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What Are the Different Types of Decking Tiles?

Decking tiles come in a variety of materials like wood, composite, and plastic, each offering unique benefits. Wood tiles provide a classic look, composite tiles offer durability and low maintenance, and plastic tiles are cost-effective and easy to install. Curious about which type suits your outdoor space best? Let's explore the advantages of each to transform your deck.
T. L. Childree
T. L. Childree

Decking tiles are an attractive way to finish a deck, and there are several different types to choose from. The most common deck tiles are made of natural hardwood materials such as Ipe and Curupay. Decking tiles can also be constructed of other hardwood types including Masaranduba and teak. These tiles may also be fabricated from composite wood materials with a variety of different finishes. Decking tiles can also be made from natural stone materials.

These tile variants have become a popular and attractive way to finish a deck surface. They are typically square-shaped and provide a smooth, uniform appearance after installation. Decking tiles are usually composed of a thin surface that attaches to a specially designed, plastic base. The plastic base in turn attaches directly to the deck’s substrate material and interlocks in each direction for a seamless appearance. Hardwood tiles are sometimes sold in an unfinished state and can be stained to match the color of other deck components such as stairs and railings.

A piece of sandstone, which can be used to make decking tiles.
A piece of sandstone, which can be used to make decking tiles.

The most common types of decking tiles are made from natural hardwoods such as Ipe and Curupay. Ipe is a tropical hardwood with a reddish-brown appearance that lightens over time. This wood is very dense and often has light or dark stripes running through it. Curupay wood is similar to Ipe in appearance, but tends to darken through the years. This dense material makes a very durable deck surface and is resistant to warping and cracking. Both Ipe and Curupay wood are a naturally insect- and rot-resistant decking material.

Masaranduba decking tiles have an attractive, chestnut-red appearance that stands out from the surrounding landscape. These wooden tiles typically darken after exposure to sunlight and rarely fade over time. Teak hardwood is a common shipbuilding material and is usually taken from the forests of Indonesia and Venezuela. A protective, gray-colored, patina forms on the surface of these deck tiles as they age. Masaranduba and teak wood also have a natural resistance to rot and insect damage.

Wood composite materials are also used to make inexpensive, attractive decking tiles. This man-made material is specially engineered for durable outdoor use and resists rot and insect infestation. These tiles are available in several different finishes including oak and walnut. Decking tiles are also made from colorful, natural stone materials that are durable and water-resistant. The most common natural-stone tiles are constructed of materials such as slate and sandstone.

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    • A piece of sandstone, which can be used to make decking tiles.
      By: Tyler Boyes
      A piece of sandstone, which can be used to make decking tiles.