How to Choose Deck Materials

Find out what’s best for your deck: cedar, redwood, Southern yellow pine or composites

Whether you plan to build a solid wood ground-level deck or a composite multi-level masterpiece, The Home Depot has the materials you need. Here's a quick look at the options so you can get started on your project.

Solid Wood Options

The Home Depot does not purchase wood decking products from old-growth forests or rainforests. See our Wood Purchasing Policy for more information.  

Cedar wood options for decking


  • Resists Moisture, rot and insects
  • Easy to seal or stain
  • Weathers to silvery gray if left untreated
  • Typically available and used in Pacific Northwest
Redwood decking options


  • Resists insects and rot
  • Has open-celled structure with little to no pitch or resins
  • Easily absorbs and retains all types of finishes
  • Typically available and used in Pacific Southwest
Southern yellow pine decking options

Southern Yellow Pine

  • Popular soft wood
  • Pale in color, easy to work with
  • Resists rot & termites when treated for outdoor use
  • Typically available throughout Northern, Southern, Midwestern and Western U.S.

Wood-Alternative Options

Alternative decking materials don't require sealing, staining or painting, and will never split, warp, crack, rot or splinter. They last for years.  

Composite decking is a manmade product comprised of recycled wood fibers and polyethelyne. It comes in a variety of colors and has an appearance that is very similar to wood. Unlike wood, however, composite decking never needs painting, staining, or refinishing, so it is far easier and less expensive to maintain than wood.