Building decks with the best fire-resistant decking materials can increase the value of your home while keeping your home safer from fires.

Fire-resistant materials help keep fires at bay. However, they are not fireproof, meaning they can withstand direct flames only temporarily before igniting or becoming dangerously hot.

If you are planning to build or rebuild your deck, here are the best fire-resistant decking materials that you can use.

Top Three Fire Resistant Decking Materials

Woods are highly flammable, but treatment with fire retardants can make them fire-resistant. 

Manufacturers typically add fire-retardant compounds during wood pressure treatment.

These can be applied to a deck’s underside to protect from windblown embers. If you live in an area prone to wildfires, storing combustibles underneath decks isn’t advised, as this poses additional fire risk.

FRT wood is a popular and economical choice for fire-resistant deck building. It retains the natural aesthetics of wood while providing crucial fire resistance. FRT lumber meets code requirements in wildfire zones but needs periodic retreatments to maintain effectiveness. Overall, FRT wood is an accessible and reliable option for fire safety.

Fire-resistant composite boards are popular because they replicate the look of natural wood while being waterproof and leach-resistant. However, not all composites have fire-resistant properties, so it’s best to do additional research before purchasing.

You should consider fire-rated decking materials in wildfire zones regardless of aesthetics or cost. For example, California codes require fire-rated deck boards on elevated decks and porches. Using a lower-rated decking material may require a more ignition-resistant exterior siding on the home.

Composite options offer durability, low maintenance, and customization. Wood-plastic composites embed wood fibers in polymer resins. Other composites utilize polypropylene, polyethylene, or similar polymers. Quality boards meet CAL Fire standards for ignition resistance. 

Unlike wood, they won’t rot, crack, or splinter over time. While more expensive initially, composites require less lifetime maintenance.

Autoclaved aerated concrete blocks weigh about half as much as standard concrete blocks but demonstrate superior fire resistance. AAC holds one of the highest fire ratings among deck-building materials. The partnerships provide insulation and won’t emit toxic fumes if exposed to high heat because they are non-combustible.

A six-inch AAC block typically withstands fire for four hours. A slimmer two-inch block still resists fire for two hours. You can utilize AAC for walls and flooring.

In wildfire regions, fire-resistant deck materials boost home values. However, lightweight AAC blocks cost more in terms of both materials and installation. The specialized cutting and placement of blocks require extra labor and expertise. Still, for unparalleled fire safety, AAC is an optimal choice.

Protecting Decks from Wildfires

Alongside fire-resistant decking, additional safety precautions can protect decks and homes:

  • Coat exposed wood with fire-retardant finishes
  • Ensure multiple deck exits lead away from homes
  • Frequently clear combustibles from underneath decks
  • Keep ABC fire extinguishers handy to suppress small outdoor blazes
  • Remove dry debris and vegetation around deck structures
  • Store flammable patio furniture indoors before fire season

Preventative measures, wise landscaping choices, and fire-resistant building materials all bolster deck survival in wildfires.

Choosing Quality Fire-Rated Deck Boards

Several factors matter when selecting decking in high-risk fire zones:

  • Ignition resistance: Composites and treated lumber ignite less readily
  • Flame spread: Materials that hinder rapid flame movement across their surface
  • Combustibility: Noncombustible stone and metal options are best
  • Durability: Withstand heat and embers over the long term
  • Maintenance: Upkeep is required to maintain fire resistance
Today’s Homeowner Tips

Compare products’ actual fire ratings closely. Higher ratings signal better ignition resistance and overall fire performance. Aesthetics and cost also impact decking decisions. Partner with experienced deck builders to craft code-compliant, firewise outdoor living spaces shielding homes.

Is Fire-Resistant Decking Worthwhile?

Although installing fire-resistant decking costs more initially, it delivers vital protection in wildfire-prone areas by resisting burning for years. Flame-retardant lumber, fire-rated composite boards, and nonflammable concrete materials thwart deck fires that could spread to homes. 

Along with reduced fire risks, firewise decks elevate property value — impressive benefits that offset their added expense over time for homes in fire zones. Meet with qualified deck contractors to discuss your unique space’s optimal fireproof decking solutions.

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FAQs About Fire Resistant Deck Materials

What decking material has the greatest fire resistance?

Autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC) retains one of the highest fire ratings among deck boards. These lightweight concrete blocks resist direct flames and extreme temperatures for hours.

When is fire-resistant decking mandated?

California regulations demand ignition-resistant decking materials on elevated decks and porches in designated high-fire hazard zones.

Is Trex composite decking fire-resistant?

Most Trex boards meet Class C flame spread requirements at a minimum. Select Trex lines achieve a Class B rating by further deterring ignition and fire progression. While not completely fireproof, Trex resists flames much better than natural wood.

Can wood deck boards be used in fire-prone areas?

Yes, with fire retardant-treated lumber approved for wildland-urban interface (WUI) areas that surround wildlands. FRT wood strongly resists ignition while keeping the affordability and workability of natural wood.

How much does a fireproof deck cost to install?

On average, fire-resistant decking costs $8 to $12 per square foot installed, compared to $3 to $9 per square foot for routine pressure-treated lumber. Factoring in long-term financial protections makes this initial investment pay dividends.

Editorial Contributors
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Elise LaChapelle


Elise LaChapelle is a copywriter with over a decade's experience in the digital space. She specializes in blogging, website content, social media, and e-mail marketing across a diverse array of clients, helping them to connect with their target audience through concise, compelling messaging. When she's not crafting copy, Elise enjoys working out, cooking, and spending time with her husband and two daughters.

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Amy DeYoung


Amy DeYoung has a passion for educating and motivating homeowners to improve their lives through home improvement projects and preventative measures. She is a content writer and editor specializing in pest control, moving, window, and lawn/gardening content for Today’s Homeowner. Amy utilizes her own experience within the pest control and real estate industry to educate readers. She studied business, communications, and writing at Arizona State University.

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