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Question DetailsAsked on 4/28/2014

what is the strongest deck material?

when replacing a 2 x 6 deck board, what would be a strong, maintenance free, same thickness deck board?

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2 Answers

Voted Best Answer

If you are looking for 2X6 material which is 1 1/2 inches thick as far as I know the only choices would be a wooden surface. IPE, Pressure Treated Yellow Pine, Mahogany, Redwood or Cedar listed pretty much in the order of the strength. Most of these are sold most often in 1 inch thick boards but are available in 2 inch. I don't know why you want the 2 inch as the 5/4X6 material in the wood products will hold just about any floor load you will have. If the deck is framed 24" OC you might want the 2X6 on anything below the Mahogany.


Answered 6 years ago by ContractorDon


Like Don said, the plastics like Trex come typically in 1", 5/4, and 2" inch thicknesses.

Aluminum deck planking comes in 1, 1.5 and 2 inch thicknesses - companies like Versadeck make 1.5 inch planking, but it is rated for 100 psf with 48" support spacing, so definitely overkill for a home deck. McNichols and others also make 1.5" stainless smooth and diamond plate deck planking if you want the ultimate in longevity, albeit at a high cost.

I am not sure why you need the same thickness - except at the stairs, where if you do not replank them the same way then you would have an uneven step if you used 5/4 or 1 inch replacement planks. Going thicker I could see could potentially cause interference at door sills and require cutting into the siding for increased thickness, but thinner is usually no big thing. Along the house you could reflash or maybe even just rebend flashing in place to accomodate thinner planks, or put in a cove to cover over the 1/4-1/2" gap.

If keeping the same top surface level is critical for some reason, I would look at firring the tops of all the joists with something to raise them up - though would take a bit of thinking what material to use that would not rot easily and would take nails without splitting. Probably the easiest would be a wider than 1-1/2" piece of resin trim, though even that might split when nailed or screwed through in 1/4 or1/2 inch thickness. I think if I had to do it, I would use nylon strip (pricey) or true rubber strips (the type of rubber used for outdoor conveyor belts) in joist width as a shim. Otherwise aluminum, but that would require predrilling every fastener hole - pricey.

Oh - on the woods - last I checked, 5/4 treated southern pine does not cut it at 24" or 16" joist spacing - 16" max allowed for untreated, but treated hem fir does meet 16" requirement, if available in your area. Of course, 2x works at 24" in almost any wood.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD


Oops - fiberglass decking also comes in 1-1/2 " thickness - again,McNichols and other companies.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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