Many homeowners enjoy spending time outdoors on a deck or porch. Unfortunately, the elements can often take a toll on traditional decking materials, causing rot, fading, and peeling, all of which require a great deal of regular maintenance over time.
Some homeowners have tried to find alternatives to wood decking over the years, trying things like composite planks with little success. Those same homeowners who are looking for a durable, long lasting decking material that can still give you the look and feel of real wood, may want to consider fiber cement decking instead.
Why Fiber Cement Decking Different
A lot of people are hesitant to use alternative decking materials after the disaster that is composite decking. Composites are made up of several layers of material, usually a blend of wood and plastic, which can lead to the name of wood-plastic decking, wood-fiber decking, and fiber-plastic deck. Whatever they’re called, the presence of wood inside of material means that it can still absorb water and swell, so they tend to break down over time, just like wood.
Fiber cement is different. It’s made up of a mixture of environmentally friendly materials such as cellulose fibers, Portland cement, and glass. It doesn’t absorb moisture, swell, break down or rot like composite decking or real wood. And unlike wood, it also doesn’t fade in the sun or peel over time, so you the only time you have to repaint or stain it, is if you’d like to change the color.
Benefits of Using Fiber Cement Decking
Fiber cement is an incredibly versatile material that can be used for countless different applications. A lot people have already learned some of the benefits of using this material on their homes and buildings, but it also has a lot of benefits when used on porches and decks as well.
1. Realistic Wood Grain
Fiber cement is made in a mold with real wood, which gives it a realistic-looking wood grain finish. While most composite decks also claim a wood-grain finish, the presence of plastic inside the material also means that the finished planks have a very distinctive plastic sheen to them, letting everyone know exactly what your deck is made of, before they even set foot on it.
Fiber cement isn’t stamped and doesn’t contain plastics, so it looks more natural and more like real cedar wood. Unlike real wood, however, fiber cement doesn’t fade, peel, or chip so you can get the look of wood without the added maintenance that usually go hand in hand with decking.
2. Different Styles
You want your deck to be as unique as your home is, complementing it in style and design. Fiber cement planks come in a wide variety of different sizes, so you can use ultra-smooth, wide planks for a contemporary looking deck, or choose more traditional, rustic looking planks to complement a cabin.
Because fiber cement can be painted or stained in more than 20 different colors, you can match your porch or deck to the rest of your home easily. After all, most people want their decking to complement their home; using fiber cement means that you’ll be easily able to match the grain, size, style, and color of the planks and trim on your home so you can get the look that you want for your deck.
You want your deck to last as long as you own your home, and fiber cement decking can provide this longevity. The boards themselves are extremely durable, resistant to insects, moisture, and UV rays. They’re also naturally flame resistant, so you can use your deck year round without needing to worry about putting on a protective coat of stain or sealant each year, checking areas for softening of wood or rot, or worrying about using your grill right on it.
4. Installs Easily
Composite decking systems often use a complicated system of clips and fasteners to go on. This can really slow down the installation and make it more difficult to find someone to work on your deck. Fiber cement decking installs easily, and most carpenters or builders who have worked with wood decking will be able to make the switch to fiber cement quickly and easily, so your deck installation won’t be slowed down in the slightest.
Complete Your Home’s Appearance
Fiber cement decking material is so attractive and versatile, it will easily complement your home’s exterior whether you already have fiber cement siding installed, or you currently use real wood.
If you’re tired of the constant maintenance that wood decking requires, and you’ve been burned by plastic composite materials in the past, consider using fiber cement decking materials instead. You’re sure to find that the combined durability and style far outstrip any other material you may use on your home. Look to fiber cement for your deck, and get the best for your home.