The Complete Guide to Decking Surfaces

Nowadays there are many different products and styles available on the market. Lot of variety and options can be hard to make a final decision on what type is right for you. Below is a complete guide to all options available with pros and cons and all the information you need to know about what decking surfaces are best for you.

Composite Decking (Plastic Decking) Boards

For many years, pressure treated lumber and softwoods have been the most popular choices in decking materials. This is because they come at a lower price, but this can be deceiving. After the initial affordability comes years of maintenance fees, staining, sealing and general upkeep. This translates to budget-breaking labour over the course of your deck’s life.

Here are some facts on traditional wood decking:

  • The unavoidable erosion of organic materials means they will need to be replaced every 10-15 years.
  • Deck boards will need to be maintained (sanded, stained, sealed, deep cleaned, etc.) every 3 years
  • Even when properly maintained, pressure treated lumber will show inconsistent colouring and quality over time.

Plastic decking boards capture all the beauty of traditional wood but leave behind it’s susceptibility to the elements. The weather is a big factor on the longevity of your deck, and in Vancouver the weather can be unforgiving. With lots of sunshine, rain and the occasional snow storm – all weaknesses that will shorten your decks lifespan.


TimberTech, as part of The AZEK Company, is dedicated to converting the building products industry from its uninspiring past to its dynamic and sustainable future.

As the outdoor living sector of the company, TimberTech goes against the grain by offering low maintenance, beautiful products that leverage innovations in material science to make world-class products. For the last 37-plus years, they have continued to prioritize a set of beliefs that not only drive their business and brand, but directly inform how they treat our customers and the Earth. It’s what keeps them relentlessly focused on quality while making the best products possible – and backing them with industry-leading warranties — without harming our planet.

Capped composite boards, such as those offered in the Timbertech lines, use 100% recycled wood and up to 80% recycled materials. The incredibly durable caps are made from high-performance polymers that resist moisture and stand up to UV rays. Combine this materials innovation with realistic grain patterns and rich hues, and you have deck boards that stay beautiful for decades to come.

  • An industry-leading 30-Year Fade & Stain Limited Warranty — five years longer than the warranties of many competitors.
  • No wood fillers in the cap for serious resistance to mold and moisture damage.
  • 4-sided capping, which keeps the core free of moisture and other weathering agents.
  • TimberTech Mold Guard™ Technology in the cap to keep hungry mold spores out of your investment — and your deck’s structural integrity exceptional.

Timbertech Plastic Decking boards are a great choice for any deck no matter where its located. With not only a lasting and durable quality, a look and style that will maintain through the ages.


Capped polymer boards, like those in the TimberTech AZEK line, combine aesthetic excellence (think detail-rich grain patterns and color-blended hues) with premium performance. With this type of decking, you get enviable beauty without sacrificing durability. Plus, TimberTech AZEK deck boards include no organic material in the core or cap — meaning they’re one of the most moisture- and weathering-resistant decking materials on the market. When considering what to build with to maximize deck lifespan, few alternatives can surpass the weathering-resistant, polymer-powered composition of TimberTech AZEK decking.

Engineered to stay true over time, colors are backed by a 50-Year Limited Fade & Stain Warranty. Choose from plentiful hues ranging from rich browns to grays — and natural hardwoods like mahogany. Available in either standard, narrow, or wide-width boards, you can create a variety of sophisticated looks, whether seen up close or from afar. This has a natural, hardwood look, but this decking is 100% synthetic. Diverse wood grain options — including intricate, wire-brushed looks — offer elegant style. Alloy Armour Technology in the protective cap prevents fading, staining, and weathering thereby empowering all AZEK boards to stand the test of time. This sturdy capping keeps your deck’s aesthetic and beauty by repelling scratches, dents, and even insects. You can relax knowing your deck can take anything.


At Trex, they use eco-friendly composite decks from an innovative blend of 95% reclaimed wood and plastic film—that’s almost the whole thing. On top of that, they use some of the most earth friendly manufacturing processes in the country. They reclaim factory waste and thus eliminating the use of harmful chemicals. Trex offers consumers a truly environmentally responsible choice. They’ve been this way for more than 20 years, well before green was a buzzword.

Locally sourced reclaimed wood that would otherwise end up in a landfill finds its way into Trex high-performance composite decks. The reclaimed wood is combined with recycled plastic film from a variety of sources ranging from the overwrap on paper towels to dry cleaner bags, sandwich bags, newspaper sleeves, and grocery and shopping bags.

Vinyl decking

Given all the choices in decking materials, why choose a vinyl decking? If you’ve never considered the benefits of a vinyl membrane on your deck, then here are some reasons to help. Make the right decision and choose vinyl to protect your deck and home

  • Easy Install – Depending on the condition of your deck, installing a new vinyl membrane can take just a day or two. That means you don’t have to deal with weeks of contractors around your home, and can start enjoying your deck quicker.
  • Water is powerful – It has the ability to change and destroy structures if it gets into the wrong place. Making your deck waterproof is an easy method to protect your deck. Not only the underlying structure, but your home from water damage.
  • Easy low Maintenance – Rather than the hassle of sanding and staining with wood decks, PVC vinyl decking is a breeze. Just sweep off debris and clean with water a few times a year. Your deck will last years to come.
  • Variety – Back in the day when vinyl decking first became popular, there were on or two colour/pattern choices. Today, there is a huge range of colours and patterns to choose from. You can pick a vinyl surface that complements your home and stands out from the crowd.
  • Peace of mind – PVC vinyl membrane deck coverings come with a great warranty – so you can rest assured that your deck will be in great shape for a few decades.



Deksmart Products was founded over 20 years ago in the wet climates of the Pacific Northwest, where waterproofing is an integral part of building design. Since then, they has been supplying the Canadian clients with a premier line of waterproof flooring and decking accessories. The Deksmart Vinyl Decking system provides for a proven long-term waterproofing solution to new or existing sundecks. Deksmart Vinyl may be installed in any area where slip-resistance, durability and ease of maintenance are of primary concern. Vinyl completely encapsulates the deck area making it waterproof. It eliminates common deck problems such as rotting, warping, or cracking, commonly associated with wood decks.

  • Deksmart Vinyl Flooring products are embossed to provide a positive slip-resistant walking surface, without being abrasive like some non-slip surfaces. Deksmart has the right amount of emboss to provide a comfortable, yet easy to clean surface.
  • These products are tested at temperatures ranging from -40° to 80° Celcius to ensure the product can be installed problem free anywhere in North America.
  • All Deksmart vinyls are extremely user friendly in terms of maintenance, requiring only a wash with soap and water once or twice a year.
How long will Deksmart Vinyl products last?

A Deksmart surfaced deck can last 15-25 years, depending on location and care of the deck.

Tested Slip Resistance

Deksmart Vinyl Flooring products are embossed to provide a positive slip-resistant walking surface, without being abrasive like some non-slip surfaces. Deksmart has the right amount of emboss to provide a comfortable, yet easy to clean surface.

Cedar Decking

If the natural look of wood is tops on your list, use cedar for wood decking. The heartwood of the tree (the deeper colored red part, not the white sap part) is rot resistant. Cedar doesn’t readily absorb moisture – and, since moisture is what creates twisting and splitting, cedar wood decking tends to lie flat and straight.

  • 100% sustainable, renewable resource
  • Natural resistance to insects, rot and decay
  • Open cell structure accepts wood stains and coatings extremely well
  • Does not heat up significantly making it comfortable underfoot
  • Low replacement cost if damaged board/s needs replacing
  • Cuts easily with regular saw blades
  • Low bending-strength making it easy to install
  • Surprisingly light, easy to move around your job-site

Cedar has a long history of use in decking and housing. It’s a durable wood that is naturally resistant to rot, decay and insect attacks, and resists moisture absorption, so it tends to last longer, needs less maintenance, and doesn’t warp or split as easily. A cedar deck can last for 15-20 years or more, depending on maintenance and environment. It is generally a more attractive wood solution, with strong color tones and consistency that can be sanded, stained, and treated for a beautiful finish. Although cedar decking isn’t the least expensive material, it is an affordable wood, given its many advantages.

Hardwood Deck Tiles

A lot of people prefer using wood when building their decks because it has a very naturally attractive look. Unlike fake paints and artwork, wood doesn’t need to be decorated or enhanced because it is already beautiful, vibrant and attractive. Because of its natural beauty, you won’t have to worry about spending hours on accentuating your garden’s beauty as the wood will do the job for you.

Another reason for you to opt for wood decking is because of its strength and durability. Using hard wood will ensure that your decking doesn’t give way and buckle even if a lot of weight has been put over it. This will of course be beneficial for you when you are placing furniture or other decorations on the deck.

  • Longevity – Hardwood decking will definitely last for decades with basic care.
  • Low maintenance – Hardwood is very easy to maintain. Some types of hardwood simply need a UV finisher so its color will not fade. Apart from that, you just need to sweep off or hose down dirt and your decking will look as new as the day it was made.
  • No need for harmful chemicals – Bugs are no match for hardwood—they can’t bite into them.
  • Aesthetically pleasing – You can choose from a wide range of graining and colors when you opt for hardwood. Some types of hardwood also look better when they are stained or painted. The possibilities for your decking can be endless.
  • Boosts property value – If you are planning to sell your home, a quick way to get more buyers is to add a deck that extends your living and entertainment area. The use of high-quality materials such as hardwood can be an excellent selling point for your house. You might be able to get a higher price.


Hardwood Deck Tiles

Pressure Treated Decking

Wood has been an invaluable building material for thousands of years, but in certain situations, it is prone to decay, limiting its usefulness for many applications. Environments that are prone to moisture, that encourage the growth of bacteria or fungi or that harbour wood-boring insects are especially challenging for natural wood products. While other building materials, such as rock, concrete, aluminum or steel, may be used in place of wood in many inhospitable environments, they tend to be much more expensive and difficult to work with.

To combat the limitations of natural wood and make it suitable for use in more extreme environments, pressure treated lumber was developed. To create pressure treated lumber, intense pressure is used to force one of several different chemical compounds deep into the grain, providing protection from the elements, fungal growth, bacterial growth and pest infestation.

As a building material, pressure treated lumber offers several unique advantages over natural wood lumber, as well as other building products. Below are eight different advantages for using pressure treated lumber as a building material for your next project.Pressure treated deck

  • Affordability – Pressure-treated wood is notably cheaper than cedar, redwood, and other types of wood. And, because of its durability, you’re much less likely to experience a need for costly repairs in the future. It is a great choice for those operating on a smaller budget.
  • Versatility – Pressure-treated wood is a blank canvas, being easy to work with and able to be stained or painted any color you desire. This makes it a wonderful option if you are trying to match the color of an existing feature of your house, such as an interior hardwood. Be sure to paint or stain only when the wood is completely dry.
  • Durability – Pressure-treated wood is more durable than many other types of wood, better-able to resist dents, scratches, and wear. Pressure-treated wood’s extra strength gives it a long lifespan, ensuring that it will last for decades to come with proper care.
  • Ease of repair – In the event of a grilling accident or curiously destructive child, pressure-treated wood is easily and inexpensively repaired.
  • Insect repellency – The chemicals used in treating this type of wood repel bugs and insects, keeping them away from your home and reducing incidents of insect damage. This will save you money over time that would otherwise be spent on insect-proofing solutions.
  • Natural – This type of building material is made from natural wood. The most commonly treated wood is pine, an environmentally-friendly choice because of its fast growth.


Arbutus Sundecks offer a wide variety of different deck surfaces to suit every need. In today’s society there is a style of decking that works for everyone, so options are always best. Not only do styles change from person to person, but budgets also change. With lots of different options of different surfaces, you’re sure to find one that suits you.


Serving the following locations
  • Burnaby
  • Coquitlam
  • Delta
  • Ladner
  • Langley
  • New Westminster
  • North Vancouver
  • Richmond
  • Surrey
  • Tsawwassen
  • Vancouver
  • West Vancouver
  • White Rock