Composite is one of the most popular decking choices today. Due to its design, it offers many advantages over wood and plastic decks. But despite being an excellent material, composite decking has disadvantages too. What are its disadvantages that you should consider, especially if you are planning to build or install a composite deck?
Disadvantages of Composite Deck
As one of the newest materials for decking, composites are materials designed to be a superior material to wood. Composites, also called wood-plastic composites, are materials made from combining both plastic and wood fibres, which also combines both of their advantages. Unfortunately, no such perfect decking material exists. Here are some of the most common problems and issues that you should expect when using composites.
- High Initial Cost – One of the common reasons why people don’t use or avoid composites is the price. Compared to other decking materials, composite decking boards are among the most expensive choices. Expect to spend almost twice for a composite deck compared to a wooden deck.
- Not Recommended for Painting or Staining – Another possible issue with composites is that most manufacturers don’t recommend painting or staining their boards. Of course, you can still paint it, but doing so has many disadvantages. For instance, many manufacturers’ warranty clearly states that you’ll void it as soon as you paint or stain their products. Painting or staining composites will remove its excellent qualities, such as low-maintenance, anti-scratch, and anti-fade resistance.
These are the only common problems with composite decking. Compared to other decking materials, composites have significantly lesser disadvantages. But the question is, are these disadvantages enough to warrant not using composites?
To answer the question, you’ll need to look at composite decking’s advantages. You’ll have to decide for yourself if the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
Advantages of Composite Decking
As previously mentioned, composites are materials designed to be a better alternative to wood. For this reason, it has many advantages to typical wood decking. Here are some of the best ones.
- Low-maintenance – One of composite decking’s best qualities is that it’s low-maintenance. You don’t need to put a considerable amount of effort, money, and time to keep it at its best. Most of the time, a garden hose or a pressure wash at minimal settings is enough to give it a clean. In some cases, you will need to brush it thoroughly, but many suggest doing it twice a year.
- Cost-efficient – Despite being the most expensive, composite decking can be the most cost-efficient decking. Because of it’s low-maintenance, you won’t need to spend hundreds for paint, stains, or seals that you would need to buy if you own a wood deck. Over time, you’ll save more money from practically free upkeep costs than limiting your budget to a cheap wooden deck.
- Long-lasting – Despite not needing any special care and attention, composite decks can last for decades. A high-quality composite deck is expected to last for at least 25 years. Some companies also offer warranties to go with that deck life expectancy.
- Beautiful Appearance – Except for a few instances, you don’t want to paint a composite deck. But the good news is, there’s very little reason to do so. Composite decks are beautiful, which features natural, wood-like appearances. Some decking boards also have grained textures, which makes it look even more authentic. You can also find single colour composite decks, which works well with many house designs.
- Superior Durability – Composite decks can withstand weather and other elements better than many decking types. Composites are resistant to moisture, mould, and insects. It’s also more resistant to shrinking, expanding, and warping. High-quality composite decks also have capping, which further protects the boards from scratches, fading, and slipping.
As you can tell, there are many advantages of composite decking. Despite the disadvantages of composite decking, such as high initial cost and being unpaintable, its strong points make up for it. You may want to see it personally to believe. Fortunately, you can get free samples from many composite decking businesses to see it for yourself.