Wood vs. Composite: Choosing the Right Decking Material

When replacing an existing deck or installing a brand new one, the first step of the process is selecting the right decking material. There are two main options for homeowners to consider: wood and composite decking. Let’s take a closer look and compare the benefits and drawbacks of each type:

Composite decking

Composite decks have grown more popular in recent years as the quality of the material has improved. Composite boards are made out of a blend of wood fibers and recycled plastic. They can come in a variety of different color options, but are generally found in white or gray shades. While it can mimic the appearance of a wooden deck, composite simply can’t offer the warm, natural beauty of real wood.

Composite decks do offer some attractive benefits for homeowners. They are low maintenance, and may not require as much upkeep as natural wood. Composite decks are easy to clean. It offers a sleek and stylish look, for homeowners who may prefer a material with a more modern feel. Composite materials can be very durable, and many manufacturers offer warranties. However, it can be quite costly to purchase and install. Homeowners on a budget may not want to consider this option, since it can be twice as expensive to install as a real wood deck.

Wood decking

Wood has long been the standard, preferred material for decks, as it offers high quality durability and a beautiful natural look. It’s generally less expensive and more durable. Wood can also be stained or painted to achieve a desired look. It’s both easy and affordable to use for a new or existing deck.

Pressure treated wood is one of the most popular options, because it’s so economical. This type of wood has been treated to resist damage from insects like termites, as well as decay from the elements. However, it will become weathered, and requires regular maintenance. It should be stained or sealed to preserve its integrity.

Other wood options include cedar wood, which is a soft wood, Douglas fir, and Mahogany. Each one has benefits and drawbacks, so if you decide to go with real wood, it’s important to consider each type. Your location and your budget will likely factor in to your decision, since some real woods are better suited to certain regions than others.

One thing to keep in mind is that natural wood does require some annual upkeep and maintenance. It should be cleaned and sealed to ensure that the wood is protected from the weather and water damage. It may also need to be sanded down in some spots, especially if it becomes splintered. Real wood is susceptible to damage over time from the elements, but with proper care, it can last for years without needing replacement. Depending on which kind of lumber you use, you could achieve a great look for an affordable price.

When deciding which type of material to use for your deck, consider your budget and the look that you desire. Composite decking is becoming more popular, but real wood offers a warm, natural appearance that complements any home.


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