With summer around the corner and deck season beginning, customers often ask us, “how much hotter is composite decking than treated wood?”  We also get asked, “if I go with a darker wood stain, will it be a lot hotter on the deck?”  These are all very good questions.

The more pigment that’s in the stain, the more protected from the UV rays the deck will be.  But how much hotter is that darker color?  And how much hotter is PVC decking versus Ipe hardwood or treated pine with a dark stain?  We carry a large range of high quality decking and exterior stains.  We decided to put them to the temperature test.  Granted, in April your lucky to get an 86 degree sunny day with just a light scattering of thin clouds.  So that’s the day we picked.  But even in these conditions, all of the decking materials we tested were over 100 degrees in temperature when left all day in the full sun.

The temperature of your deck in the hot sun is only one factor to consider while picking out a quality decking material or stain, but can be an important factor depending on the location.  So here are some things to consider while deciding what stain to pick out or which type and color of decking materials to put down.  What side of the house is your deck or porch on?  Will it have any shade during the day?  Does it get more sun in the morning or afternoon when the sun’s UV rays are more intense?  If you answered full sun with little to no shade, you may want to consider a medium to light color regardless of the decking material you pick out.  To compliment, a darker color can be used on the deck band, as a border, accent or railings to a lighter deck.  Other ways to keep your deck cooler would be putting up a lattice privacy panel on the southern side of your deck or adding an arbor above to provide shade on the deck surface during the day.

Although composite and pvc decking does get hotter than treated decking at the temperature tested, a lighter color of the man-made decking comes close to the same temperature as a darker color on the treated stained wood for the 86 degree day tested.

While performing this test, we did notice the temperatures of the different decking materials and colors effected temporarily by a few degrees when a stray cloud went by or a light breeze came through the area.  We attempted to keep the conditions the same on all tests performed.

We hope this article helps answer some of the questions regarding the temperatures of decking.

Decking / Colors Fahrenheit Degrees
Paldeck Highland Tropic PVC Decking
Brazilian Walnut 135
Hawaiian KOA 149
Fiberon Paramount PVC Decking
Flagstone 149
Brownstone 151
Sandstone 142
Mineral 135
Fossil 135
Fiberon Horizon Permatech Decking
Ipe 144
Castle Gray 137
Tudor Brown 146
Rosewood 142
Greystone 138
Fiberon Protect Permatech Decking
Western Cedar 140
Gray Birch 143
Chestnut 144
Harbor Gray 135
Fiberon Good Life Decking
Cabin 147
Villa 141
Cottage 142
Trex Transcend Decking
Island Mist 135
Tiki Torch 135
Havana Gold 137
Spiced Rum 148
Lava Rock 147
Ipe Hardwood with TWP 100 Series Stain
All Ipe samples ranged: 136 to 137
Treated Yellow Pine with TWP 200 Series Stain
200 Clear 119
201 Cedartone 122
202 Redwood 125
203 Gold 128
205 California Cedar 130
206 Russet Brown 132
207 Butternut Brown 133
210 Slate Gray 121
Treated Yellow Pine with TWP 100 Series Stain
100 Clear 118
101 Cedartone 126
102 Redwood 128
103 Dark Oak 139
105 Cape Cod Gray 125
115 Honeytone 126
116 Rustic Oak 130
120 Pecan 130
Treated Yellow Pine with DEFY Stain
Clear 120
Cedartone 128
Redwood 130
Natural Pine 130
Lt. Walnut 135
Butternut 137
Driftwood Gray 126
Treated Yellow Pine with Cabot Gold stain
Sun-drenched Oak 124
Sunlit Walnut 130
Fireside Cherry 131
Moonlit Mahogany 138
Natural Flagstone paver Stones
All Flagstone pavers ranged: 119 to 126


Decking material and stain tested at a full-sun location on an 86 degree Fahrenheit day.

Article written for the customers of:

CAPITOL CITY LUMBER COMPANY
4216 Beryl Road
Raleigh, NC 27606
800-244-6492

Written by: Edie Morse