June 21, 2021

Composite Vs. Wood Decking


Composite Decking

Pros

  • Durability – Composite decking is made to withstand the weather. It’s manufactured from durable materials that will not rot, warp, or splinter, and they are mildew and mold resistant.
  • Bug Resistant – Insects don’t feed on it like they do with wood
  • Color endurance – It is fade and stain resistant.
  • Customizable – Match different colors of deck boards with different design patterns (Inlays)
  • Eco-Friendly – It’s made from recyclable materials
  • Low-Maintenance – It’s maintenance free: no sanding, staining, painting, or sealing is needed
  • Installation Friendly – It can be installed easily with a user-friendly interlocking system
  • Fire resistant
  • Warranty product – All composite decking comes with a bare minimum 25 years warranty and up to 50 years!

Example of a Composite Deck

composite vs wood decking

The age-old question in the decking industry is, “is composite worth the investment?” Now more than ever that question is relevant with the price of wood skyrocketing. We understand that investing in your outdoor living space is nothing to take lightly. Investing in what is going to give you the most value is important. If you are here, then you are on the track to making an educated decision on your deck boards.


Wood Decking

Pros

  • Initial cost is about 15% cheaper than composite.
  • More room for error when cutting and screwing down.

Cons

  • Lifespan – Wood decks have an average of 15-20 years life span,if built properly. Even then it will warp, shrink & splinter over time.
  • Durability – Wood is prone to water and will rot,fade & mold if not maintained properly.
  • Unsustainable Product – The production of wood material puts a strain on our world’s forest. We can not plant and grow trees as fast as we use them.
  • High-Maintenance – Wood needs to be sand,stained,sealed often and cleaned yearly. All this adds to the overall cost of the product in the long run.
  • NO WARRANTY – Because of wood’s natural properties, it can not be warrantied. Once something is damaged it is up to you to pay for new materials.
  • Cost – As of 2020 wood prices have gone up 200%!Treated wood is now comparable to a low grade composite.

Wood Decking Doesn’t Last Long

composite vs wood decking

Comparisions (Composite vs. Wood)

local-deck-buiilders

10 Year Comparisions

10year

Keep In Mind!

  • Cost – The initial cost of installing a composite deck is higher than wood. However, the low-maintenance cost for composite decking evens out those costs over time.
  • Repair Costs – If you receive significant scrapes or scratches in your composite decking, it can’t just be sanded out. A board will need to be replaced. (higher-end composite boards have higher scratch resistance properties & some are reversible!)
  • Color Changes – You can’t change the color of your composite decking. What you order is what you’ll have for the life of your deck ( BUT you can choose multiple colors at the start)
  • Customizable – Some composite decking materials can be slippery when wet (there are features you can add to minimize this & some deck boards come with the highest rating slip resistance base on international standards)

The Bottom Line

Although wood might look like the cheaper option on the surface, when you take a closer look at all the factors, it ends up costing you more over its lifespan. No product is perfect but Even with the specific cons of composite, there are options to minimize or eliminate the effects. The biggest advantage of composite apart from its Durability, Bug Resistant, Color Endurance, Customizable, Eco-Friendly, Low-Maintenance, Installation friendly, & Fire resistant is its Warranty.

Regardless of which brand or style of composite you decide to go with, at a bare minimum you will be getting a 25-year stain and fade warranty and a 25-year structural integrity warranty. So if anything happens to your deck boards they will be replaced at no cost to you. You do not get this with wood, once you buy the wood that is it; anything happens to it, it is coming out of your pocket. Let us ask ourselves again “IS COMPOSITE WORTH THE INVESTMENT?!”