Deck Framing: Steel Vs Wood

Homeowners are considering different solutions for the structure that supports the decking surface because of the growing popularity of composite decking. Now, steel framing is being compared to the conventional pressure-treated wood frame. However, how can you tell which material is best for your deck? Let’s look at the key things to consider when deciding between steel and wood frame.



The strength of the deck’s supporting frame has a significant impact on how long it lasts. Due to the increased popularity of composite decking, homeowners frequently discover that the structure of their decks deteriorates before the surface. This is when the benefits of a sturdy frame, such steel framing, are beneficial.


Steel, which is known for its extraordinary durability, outlasts composite decking and even hardwood structures. Steel offers a perfectly flat surface that doesn’t decay, warp, rot or crack like wood does. Steel frames can easily last 25 to 50 years or more, entirely maintenance-free, although wood frames typically lasts between 10 and 25 years, depending on the quality of the wood and upkeep.






One of the first things you should think about is maintenance. There are more factors to consider with a wood deck frame. For instance, it might create a breeding ground for mold or insects, both of which eventually cause damage. Additionally, wood can be susceptible to rotting, particularly in damp or humid conditions. Therefore, performing routine inspections to identify any potential hazards early on is even more crucial.

You must address such problems right away if you find them. This could entail anything from a straightforward cleaning product treatment to more involved actions like contacting a pest control service or replacement. These potential issues could require your time in addition to adding to the cost of maintaining your deck.

Termites, carpenter bees, and other wood-eating insects can attack timber. Pressure-treated wood can lessen the likelihood of this problem, but it is not entirely successful.

Steel, on the other hand, is resistant to insects since it is not an organic substance. When you choose steel frame, just as with composite decking, you won’t have to be concerned about termite damage or insect-related issues.


Fire Resistance


The fire rating is an important component of safety. The majority of wood species have a class C fire rating, which denotes a moderate level of fire resistance.


On the other hand, steel doesn’t burn. Steel provides great fire protection because it has a class-A fire rating, the highest grade that is currently available.




With its natural beauty and texture, wood, It is important to keep in mind, nevertheless, that wood framing loses its appeal more quickly over time. The first noticeable signs of deterioration and fading will appear after just a few years.


Steel, on the other hand, lasts for decades and keeps its color and shape while still looking brand-new and fresh. Its typical color of black provides a sleek, contemporary look that gives any deck a premium feel. Also, it has been designed to offer larger spans between supports, reducing the number of columns and less obstructions.




When choosing between steel and wood structure for your deck, cost is a key factor. Wood is less expensive up front than steel. As a result, if you have a limited budget, wood might offer you the chance to build a bigger deck without going over your spending limit.

When considering the long term, the situation is different. The maintenance and potential repairs needed for wood frame might drive up prices over time.


In contrast, steel, despite having a greater initial cost, promises durability and low maintenance, making it a more cost-effective option over time. A resurfacing job will be sufficient if the deck surface wears out before the steel structure does because it is much less expensive than a complete replacement.


A deck with a steel structure may cost 30–40% more than one with a wood frame, depending on the individual materials and your contractor.



Conclusion: Wood vs. Steel Framing


Numerous considerations must be taken into account while deciding between a steel and wood deck frame. Despite its greater initial cost, steel might prove to be an appropriate investment due to its outstanding longevity and low maintenance requirements. On the other hand, people on a smaller budget or those who value its natural look may find wood to be an appealing option given its cheaper upfront cost.