When building a deck, one of your first decisions is what kind of material to use. With decking, you have a few options. Two of the best and most-used materials are composites and wood. But the question is, which one of them is better? If you’re building, which one should you choose?
To help you better, let’s compare wood and composite decks in detail. Some of the things that we’ll consider are the initial price, safety, maintenance, durability, and appearance.
One of the major deciding factors when buying materials is the price, as the budget is one of the first things that you should plan. When it comes to the initial cost of installation, which is cheaper; composites decks or wood decks?
First, let’s look at wood. There are two kinds of materials for wooden decks; softwoods and hardwoods. For the more common softwood and some cheaper hardwoods, expect to spend around £1000 per 15 square metres. As for the more expensive hardwood, the price can go up around £2000 for the most luxurious ones.
How about composite decking? Composite decking materials are significantly more expensive. For a square foot of composites, expect to cash out £1600-£2000.
So, when looking at the initial cost, wood is the more affordable option. So if you don’t have a lot of funds, it’s more reasonable for you to build a wooden deck.
We’re not only talking about how easy to clean a deck is but how much money would you spend for its regular maintenance. So in this regard, is composite deck better than wood?
Wood is quite maintenance-heavy, especially the lower quality ones. You will need regular cleaning, as you don’t want moulds growing on its surface. You also need to stain, seal, paint, and sand decks every few years. It will cost you around £25-£30 a year.
How about composites? You do need to maintain composite decking, but not as frequent as wooden decks. And it’s simpler to clean a composite deck. It involves using water, some soap, and a brush. The only time you’ll be spending money is when you’re replacing a decking board. So it’s likely that you don’t need to spend at all.
So, when it comes to maintenance, composites win. Not only are they easier to clean, but you also don’t need to spend more on sealants, paints, and oils.
When building a deck, safety should always be a top priority. So is composite decking safer than wood?
When it comes to decking, the main concern is slipping. When wet, composite decks are more slippery than wood. You can reduce composite decks’ smoothness by choosing grained boards. But in general, wooden decks are safer. However, there’s an exception. When wood decking is maintained poorly, it can be more slippery than composites. Mould growth can cause a lot of accidents.
The verdict; when maintained properly, wood can be safer than composites. If you’re planning to build a composite deck, go for the boards with grains, as they are generally safer.
Of course, you want a deck that can last for a long time. How does composite decking do compared to wood?
Wood, with proper maintenance, can last for at most 15 years. You’ll also need to be careful, as wood is susceptible to moisture, fading, and splitting. They also don’t do well against weather damage.
On the other hand, composites can last for more than 25 years. Some even claim that a properly-maintained deck can last for five decades. Composite decking materials are also resistant to moisture, mould growth, splitting, and splintering. It also handles rain and UV rays fairly well.
For durability, composite decks take the cake. Not only are they resistant to damage, but they also last twice as much as wood, or even more.
Nothing beats the look and feel of real wood. It’s why people still build wooden decks today. But composites are not far behind. As decking technology improves, composites are becoming more and more wood-like. Not only do they look like real wood, but they also feel like wood. This feature is possible due to the addition of grains.
Overall, composite decks are better than wood. While the initial cost is higher, composite decks are more durable and low-maintenance. They can also be as safe and as beautiful as decks made with real wood.