While building or replacing your deck, you must decide on what type of decking materials you will use. As with other building things, decking materials differ in cost, looks, maintenance, and durability. Both wood and composite decking have advantages and drawbacks. If you need wood flooring repair, there are some things you should know about the wood and composite decking before choosing one.
So, here is a list of pros and cons of wood and composite decking.
Wood decking materials can either be pressure-treated woods or natural hardwoods like cedar and mahogany. Pressure-treated woods come in different grades. High-grade woods are usually dried before and after pressure-treating. Wood decking looks more natural due to its deep red color. Thus, it remains a top choice for many homeowners.
- Natural look: Wood decking looks more real and natural since it is made from natural woods. Most people prefer wood decking as it does not need decorations to look appealing.
- Wide range of wood species: There are different species of woods in which wooden decks can be built from. They include; red cedar, white cedar, teak, ipes, mahogany, among other hardwoods. This gives you a chance to go with your preference.
- Strength and durability: Wood decking materials are normally strong and can last for a longer period. Hardwood decking can last for 20 to 40years. In this case, teak wood is considered the most durable wood decking material.
- Flexibility: Wood decking can easily be removed and re-arranged into new styles.
- High maintenance: Wood decking requires regular painting, sanding, and staining. Such upkeep can sometimes be expensive.
- Low life expectancy: Some timbers especially the cheaper ones cannot last for more than 15 years. They crack easily and change color.
- Expensive: Durable timber decking usually comes at a higher price in terms of materials and labor.
Composite decking materials are made of a mixture of wood fibers and recycled plastic. They are manufactured with little or no natural products.
They are normally seen as an alternative for natural wood decking.
- Less Maintenance: The maintenance of composite decking is usually lower than that of wood. Composite decking does not require regular painting or sanding. You just need to clean it occasionally with soap and water.
- Rot-resistant: Since it is water impermeable, composite decking is not prone to rotting. The plastic content in these materials prevent the accumulation of moisture making it resistant to corrosion.
- More durable: Composite decking is made for maximum longevity. It is resistant to staining and fading. Besides, it does not crack easily. Its durability can also be improved with technological advancements such as manufacturing harder plastic.
- Wide range of colors: Composite wood decking comes in a variety of colors including gray, brown, dark colors. You can choose a color that matches your home peripheral. You will not have to paint it again after installation.
- Eco-friendly: Composite decking uses synthetic materials such as wood fibers and plastics. It saves the cutting of more trees hence conserving the environment. Composites materials are also recyclable and renewable.
- Not prone to insect damage: Unlike the wood decking, composite decking cannot be easily damaged by insects such as termites, ants, wood borers, and bark beetles.
- High price: Composite decking is usually more expensive than wood decking. This is because the production cost is higher.
- The color can fade over time: Colour fading is another issue with composite decking. Since they cannot be refinished, you might need to replace it especially when you are concerned with looks.
- Non-biodegradable: When disposed of, composites cannot decompose easily and this may cause environmental pollution.
- They still need timber: Composite decking is built directly on the ground. It requires treated lumber to maximize durability and stability.
Generally, both wood and composite materials make a great deck. The best choice depends on your budget and preference.