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The Best Deck Posts Materials

Building a deck is a fantastic way to extend your living space outdoors and create a relaxing and entertaining area for family and friends.

When constructing a deck, one crucial aspect that demands attention is the selection of deck posts and the materials used for them.

In this blog post, we will delve into what deck posts are, their usage, and explore the top deck post materials in 2023.

Railing with wood balustrade and metal rails

What are Deck Posts and How to Use Them

Deck posts are vertical support structures that bear the weight of the deck and transfer it to the footings or foundation below.

These sturdy pillars are the backbone of any deck, ensuring its stability and structural integrity.

Deck posts are typically placed at regular intervals along the perimeter of the deck, and their proper installation is vital to ensure the safety and longevity of the structure.

How To Properly Use Deck Posts

Deck frame for a two level structure

Note: It’s always best to leave deck posts installation to the professionals. Let our deck installation expertise come to aid you and provide you and your family with a secure, long-lasting deck structure. 

Top 5 Deck Posts Materials in 2023

The choice of deck post material greatly impacts the aesthetics, durability, and maintenance requirements of your deck. Here are the top deck post materials trending in 2023:

Bonus:  Trex Transcend is a high-performance composite decking brand that offers railing posts with a sleek and modern appearance. These posts are durable, low-maintenance, and available in various colors.

Let’s dive deeper into each of these materials and learn their advantages and drawbacks.

Pressure-Treated Wood

Pressure-treated wood is one of the most common and budget-friendly options for deck posts. The wood is treated with preservatives under pressure to enhance its durability and resistance to decay and insect infestation.
Pros Cons
Pressure-treated wood is widely available and relatively inexpensive compared to other materials. To prevent weathering and decay, pressure-treated wood requires regular maintenance, including staining and sealing.
It is easy to cut, shape, and install, making it a popular choice for DIY deck projects. Over time, pressure-treated wood may warp, split, or crack, especially if not properly maintained.
The treatment process improves its resistance against decay and insects. While treated, it may still be susceptible to insect damage in certain conditions.


Cedar is a naturally beautiful wood known for its rich color and distinctive fragrance. It is naturally resistant to decay and insect infestation, making it a popular choice for outdoor projects like decks.
Pros Cons
Cedar has an attractive appearance, adding a touch of elegance to any deck. Cedar is generally more expensive than pressure-treated wood.
Cedar's natural oils and tannins provide excellent resistance to decay and insect damage. Though not as frequent, cedar still requires some maintenance to preserve its appearance.
While not as demanding as pressure-treated wood, periodic sealing can help maintain its appearance. Depending on the location, cedar may not be as readily available as pressure-treated wood.
raised trex deck


Composite deck posts are made from a blend of wood fibers and recycled plastic. This material is designed to mimic the appearance of natural wood while offering increased durability and low-maintenance features.
Pros Cons
Composite posts do not require staining, sealing, or painting, saving time and effort on upkeep. Composite materials generally have a higher upfront cost than wood options.
Composites are highly resistant to rot, insects, and weathering, making them long-lasting. Some composite products may experience fading or discoloration over time, though many modern composites come with UV-resistant coatings.
Available in various colors and styles, composite posts allow for versatile deck designs. While some composites are designed to mimic natural wood, they may have a different feel and appearance than traditional wood materials.


Steel deck posts offer exceptional strength and stability, making them ideal for heavy loads and contemporary designs.
Pros Cons
Steel deck posts provide exceptional strength and stability, making them ideal for heavy loads and robust deck designs. If not properly coated or maintained, steel posts may be susceptible to rust over time, especially in humid or corrosive environments.
Unlike wood, steel is less susceptible to warping, splitting, or insect damage, ensuring a longer lifespan. Steel is heavier than wood or composite, which can make handling and installation more challenging.
Steel posts offer a contemporary and industrial-style look, providing a unique touch to the overall deck design. Steel deck posts may be more expensive than certain wood or composite options.


Aluminum deck posts are lightweight and known for their corrosion resistance, making them an excellent choice for coastal or humid environments.
Pros Cons
Aluminum is lightweight and easy to work with, simplifying the installation process. Aluminum posts may be relatively more expensive than certain wood or composite options, though they offer long-lasting benefits.
Aluminum does not rust, making it an excellent choice for coastal or humid environments where moisture is a concern. While aluminum posts come in various finishes, the color choices may not be as extensive as composite materials.
Aluminum requires minimal maintenance to keep its appearance intact, reducing upkeep efforts. Aluminum posts may have a distinct appearance compared to natural wood or composite materials, which may not appeal to all design preferences.

Deck Posts FAQs

The maximum spacing for deck posts depends on various factors, including local building codes and the load-bearing requirements of your specific deck design. However, a common recommendation is to space deck posts no more than 8 feet apart to ensure stability and prevent sagging.
Deck posts are sometimes referred to as support posts, railing posts, or baluster posts. They are vertical components that support the deck railing and help maintain the overall structure.
Deck footing depth requirements vary by location and soil conditions. In Tennessee, the depth of deck footings is typically regulated by local building codes and can vary from 12 inches to 36 inches or more, depending on factors like frost depth and soil type.
The standard height for deck posts is usually between 36 inches and 42 inches, measured from the deck surface to the top of the railing. This height provides a safe and comfortable railing height for most residential decks.


Selecting the right deck posts and materials is critical to building a safe, stylish, and durable deck that enhances your outdoor living space.

By understanding the importance of deck posts, their proper usage, and the top deck post materials available in 2023, you can make an informed decision that suits your needs and preferences.

If you want to find out more about deck posts or other alternatives to your project, get in touch with us today at (865) 801-4545 or request a free quote!