Composite vs Wood: Which Builds the Better Deck?

Views: 0     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-10-12      Origin: Site

Needless to say, a deck is a great addition to your home. It can transform your outdoor environment from redundant to lively and captivating to head turners. Whether for casual evenings or corporate hosting, your deck will always come through.

However, as you envisage the perfect deck for you, a primary decision you'd have to make at some point is the type of deck material. And considering your budget and aesthetic preferences, the perfect deck for you may differ considerably. But, let’s narrow them down.

Two of the most popular choices of homeowners are wood and composite decks. Each material has its fair share of upsides and downsides. So, whether you’re looking to DIY or outsource to a professional, this article weighs both options considering a few criteria such as the upsides, pricing, quality, and of course, aesthetics.

composite decking

Wood decking vs composite decking

Firstly, both are decking materials, and as such serve similar purposes. However, their manufacturing process and other inherent features can position one as the superior choice.

What is composite decking?

In essence, composite is a wood-plastic material. This means that it contains recycled wood and other plastic materials. The manufacturing process involves grinding and compressing both materials into one solid and compact unit that may take different shapes. Usually, the wood content of composite decking can be sawdust and plastics are usually for recyclers. So, if you’re quite heavy on sustainability and a green ecosystem, you can help minimize your carbon footprint by opting in for composite decking. So, once the materials are mixed and compressed into planks, sealing follows alongside other beneficial processes such as fading and chemical treatments. Don’t be scared by these processes. They are quite straightforward and fast. So if you’re ordering a composite deck, you will receive your order before you know it. And even with an inexistent maintenance culture, you can enjoy your composite deck for several years.

Why composite decking?

Even as a relatively new material, the traction composite decking has been gaining in recent years is noteworthy. And of course, there are several reasons to justify this. Even though the material has wood as one of its components, it can resist almost any temperature and attack than what your regular wood prefers. Its manufacturing has a coating process that prevents potential rot, cracks, or damages caused by bugs. You can walk barefooted at will without worrying about anything. This is to say that your composite decking is future-proof.

If you’re considering wood decking, you should as well start adding the costs of constant staining, sealant, and sanding treatments almost every other year. However, with the composite material, all it will ever cost you is warm and clean water to prevent mold growth. Even in cases where you accidentally spill water or wine on it, all you have to do is scrub it away normally. It will never leave any stain on your composite decking.

Gone are those days when composite decking used to mimic more of plastic than wood. Considering the recent technological evolution in this regard, you can now get a more natural feeling from your composite decking. It can mimic any form of wood you want, ranging from the colors to the grains.

Are you long-term oriented when it comes to costs? Composite decking is your best bet. While it can be a little bit more expensive than wood, you will be getting value for your money, both in the short and long term. In fact, by the end of this guide, you’ll agree that this price difference is indeed justified. The average composite material will outlive the average wood, without demanding more costs of installation and maintenance. So, you’ll ddefinitely end up saving more.

Considering the number of positives, the reason why this material has gained a spot in the hearts of most homeowners is now more obvious.

wood plastic composite decking

What is wood decking?

Wood decking is made from majorly wood. In essence, it is not a hybrid like composite decking. And you’ll find it in different forms considering your budget and the quality you’re looking for. For someone working with a slim budget, you may want to consider the pressure-treated pine. Essentially, this is formed by subjecting pine to pressure alongside some chemical treatments to prolong its life span. After pine, you have the relatively expensive cedar and redwood. But if you want to explore the peak of the pyramid, ipe, the tropical hardwood, and tigerwood fit your bill.

Wood offers aesthetics, obviously. But when to naturality and traditional feeling, only a handful of materials can rival it as long as you maintain a consistent maintenance culture. Considering weather and rot resistant as well, some forms of wood may excel better than others. So, if you’re perhaps considering wood decking, you have to factor your climate in.

Why wood decking?

There are several reasons you might want to consider wood as your perfect decking choice. The first of them is that wood is relatively more affordable. Almost anyone can have pressure-treated pine decking at home. Yes, it is that cheap. The US lumberyard choices of redwood and cedar also give you great alternatives. However, remember that the actual cost of these materials may be influenced by their demand and supply in your location.

Besides being relatively affordable, wood gives a form of natural warmth, aesthetics, and beauty Especially if you're opting in for premium ipe and tigerwood, you will find yourself attracting head turners more often than ever. Wood needs protection, unlike composite decks. Hence, you might have to stain and use sealants on it. This even leaves more room for color and design customization.

Which is better between composite and wood decking?

To better understand which will work best for your intent, we will examine both materials under different headings of costs, maintenance, aesthetics, and overall quality.

Does composite have a higher quality than wood decking?

Yes, similarly priced composite decks offer more quality than their wood counterparts. The thing about wood decking is that before you can be sure of premium or top quality, you have to spend a fortune on maintenance, installation costs, as well as the type of wood itself.

With the polymer capping involved in the composite decking manufacturing process, you can be sure of superior weather, roof, and insect resistance, which you won't find in the average natural wood. One issue with wood decking is its susceptibility to moisture-induced damages. If you fail to keep applying paints and sealers, it will start rotting and cracking in no time. However, you'll never see this happen in composite decking. The only downside to the average composite decking is you may have to support it as the case may demand to prevent sagging.

All in all, if you weigh both prices side to side and compare them to the lifespan, quality, and ultimate maintenance demand, composite materials reign supreme.

wpc decking

How about the costs and maintenance demand?

To have a balanced view of this, you need to first understand whether you’re long-term or short-term oriented. The initial cost of both materials doesn't tell the whole story of how much they’ll actually cost. Depending on your choice of material, you may spend less or more in the long term.

Wood is the obvious choice for anyone with a short-term orientation. Its initial cost is cheaper than composite both in terms of installation and purchase. However, composite has quite a uniform price range regardless of the manufacturer. Conversely, wood doesn’t. And as such, the price you’ll pay may vary from one location to another depending on demand and supply.

If we then throw maintenance and fixing costs into the mix, you’ll notice an entirely different story. To prolong the lifetime of your wood deck, you'd typically have to spend a fortune, which is usually as high as $1000 yearly. This estimate doesn't include the labor cost of performing this maintenance.

But with composite decking, the only thing you might have to pay for is a clean cloth to scrub the surface. Besides, most manufacturers promise a warranty for composite decking which will potentially cover some damages according to their terms and conditions.

So, in a nutshell, if we factor all these in, you’ll discover that you’ll save more in the long term if you think composite.

Wood vs composite decking aesthetics

Although costs and quality should take up a key role in your decision-making, you defiantly can’t imagine your dream deck looking aesthetically unpleasing. In this regard, wood has always been the standard. However, composite decking is not so far off from it. But is wood’s aesthetics worth the risk for a material that is quite prone to deterioration, especially without proper maintenance?

Make a choice today

To get a clearer and fair picture of this, be sure to compare composite and wood of similar price ranges. But then, some of the points raised apply regardless of the price range.

Looking to take the first step? Then you should be exploring our state-of-the-art decking solutions at mexytech. We have a number of options that best reflect the upsides attribute to composite decking. So, be sure to contact us, and let’s help you weigh your options.

Foshan MexyTech Co., Ltd.


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