Composite Decking Vs. Wood Decking
In the contest of composite vs. wood decking, which one wins out?
A deck is a perfect addition to your home for the summer months, especially as people begin to become vaccinated and socializing opens up again, slowly but surely. But whether you’re having a new deck installed or giving a facelift to an old deck, you may find yourself torn between two popular decking options: composite decking or wood decking. So which is the best option for your home? Here are some of the ways to break it down.
What Is Composite Decking?
As the name suggests, composite decking is decking made of a composite of materials: most of the time, it’s a mixture of wood, plastic, and some kind of binding material. This helps to give composite decking the look of wood, but it also makes it less permeable to water, so it’s a little lower maintenance. But we’ll get into the pros and cons of each ahead.
When it comes to lifespan, both wood and composite decking can last up to 30 years. However, this is much easier to do with composite decking. Wood decking must be regularly stained and cleaned to help shield water from getting into the boards. This is far less of a concern for composite decking, so for the most part, composite decking wins out.
As we’ve said above, composite decking requires much less maintenance. It doesn’t absorb water in the way wood siding does, is smoother, and easier to clean. Meanwhile, wood decks need to be cleaned in a specific way, protected from the elements, and regularly stained in order to prevent warping or splintering. You will have some maintenance for any deck, but it’s likely to be considerably less for composite decking than other materials.
When it comes to upfront cost, wood decking is the clear winner. A wood deck can cost anywhere between $8,000 and $11,000, though of course, you have to figure in the cost of future maintenance. On the other hand, composite decking can cost almost twice as much. The upside is that it requires less maintenance and will lead to fewer repairs, so it could save you money in the long run.
Composite decking can take on the look and feel of wood and might be convincing at a distance, but it’s a bit too smooth and manufactured up close. For some, the look of authentic wood — and the feel of authentic wood — can’t be beat. But before you make your decision on looks alone, remember that real wood can warp, splinter, split, or rot. In short, without strong maintenance, the beauty of wood siding can easily fade. On the other hand, composite decking is a great option if you want a smooth, modern look with a classic touch.
Quality of Materials
Of course, ultimately it comes down to the quality of the materials being used. For instance, yellow pine, while a softwood, is also a very strong wood, so it’s likely to stand up better than other woods. There are also cheap composite decking options that might fall apart well before 30 years is up. Whatever decking you choose, you want to be sure that the materials are high quality. Ask your contractor for recommendations when it comes to the quality of decking materials.
In most ways, composite decking outperforms wood decking, which is why it’s increasing in popularity. But some wood decks — like yellow pine decks — will never go out of style. It also comes down to the right remodeling company to install that decking. Fortunately, you can count on MBC Remodeling. Contact us today to learn about our decking options or to schedule a free consultation.