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What distinguishes composite decking from traditional wood decking?

kokou adzo



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Select a material for the deck. This is among the most critical decisions that must be undertaken during the planning phase. The majority of individuals elect for wood or wood-plastic composites. By contrasting the advantages and disadantages of composite and wood decking, we can assist you in selecting the optimal material for your deck, regardless of whether you intend to install it yourself or hire a professional.

Before choosing a deck material, it is prudent to be aware that treated lumber is the predominant structural material for decks. This is the portion of the deck that is typically concealed and requires an inspection from beneath. Consequently, the decision-making process typically pertains solely to the components comprising the terrace surface and railings.

Choices for Wood Decking

Decking and balustrades may be constructed from an exceptional variety of wood species. The United States is home to numerous pressure-treated pine, cedar, and oak lumberyards. Those who appreciate rare wood species may appreciate tropical hardwood decking options such as tigerwood, ipe (pronounced “EE-pay”), and mahogany.

What Constitutes Composite Decking?

These planks are also referred to as “composite wood decking” or wood-plastic composite decking by some. Since their inception in the late 1980s. They are constructed from wood fibers encased in plastic. Local lumberyards and big-box home improvement retailers, such as The Home Depot and Lowe’s, carry composite decking throughout the United States.

As more people and architects become aware of the issues associated with wood decking, a significant number are opting for high-performance composite decking.

What are the benefits and drawbacks of composite and wood decking?

Wood decking is favored by numerous householders due to its accessibility, affordability, and aesthetic appeal. Decks constructed from wood are susceptible to decay, and splinters, and require considerable maintenance. While composite wood may require less maintenance than natural wood, some individuals are concerned that it will not have the same aesthetic appeal. However, advancements in manufacturing have enabled the creation of composites that resemble costly wood without the maintenance issues associated with wooden decks.

When making a decision between wood and composite decking, it is important to consider the following:

Which One Looks Better?

Initially, composite decking exhibited an artificial and plastic-like appearance. As an alternative, certain contemporary composites feature a distinct appearance and a random embossed texture pattern that ensures no two boards are identical.

Which Is Better at Refusing Water?

A significant issue with wooden decks is that the planks absorb water readily. Wooden decks that are not routinely stained, sealed, and painted will inevitably deteriorate, buckling, splintering, splitting, and eventually disappearing.

Which One Requires the Least Maintenance?

In order to protect wooden decking from water, insect, and weather damage, it must be regularly sealed, pigmented, and painted. How frequently must a wooden veranda be painted, stained, and sealed? Certainly never, ever, ever! Planks of composite decking require only sweeping or washing to maintain their strength and aesthetic appeal.

What Are Certain Things Unaffected by Insects?

Rodents and insects are capable of penetrating wooden structures. While standard painting and coating may impede the progression of damage, they are unable to entirely halt it. Termites and other wood-eating insects are unable to enter composite decks due to the absence of painting or sealing requirements.

Which One Can Walk Barefoot?

Splinters will accumulate on all types of wood decking over time, particularly if it is exposed to fluctuations in temperature and moisture. Composite decking, which consists of tiny wood strands encased in plastic, remains splinter-free despite exposure to weather fluctuations. This is particularly essential for areas frequented by barefoot individuals, such as pool decks, and areas where children and pets have sensitive feet.

What is the expense distinction?

When individuals are debating between wood and composite decks, cost is the primary consideration. Among the advantages and disadvantages of timber decks, its affordability is unquestionably a benefit. In most cases, wood decking is less expensive than composite decking, particularly when the initial investment is considered.

Even though wood is initially less expensive, composite decking typically pays for itself within two to three years when annual maintenance expenses are factored in. Instead of composite deck brands, the price difference is also influenced by the condition of the local market and the variety of wood selected.

Which One is Best for Work?

Wood and plastics are both simple to join and cut using household instruments. A benefit of composite decking is that heating it facilitates the formation of curved deck components.

Which Gives You a Cooler Surface Temperature?

The impact of temperature variations on timber and composite decks is distinct. Direct sunlight can cause composite decking to overheat, whereas wood decking typically performs better during the summer. This is due to the viscosity and melting point of composites.

Ultimately, hot days will be more comfortable on your veranda. Blisters can initiate their development on the feet at temperatures as minimal as 109 degrees Fahrenheit. This 35% disparity becomes particularly conspicuous during the height of summer.

Choosing Which One to Make

In order to narrow down the extensive assortment, it is beneficial to initially determine one’s preferred type of wood decking and subsequently compare it to their preferred type of composite decking.

Consequently, the decision between treated lumber and composite, cedar and composite, or redwood and composite is simplified. This eliminates the necessity of comparing scores of alternatives side by side.


Kokou Adzo is the editor and author of He is passionate about business and tech, and brings you the latest Startup news and information. He graduated from university of Siena (Italy) and Rennes (France) in Communications and Political Science with a Master's Degree. He manages the editorial operations at

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