How Do I Choose the Best Awning Materials?

Karize Uy
Karize Uy
Woman with hand on her hip
Woman with hand on her hip

Choosing the best awning materials can depend on different factors, such as durability and resistance to the weather. Shoppers must also take into consideration how easy the material can be cleaned and restored if the awning suffered some damage. Other factors that can help you decide are the design and how well the material can provide shade.

Probably the most important feature to consider in awning materials is durability, because awnings are usually exposed to harsh elements like the wind, rain, and sunlight. If you want a fabric awning, canvas and acrylic are some good choices, as they are very thickly woven and have great resistance from tearing, although canvas in particular can cultivate some molds if exposed to too much moisture. Other durable fabrics include polyester and vinyl, both of which are less resistant to molds and color fading. You can also ask the salesperson if the awning fabric is treated with a sealing agent, as this makes the fabric stronger.

If you want a waterproof awning, you might want to veer away from fabrics and look for metallic and plastic awning materials. Waterproof materials tend to be more durable, less prone to tearing and stretching, and can last twice as long compared to fabric awnings. Metal awnings can include aluminum and steel, while polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a good choice for plastic awnings. These metal and plastic awnings are also easier to clean because once they have been soaped and rinsed, they can be reinstalled immediately, unlike the fabrics that should be dried first to prevent their colors from fading. Wood is also a durable material, though you have to make sure it is varnished to prevent molds and to make it more weather-resistant.

Design is also an important element in choosing awning materials, especially for houses designed with a certain theme, such as a country or a nautical look. In general, fabric awnings provide more variety in designs, colors, and shapes. They also provide more flexibility, as they can easily be retracted, folded, and kept away when the awning is not being used. Metal and plastic awnings, on the other hand, usually come in flat, rectangular sheets that can also be folded down when not in use. If you want a cozy, natural ambiance, fabric materials may be the better choice, but for a minimalist, functional design, metal and plastic awnings are good choices.

Awnings are made to provide shade, so you would want to choose awning materials that effectively serve their purpose for shelter. Metal and plastic awnings are solid, opaque materials, so they generally provide a better shelter as compared to fabric materials. If you still want a bit of sunlight to penetrate through the awning, then you can choose fabric materials, but make sure to ask whether they are ultraviolet (UV)-resistant to protect you from the harmful rays of the sun.

Discussion Comments


If you have a natural wood deck, you can't go wrong with a wood awning. This will give your outdoor living area a uniform, attractive look. The only downside to a wood awning is that you must be prepared to use a stain or wood sealant every few years, just like the type you use on your deck.


Though metal awnings are durable and easy to clean, I think that they also make patios and decks seem hotter because they heat up and hold in direct sunlight. Fabric materials do not make durable awnings in my opinion, but vinyl and plastic do. These awning materials also help to keep patios and decks cooler because they detract the sun.

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      Woman with hand on her hip