Well-reviewed decking materials include hardwoods, redwood, cedar and composites. Composite woods include a mix of ground up wood and plastic fibers, creating a more natural look than less well-reviewed plastic decking. Hardwoods include ironwood, Pau Lope, tigerwood and Philippine mahogany.
While hardwoods receive the best reviews for natural wood decks, they are also typically the most expensive decking material. Hardwood decks last up to 40 years, as opposed to redwood and cedar decks that average a little over 20 years.
Many composite woods include recycled plastic and typically do not splinter, warp, rot or split, even after many years. As they include ground up wood, composites eventually decay and do not deter mold and moss.