Best Decking Material for Boat Docks. What is the first thing that captures your attention when you walk towards a boat dock? Its decking material, of course! Without the decking material, boat docks are useless. For this particular reason, careful research and thought go into choosing the decking material for your dock.
The decking material is more than just an eye-catching attraction. It also gives you a sense of safety and stability because the last thing you want is for the decking to give out on you. Remove the decking and you are left with a structure of aluminum welds and gussets.
This should be enough to tell you how important decking is for floating docks. Learning more about the different decking options can help you choose the right one for your boat dock.
Should You Choose Softwood or Hardwood Decking?
If you do not want to part ways with tradition, choose wood decking. Wood is durable and contains natural oils and tannins to prevent decay, rot, and insect invasion. The two types of wood decking you can choose from are softwood and hardwood.
Softwood is red cedar and hardwood is IPE. Hardwood costs more than softwood because it takes longer to grow. Hardwood is also more compact and denser than softwood. If you are searching for softwood, choose one that contains more heartwood than sapwood.
Heartwood makes red cedar wood harder and more resistant to decay and insects. To maintain softwood and hardwood properly, power wash them each year and apply a stain or finish every three to four years. If you do not apply a finish, wood will turn into a lovely shade of silver and gray.
Should You Choose Composite or Plastic Decking?
Composite decking comprises recycled inorganic materials, combined with organic materials. Plastic decking consists of inorganic materials. Plastic decking is lighter and shinier than composite decking. Composite decking requires less maintenance as compared to wood decking because you do not need to sand, stain, or refinish it.
However, you will still need to clean composite decking regularly because it is susceptible to mold and mildew growth. On the other hand, plastic decking is not susceptible to mold and mildew growth. If you are looking for a low maintenance decking material, go with either composite or plastic material.
What Should You Consider When Choosing Decking Material?
Now that you know about the different types of decking materials you can use for your boat dock, you need to select one. There are several pros and cons associated with each option. Wood decking tends to costlier than composite and plastic decking materials.
If you want to choose wood decking and cost is an issue, go with softwood. However, wood decking requires a lot of maintenance. If you do not want to deal with the constant maintenance, choose composite or plastic decking. Composite decking will require more maintenance than plastic decking. If you do not want to even deal with minimal maintenance, go with plastic decking.
In the end, your preference and budget will affect your decision. If you need help deciding on what the best material for your boat dock is, contact Call EZ Dock Texas at 800-654-8168 if you reside in Texas, Oklahoma, or New Mexico. We can answer your questions and provide you with a quote.