Best Decking for Full Sun

Whether you’re decking your home or just looking for the perfect shade, choosing which type of wood best suits a full-sun location is important. Advantages and disadvantages to each type of wood are explained, along with recommendations for using them in various areas around the home.

The “best deck material for hot weather” is a question that many people have asked. There are different materials that can be used to make decks, but the best material for hot weather would depend on the type of deck being made.

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Looking for the greatest full-sun decking? It’s critical to decide which material is best for your requirements before you start designing your fantasy deck. If you reside in a hotter area, it’s critical to pick a decking material that can withstand the summer heat. However, with so many possibilities, deciding which one to choose might be difficult. 

Composite decking is, in general, the best decking material for a complete sun deck. When compared to other decking materials, it stands up to the sun’s heat, resists fading and disintegration from prolonged exposure to the sun, and displays less thermal expansion and contraction.

When it comes to decking, everyone seems to have a preference. Continue reading to learn which decking is ideal for full sun and what to look for when selecting a material. 


Contents Table of Contents

  • How Does Wood React to the Sun?
  • Traditional Wood vs. Composite Decking
  • What to Look for When Buying Full Sun Decking
  • Conclusion: Which Decking Is Best for Full Sun?


How Does Wood React to the Sun?


UV radiation causes wood to naturally weather when it is exposed to the outdoors. These rays heat and dry up the cellular structure of wood decking planks. As the board dries, it will begin to fracture and splinter, posing a structural problem. The wood also becomes gray due to UV deterioration.

Decks facing south in full light are the most worn, followed by decks facing west. If you want to create a south-facing deck, you must think carefully about the materials you will use.

Traditional Wood vs. Composite Decking

In the twenty-first century, composite decking is the most preferred decking material. It not only has a magnificent look and comes in a variety of colors, but it also lasts a long period with little maintenance.

Because of the material used to construct composites, they will feel hot to the touch throughout the summer, although not as hot as you may think. While early composite decks were notoriously sensitive to warmth and heated, most current composite decking will be much more heat resistant. 


Modern composite deck boards do not heat up as much as traditional wood deck planks. Furthermore, once in the shade, composites cool off quicker than wood. The newest composite decking materials are beginning to resemble real wood. For a natural hardwood appearance that won’t fade, you can now choose decking that looks like ipe or cumaru.

Why Isn’t Traditional Wood Good in the Sun?

For a variety of reasons, traditional wood is a poor option for full-sun decking. Direct sunlight causes wood to evaporate quicker, producing cracking and splintering. Furthermore, UV rays will fade the color of your wood deck.

If you choose wood decking, bear in mind that it will take extra upkeep to keep it looking excellent. It will need to be pressure washed, stained, and/or painted on a regular basis.

What to Look for When Buying Full Sun Decking

When creating a deck that will be exposed to direct sunlight, you should know what to check for when choosing decking. While it’s important to choose a decking that looks beautiful, you also want one that will endure. Anyone’s wish list probably doesn’t include replacing and fixing decking every few years.

For decades, traditional wood has been the most popular deck material, but that doesn’t mean it’s the finest. Alternatives to wood, such as capped composite decking, are more durable. They are also eco-friendly and may be made to seem like real wood.

While building decking in direct sunlight, keep the following in mind.

Resistance to Fading

One of the most crucial elements to consider when looking for the best composite decking for full sun is Resistance to Fading. Choosing decking with long-lasting fade-resistance keeps your deck looking new for longer.

UV Protective Capping

Look for UV inhibitors and full capping in composite decking. The protective substance that seals the board is known as capping. While even the most solar-resistant wood decking needs staining and oiling on a regular basis, totally capped composite decking does not. 

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Resistance to Heat

When exposed to direct sunlight, one of the most frequent complaints about decking is that it becomes too hot. Almost any surface will become too hot on a hot summer day. Ipe, Cedar, Redwood, and Pressure Treated Pine are all cool-to-the-touch woods.

Composites will be hotter to the touch in the summer due to the material used to build them. Composite decking, on the other hand, will work in hotter climates. Composites have the advantage of cooling down quicker in the shade than wood. 

Decking in Light Colors

Choosing light-colored boards is another technique to beat the heat. It becomes hotter in the sun because of the amount of heat that your decking surface absorbs vs. how much it reflects. The more heat is absorbed and the hotter it grows, the darker the color of the surface.

Gray or brown colored composite decking is ideal for full sun. 

Resistance to Moisture

As an organic material, wood is prone to mold and decay, and it will almost certainly suffer from moisture damage, which might undermine your decking boards over time. This may be visible as warping, cracking, or splintering in conventional wood, which is produced by moisture-induced expansion and contraction.

Choose a decking board that is moisture resistant. This enhances the health and safety of your deck by preventing mold, mildew, and rot from causing structural damage. This also eliminates the need to re-seal your deck every few years with harmful chemicals.

Conclusion: Which Decking Is Best for Full Sun?

Composite is the best choice for a complete sun deck. While composite decking is initially more costly than wood, it saves thousands of dollars in upkeep, repairs, and replacements over time.

Composite decking materials, which are made mostly of wood fibers and recyclable polymers, are among the fastest-growing decking options available today. Because they were made artificially, they will not twist or split, and they will not be destroyed by rot or insects.

Even while they don’t need much maintenance, they do require frequent cleaning to keep them looking their best. Composite decking is a long-lasting option, making it the best option for full-sun decking.


The “fortress decking” is a type of outdoor flooring that was designed to be used in full sun. It features a textured surface and is resistant to rot and mildew.

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