When looking for the top three decking materials in Washington state, consider the region, seasons, and top expertise from a custom deck builder. JPS Builders has been in the custom building business for over 25 years and counting. Our team proudly provides high quality work and craftsmanship, with extensive experience in custom deck building that gives us a powerful edge over the competition. When you are ready to add any size deck to your home, we know you are ultimately ready to expand your living space and entertainment value. Picking the right decking material is key when you begin this process, so let us go over the top three decking materials for you to know.

Top three decking materials:

  1. Composite
  2. Cedar
  3. Ipe


Composite is the first material on our list, as it holds the highest appeal to our customers. This decking material comprises environmentally safe and recyclable plastic and wood fibers blended together, all to reduce quantities in landfills while giving you peace of mind by being ecologically smart. This type of deck is also well known for extreme low maintenance and being very easy to clean, which allows you to enjoy the outdoors with little to no work involved for the deck upkeep. This means Composite decking will not rot, warp, splinter, need annual staining, or even fade. Plus, termites will not be a problem. You can see why many choose this type of material for a deck, and why several Composite companies (Trex, Timbertech, and Fiberon) are also very popular.

Trex, Timbertech, and Fiberon

Trex is a very large provider of Composite materials, and overall is listed as one of the inventors of Composite decking. JPS Builders has become highly experienced in working with Trex materials, as we have the same goal in mind, to build the best deck for your home or business that will last a long time and be good for the environment. Timbertech is another such company that aims to reduce waste and leads the industry with its capped polymers made without wood (not offered by other companies). Composite materials from Timbertech are said to feel 30% cooler to the touch than the competition’s as well. Furthermore, Fiberon is proud to announce its Composite material is chemical-free, produced using sustainable methods, and they recover 98.5% of the waste they generate. In general, Composite decking is often chosen for the low maintenance, helping the environment, and a variety of aesthetic options to make your deck look great!


When it comes to custom decks, one cannot deny that the feel and smell of natural wood is particularly pleasing too. A number of homeowners pick natural wood over Composite for a number of reasons, one of which is the idea of real wood under their feet. Cedar is widely used in our Northwest region, and is a softer wood that is easy to work with, lightweight, and looks beautiful. This type of decking feels cooler to touch, and can be naturally resistant to rotting as well. In an area where rain is plentiful, a softer wood such as Cedar, is easier to install as it can expand and move as the seasons change. Keep in mind, however, that some maintenance is needed to prevent rotting and other issues. Periodic washing, sanding, and annual staining is necessary to maintain a Cedar deck’s integrity and overall look. Yet, the workability does not deter from its beauty, which is why Cedar is quite a lovely choice for a custom deck addition.


Wood decks are gorgeous, and on occasion, Ipe wood is requested. In case you are not familiar, Ipe is a beautiful and exotic wood that is contracted from parts of South America. Please be aware there is a black market for Ipe wood, so providers of this material must be FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified first. Ipe is a particularly hard, durable, strong, rot and insect resistant type of wood that many choose for its uniqueness and long-lasting quality. For living in the Northwest, it is important to note that the high density of Ipe lumber is said to be naturally water resistant and slip resistant as well. Without frequent staining or oil, Ipe wood can also turn gray in color. Nevertheless, Ipe wood is a great option for those who prefer building a deck made from one of the hardest woods in the world.

Pros and Cons

With all the positive attributes our top three decking materials provide, there are always negative sides to consider too. For instance, certain materials carry higher prices or necessary labor for what you are desiring. Composite tends to be more expensive, but the low maintenance is a big bonus for this type of decking. Cedar is beautiful, soft, and easy to work with, but can scratch easier than Composite. Also, Cedar’s continual maintenance yearly can meet the same price of Composite over time. Ipe wood is hard, durable and long lasting, but can be quite pricey (more than Cedar) and will require extra care when installing and for regular upkeep purposes.

All in all, the one who has to be happy with the product in the end is you. We will build the kind of the deck you have always imagined, and will offer our knowledge and quality craftsmanship at every step from beginning to completion. So, let us get started!