Plastic comes from petroleum (oil) and, the last anyone checked, oil drilling and shipping are not the most environmentally sound practices.

  • Sun damage: melted, misshaped, brittle and discolored decking.
  • Moisture laden decking leads to mildew, mold, and fungus and needs plenty of maintenance.
  • Termite infestation is common due to the wood fibers and pulp. In fact, it's easier for termites to infest composite decking than solid hardwood.
Pressure Treated Decking

Pressure Treated Decking is filled with chemicals. Read the warning labels on pressure treated wood decking very carefully. It is advised that you wear protective gloves and a mask when working with this decking.

Prior to 2003, pressure treated decking was infused with Arsenic. In fact, there was enough arsenic in a single pressure treated pine deck board to kill over 200 adults. If you do any research, you will find that the pressure treated decking industry turned a blind eye to these concerns and, under pressure from lawsuits and bad press decided to stop using this dangerous chemical.

  • Prone to splitting
  • Looks worn in just a few years
  • Splinters can be a definite hazards
  • Current chemicals being used to pressure treat the wood decking have not been thoroughly tested and any side effects are yet to be determined
Metal Decking Used mostly for commercial applications. Not great for homeowners. Can come from recycled sources.
  • Inferior decking materials for Florida because it's just too hot to walk on
  • Looks unsightly with most Florida home architecture
Ipe Decking A renewable resource that comes from managed forests. The industry is heavily regulated and there are also organizations that promote and sponsor the responsible use of ipe and other hardwoods. These organizations include the Forest Stewardship Council® and the United States Green Building Council.
  • People need to make sure that they work with FSC® certified companies that sell FSC® wood.
  • Always be sure to research an ipe decking company's environmental policy.
  • Once you build a deck with ipe hardwood decking, you will having installed a deck that requires minimal maintenance and will last for decades longer than any other decking material.

For more details and comparisons between ipe, composite decking and pressure treated decking visit our compare ipe page.

Florida Deck

If you're ready to start building a deck in Florida, you can get a quote from us. We also have a full selection of deck hardware, deck tools, and deck accessories available for purchase. Be sure to check out our updated decking prices too!