Composite vs Hardwood Decking

decking types

In planning to build a deck, homeowners and builders are torn between these choices- composite decking and hardwood decking.

Composite decking is made from reclaimed wood and recycled plastic. It was invented in the late 1980s and is engineered to look like real wood.

Hardwood decking is manufactured from timber which is from tropical slow-growing trees. Hardwood decking boards are ribbed or smooth. 

Advantages of Composite Decking

Composite decking is eco-friendly. Because it is made from recycled materials, it does not contribute to the destruction of our rainforests. 

It provides the look and feel of real wood.

It is easy to install. 

Each design is made for maximum durability and resists fading, scratching and staining. Composite decking manufacturers typically offer a 50-year warranty and a 25-year fade and stain warranty.

It won’t crack, warp nor rot which extends its lifespan.

It does not splinter making it safe for the whole family, especially for children and pets. 

composite decking and hardwood decking.

With composite decking, homeowners need not worry about sanding, painting or staining. It is guaranteed to be of low maintenance with minimal cleaning.

The initial cost of every board may be a bit higher than wood decking. However, when you think about the cost of the required ongoing maintenance, it would cost you less.

Also, composite deckings are available in a wide variety of colours and patterns. Composite decking accessories are also made readily available in different stores near you. 

In all, composite decking is the best flooring material out there for anyone happy to pay a bit more to get the best outdoor flooring. It is, without doubt, better than wood decking by far.

Disadvantages of Composite Decking

The colours are permanent. It is done to avoid damage and reduce the amount of maintenance needed. The shade and colours cannot be changed by just painting it. It is unavoidable that dark coloured composite decks may fade through the years.

Severe scratches and gouges are hard or impossible to repair. One needs to buy a new decking board for the replacement. 

Advantages of Wood Decking

Many consumers prefer to buy wood decking because of its natural look of wood. It does not appear to be fake and does not require additional enhancement to make it more natural.

Wood decking made from teak wood provides durability and strength. It does not buckle or break when a significant amount of weight is put over it. 

There are a lot of varieties of wooden decking boards to choose from. 

If the wooden deck boards are of high quality, such as cedar and redwood, they are less prone to rotting and pests.

Wooden decking is cheaper than composite decking. Prices depend upon the kind of would you are looking for. But still, wood decking is a great value for money.

The life expectancy of wooden decking is 40 years..

Disadvantages of Wood Decking

Wood decking boards can stain and scratch easily. 

It is prone to splintering and cracking.

Cheaper wood decking has a life expectancy of 10 to 15 years if properly maintained.

Wood decking requires high maintenance. In order to conserve its natural look, it needs constant repainting and restaining. 

Wooden decking involves the cutting of trees. For the environmentally conscious, it is not good to consider using these decking boards. 

Other Alternatives for Decking

Plastic Decking

Plastic decking is also known as PVC decking. It is maintenance-free because it is made with 100% plastic.

Aluminum Decking

Aluminium decking is the newest form of decking. Many are replacing their wooden decks to aluminium decks because of its potential to last for a long period. The only requirement to maintain its beauty is to clean it. 

Fibre Cement Decking

It is made from mixing cement, cellulose fibre and sand. This type of decking can withstand extreme temperatures and any weather conditions. The fibre cement decking boards are ideal for indoor and outdoor floors. They can be coated with different colours and shades.

Making the Right Selection

Because of so many options available to choose from, it is best to take time and find out the pros and cons of each type. 

Know the manufacturer and check the warranty given before making up your mind.

Check with your builder the deck design and discuss what suits your budget and taste. 

Tags: composite, decking wood, wood

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