Metal Decking vs Stone Decking

Stone Decking

As Canadians, spending time outside is important to us and the last thing we want to do is devote too much time to maintaining our outdoor living spaces. For this reason, we have seen an increased interest in maintenance-free solutions for outdoor living spaces, such as stone decks. With this increased interest, we have also seen new products trying to tap into this potentially lucrative market, such as metal decking. When we speak of metal decking, we are referring to the cladding material, not so much the structural material. Let’s compare metal decking vs stone decking.

When considering a base, metal decking vs stone decking needs are somewhat similar in nature. Both rely on a footing system, either poured concrete using sonotubes and a “Big Foot” style base, or mechanical screw piles. Some metal base systems, Paverdeck for example, can be sunken into the ground. We have not seen any metal decking systems that indicate it can be installed in such a manner.

Both systems require framed structures that sit on supports and are cladded with a maintenance-free material of your choice. Metal decking vs stone decking utilizes two different cladding options. Stone decking can use any stone, paver or porcelain tile available on the market, made by any manufacturer. Metal decking is in essence metal decking boards manufactured by a particular supplier and is usually designed to be used with its own framing structure, manufactured by the same supplier. Stone decking offers various product options and manufacturers to create your maintenance free deck – and choice is always a positive thing. Both Silca System and Tiledeck are products that utilize wood framing to support these products and then are cladded in stone. Paverdeck is its own framing structure, ready to be cladded in stone.

Metal decking vs stone decking are both maintenance-free options, however, you will find stone decking to be more durable and versatile. Metal decking is usually aluminum that has a powder-coated finish, and although it is strong, it can scratch, chip and dent. You also must consider that metal decking is somewhat limited in design and build choices. You will find there are not that many patterns or colour choices when it comes to metal decking and you are confined to boxy, square build options. The opposite is true for stone decking, your build options are endless from square to round, from in the ground to a second story. As for colour or textures, you have hundreds of options to pick from the various stone and porcelain tile manufacturers out there.

Another factor when comparing metal decking vs stone decking is price and comfort. Metal decking has an obvious “industrial” feel and texture, it heats up quite a bit and consumers have reported it to have a hallow tin sound when walking on it. Metal decking manufactured from aluminum is expensive and has its limitations. Stone decking has a natural feel, comes in various textures, remains relatively cool and is not slippery.

Finally, as a do-it-yourselfer, you will find some of the stone decking options are much easier to work with and give you more versatile build options. When working with metal decking you have to take into account cutting the parts without destroying the finish, the type of fasteners being used and ensuring any exposed metals will not react negatively with any structures they come in contact with.

As you do your research to find the best maintenance-free deck solution to fit your needs, you have to look at all the pros and cons of metal decking vs stone decking and determine which one is right for you.