Composite decking vs. wood, which is better for your deck project? There are pros and cons to both materials and plenty of options to choose from at the home improvement store. Whether you plan to DIY the deck yourself or hire a professional, it’s important to do your research before investing in any type of composite or wood products for your project. In this article we’ll take look at composite decking vs. wood to help you save time and money and make the best decision.
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Composite Decking Vs. Wood
A deck is the portal to an outdoor space and where families spend a lot of time playing and entertaining during the warmer months.
Whether you are thinking of building a deck from scratch, replacing a current deck or just making minor repairs and improvements, there are a lot of options when it comes to decking material.
We have a deck in our backyard that is in need of some serious repair. It was already installed when we moved in 10 years ago and after my daughter was born six years ago we added a railing and baby gates for safety.
Our deck is made of wood and has not held up well over time. There are boards that are rotting and we will definitely have to replace it within the next year.
Living in the Pacific Northwest, things stay pretty wet year-round which means outdoor wood structures will rot faster and not last as long as they might in other parts of the country.
I have been looking into upgrading to composite decking and feel like it might be the right choice for us.
I recently checked out the TimberTech website and ordered some free samples to see what composite wood is really like.
They sent over a sample pack for me to check out. I was really impressed with the quality of the samples. They genuinely look like real wood.
You may be wondering whether composite decking is right for your project and if it’s worth the added cost.
Let’s take a look at composite decking versus wood and see how they stack up.
What is composite decking made of?
TimberTech offers a range of decking material options including high-quality composite decking made of a combination of plastic and wood fibers, and a premium decking made of 100% PVC material. Depending on your budget and the needs of your project there are lots of options available.
How long do composite decks last?
Traditional wood decks have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years. Because composite decking is weather, insect, and rot resistant, it will last longer. TimberTech offers warranties up to 50 years depending on which style you choose.
Composite wood will cost more than traditional lumber but you will save money in the long run because it lasts so much longer and costs less to maintain.
Is composite decking good around pools?
Unlike traditional lumber decking, using composite decking around pools can provide a smooth, clean surface for many years with little to no maintenance.
Composite decking is more resistant to rot and decay from moisture and isn’t as susceptible to the deterioration commonly seen with wood. It helps protect against rotting, warping and cupping which are caused by water.
Can composite decking rot?
While composite decks can help resist rotting and are considered more durable than wood, it doesn't mean they're completely safe from damage. Patio furniture or debris from a passing storm may scratch the surface. Unlike wood, which you can sand and refinish, composite decking can't be refinished, but in general - you shouldn’t need to.
Is composite decking slippery?
Real wood is more likely to have smooth spots caused by algae growth and wear on the surface of the wood. These areas may be slippery when wet.
Composite decking has a textured finish that mimics real wood grain. This helps make it slip resistant.
Can composite decking be cut?
You can cut composite decking the same way you would cut any soft pine. A power circular saw or miter saw will work. You can also use a table saw with support extensions.
Do composite decks get hot?
Composite decking does not typically get hotter than pressure treated wood. On a hot summer day with the sun beating down, nearly any surface will get hot however composite decking is more UV resistant and helps resist fading from the sun’s rays.
TimberTech has engineered certain formulations of their composite decking products to minimize heat build-up, so they’re cooler under your feet. If you are building a deck that will be in direct sunlight all day you may want to choose a lighter composite finish so that it won’t absorb as much of the sun’s heat.
Is composite decking termite resistant?
The particles in the composite wood are tightly combined and it won't warp, so termites are not able to enter into the composite wood deck boards.
Have you tried composite decking for an outdoor project? Let me know how you liked working with it and make sure to check out the TimberTech website to see all their products.