One of the most important decisions you may have to make when you design the deck of your dreams is the kind of decking you will use. Wood and plastic-wood composites are two of the more used materials. This article addresses considerations to remember when contrasting wood vs. composite decking, whether you intend to do the job yourself or employ a contractor.
Options for Wood Decking
There are various wood species suitable for use as decking and railing. Cedar, redwood, and pressure-treated pine lumber are common choices at US lumber yards. Tropical hardwood decking choices for homeowners involved in tropical wood species include tigerwood, ipe, and mahogany.
Decking Made of Composite Wood
Wood-plastic composite decking (also known as “composite wood decking”) was developed in the 1980s and is composed of wood fibers wrapped in plastic. This kind of decking is widely accessible at major home improvement stores such as The Home Depot and Lowe’s, as well as smaller lumberyards throughout the United States.
When more architects and homeowners become aware of the issues associated with wood decking, more are moving to composite decking which is higher performance as compared to the other form of decking.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Wood vs. Composite Decking
The familiarity of wood decking among the population is the main reason why many homeowners use it. Simultaneously, wood decking issues such as splinters, rust, and high upkeep trigger a slew of headaches. While the composite type of decking is less expensive in the long run, many people are concerned that it may not look as good as wood decking. However, advancements in engineering have resulted in composites that mimic the lush look of wood without the problems of preserving a wood deck.
Here are several key points to remember when choosing between timber and composite decking:
Although the first forms of composite decking seemed fake and more like plastic than wood, certain contemporary composites have a variegated appearance and randomized embossed grain design, but these two deckings are not similar.
Repair and upkeep
To guard against moisture and prolong its life, people can paint, polish, or cement the decking on a regular basis. Composites require simply washing and sweeping to preserve their beauty.
Although all-wood decking can inevitably splinter, composite decking is constructed of tiny wood fibers encased in plastic and will not. This is particularly relevant while walking on the deck barefoot, as well as for children and pets with delicate feet.
The cost is a distinct positive among the advantages and disadvantages of wood decking. Wood decking costs less to purchase than composite decking, especially at first. When the expense of annual maintenance is factored in, composite usually covers the cost in 2-3 years, despite the lower starting cost of timber. The price difference is often determined by the wood species chosen versus the brand of wooden decking, as well as local market conditions.
You may also calculate the costs of using timber or composite wood decking using simple online applications.
Both wood and composites are quick to cut and fasten with standard household equipment. One benefit of composites is that they can be bent more effectively (by heating them) to create curved deck parts.
Making Your Selection
To break through the clutter, decide which kind of wood decking you want and then equate it to your preferred composite. As a result, rather than trying to compare hundreds of alternatives, whether it is cedar vs. composite, redwood vs. composite or treated timber vs. composite, the decision becomes easier.