Best Decking Material for Central Oregon: Pros vs Cons

With the gorgeous backdrop of Cascade Mountains, Bend enjoys the predominantly dry climate of the Great Basin. Sunny days, low humidity, and cool nights provide the most common weather pattern. Due to its high altitude and clear air, nighttime temperatures drop rapidly even in the summer. This exceptionally dry climate is great for outdoor recreation but can put a lot of wear and tear on your deck. 

We know in Central Oregon that the summers are short, warm, and dry and the winters are very long, cold, and snowy. According to the NOAA National Center for Environmental Information Bend typically has 167 frosty nights a year and most of the nights from November to March drop to temperatures below 32°F. In fact, for an average of 13 days annually the thermometer in Bend typically never rises above freezing. With these factors in mind, we are reviewing your best options for decking material in Central Oregon.

When it comes to selecting your deck building materials, there are three major factors to consider: upfront cost, lifetime maintenance, and material quality. Just like when building a home, the types of material that an outdoor deck is made from will have a large impact on overall lifetime and durability.

Deck with custom railing.

Deck Materials to Consider

The original and still most common decking option is wood. Wood is natural, strong, easy to install and feels good under bare feet. However, it also minimally requires an annual cleaning and is susceptible to rot, splintering, and warping. Even though all wood naturally weathers to a gray color, it needs to be cleaned and re-stained every two to three years to keep it looking its best. With options ranging from pressure treated wood, tropical hardwoods, and varieties like cedar and redwood, there are a lot of choices if you truly want wood. But the choices don’t stop there…modern innovations like composite decking and aluminum decking are also available. Let’s dive in.

Pressure Treated Wood Decks: Pros and Cons

Pressure treated wood delivers beautiful aesthetics and authenticity for your deck. The tradeoff for the natural beauty of any solid wood decking is the regular upkeep required.

  • Pros: Pressure Treated Wood is easy to get and an economical decking choice. Since the wood has been chemically treated to withstand rot, mold, and insects, people tend to gravitate toward it for longevity and its lower price point.
  • Cons: Pressure treated wood is demanding. It requires annual cleaning, and should be restained and resealed every three or four years. If you skip on maintenance, even pressure treated wood decks can eventually stain, crack, rot, and have tendency to crack or warp over time. Forego maintenance and you risk splinters in your feet and a chance of structural collapse. 

Cedar Wood Decks: Pros and Cons

Cedar is another deck building material we offer for your deck project. The natural variety of cedar trees ensures that your deck is one-of-a-kind. 

  • Pros: Using cedar, especially the heartwood, will keep your deck from absorbing moisture, making it resistant to rot and warping. It’s also relatively inexpensive compared to other wood types like redwood, mahogany and teak. Cedar decks last longer than pressure treated wood decks, often between 10-20 years.
  • Cons: To keep its beautiful color, your cedar deck will require maintenance like staining. Cedar is by nature a soft wood, making it subject to dings and dents. Annual winterizing, staining, and sealing, while not required, is highly recommended to maintain the finish of your cedar deck.

Composite Decks: Pros and Cons

Composites are made to look like real wood and come in a wide variety of natural-looking hues and grain patterns. Made by combining a blend of plastic and waste wood fibers, these boards won't splinter, rot, and don't need to be stained or painted, thanks to a built-in UV resistance.

  • Pros: It looks like wood without the constant maintenance and is available in many designs, colors, and textures. Composite decking is easy to clean with soap and water, and it won’t rot.
  • Cons: Composite decking materials are generally more expensive than cedar decks and are definitely more expensive than pressure treated wood. Since composite decks are made of plastics, polyvinyls, and other plastic configurations, they can look…plastic. With the latest composite deck technology, however, some composite decks look great.

Aluminum Decking: Pros and Cons

Anodized aluminum decks are sleek, durable, and won’t rot under rain, snow, and moisture. Textured finishes on aluminum decking keep feet cool in summer and prevent slips after rain.

  • Pros: Aluminum is tough, low-maintenance, all that is requires is regular sweeingp and occasional rinsing. It also and resists mold and mildew. Aluminum pairs well with contemporary designs and maintains its color.
  • Cons: It’s a higher-priced decking material, and it looks like what it is…aluminum
Stunning example of Trex composite decking.

Our Recommendation is…Trex Composite Decking

We’ve made it our mission to become experts on composite decking so you can rest easy that your deck will look great for years to come. After exploring all varieties of composites, bamboo, PVC, and so on, we landed on Trex.

Here are just a few of the reasons we love Trex

  • Trex has a 25-year warranty against material failure, fading, and staining
  • A huge variety of colors and wood patterns for a truly customized deck
  • Attractive railing systems that are easy to install
  • Four different cost levels with an option that will fit any budget
  • Trex is made of up to 95% recycled materials
  • Easy to install lighting accessories for stair kicks and railings
  • Trex Transcend decking is the most resistant to scratches and scuffing of any tested
  • Exceptional customer service

Besides Trex being a well-designed product we love how responsive and helpful they are on the rare occasions when something does need to be fixed. We have dealt with other composite decking companies and have found that they don’t come close to matching Trex’s customer service.

Choosing Webfoot Painting to Build Your Deck..We’re Not Just Painters

Webfoot is your source for everything deck related. Our team is made up of true craftsmen who specialize in the design, layout, care, know how, and maintenance of decks and outdoor living spaces in Bend and surrounding areas. You won't catch us remodeling kitchens or building homes, but when it comes to natural wood decks and composite decks like Trex- we're the seriously great team for the job.

Our team hard at work on a beautiful deck.