Wood Decking Vs. Composite Decking: A Complete Comparison
When you plan to decorate your outdoor space, the first thing you need to consider is which type of deck to use. The two most common choices are composite decking boards and wood decks.
While each has its own pros and cons, including cost, durability, maintenance/labor, and longevity, there appears to be a growing list of options to support composite decking. However, there are many dedicated wood users who advocate for the material, so the composite decking vs. wood debate continues to rage. This article compares the differences between composite decking and wood decks in various aspects.
Table of Contents
What’s Wood Decking?
The original and oldest choice of decking material, decks have been using wood as a finishing material since its existence, so we know it’s a proven material that looks great. When it comes to wood, the great thing is that it’s economical, durable, and comes in several different types, including cheaper, pressure-treated lumber like ponderosa pine, or higher-quality varieties like cedar and redwood.
What’s Composite Decking?
Composite decking was invented in the late 20th century and is made of a mixture of wood fiber and plastic. With the progress of the times and the development of science and technology, the performance of composite materials is getting higher and higher. And the application of wood-plastic composite materials is becoming more and more extensive. More and more people choose the best composite decking material.
Composite Decking Vs.Wood
Many homeowners choose wood flooring to decorate their spaces because of its easy availability and low price. But at the same time, some common problems of wooden floors, such as debris, decay, and relatively high maintenance costs, will also cause a lot of trouble for people. Composite wood flooring hardly needs maintenance. With the advancement of technology, the appearance of wood-plastic composite decking has become more abundant.
Before we dig deeper into the details, let’s have a summary of the comparison between wood and composite decking.
|Lifespan||25 years or more||15-25 years under decent maintenance|
|Color Stability||Highly fade-resistant||Requires frequent painting|
|Termite Resistance||High||Becomes food for termites|
|Surface Hardness||Resistant to scratch and gouge||Prone to splintering and scuff|
|Water-resistance||High||Relies on painting or oiling to resist moisture|
|Fire-resistance||Bfl-s1 fire rating||High risk of being lit|
|Eco-friendliness||Recyclable, made from recycled material||Contributes to deforestation|
|Maintenance||Low- maintenance||Requires frequent, costly maintenance|
|Affordability||Cost-effective in the long run||Ends up costing more after several years|
|Weather-adaptability||Highly resistant to elements and weathering||Naturally prone to humidity and heat|
|Safety||Non-toxic, 100% safe||Carries harmful paint|
Due to technical reasons, the early composite decking has a strong sense of plastic and few colors to choose from. With the continuous development of wood-plastic composite decking materials. There is already a variety of natural wood-like appearances and 3D embossing texture patterns. And products of different colors can also be produced.
The waterproof performance of wooden floors is relatively poor. And it is necessary to remove stains, seal or paint on a regular basis. Otherwise, the wooden floor is easy to warp, chip, crack and mold. In contrast, wood-plastic composites have good water resistance, which allows them to be installed in high humidity environments without decay.
The homeowner must regularly perform maintenance work such as painting, dyeing, or sealing the wooden deck to ensure the service life of the wooden floor. Which requires a lot of time and money costs. The wood-plastic composite decking only needs to be cleaned or washed with soapy water to keep the board beautiful.
Unlike wood floors, which are easily corroded and reproduced by termites. Composite floors are not easily damaged by termites and other wood-damaging insects because of the characteristics of the materials that are made. And insects such as termites cannot reproduce inside.
Although composite decking looks like natural wood, some people prefer the authenticity of actual wood. However, as durable as composite decking is, it is still more susceptible to maintenance costs, time and effort. Most decks require a full reprocessing every two to five years, including sanding, cleaning, staining or painting and sealing. If left untreated, the deck will fade and eventually rot.
Additionally, wood decks have been known to crack or warp due to the elements or normal wear and tear from daily use. This is especially noticeable in pressure-treated wood. On average, however, a well-maintained deck can last up to 20 years or more. Still not as long as composites if done right, but admirably long.
Generally speaking, the purchase price of wood flooring is lower than that of composite materials. But if the annual maintenance cost is added, the total cost of wood flooring will be higher than the cost of composite decking after 2-3 years. Of course, the prices difference also depends on the selected wood type and composite decking brands and local market conditions.
Heat and cold affect wood and composite decking differently. When it comes to summer weather, wood decking has historically had an advantage over composites, whose density makes them very hot in direct sunlight. However, new manufacturing capabilities such as EVODEK greatly reduce the heat absorption of composite decks compared to traditional composites of similar colors, so your deck will be more comfortable on hot days.
The color and grain of wood floors are usually related to the type of wood. The more expensive the wood, the more expensive it is. Wood-plastic composite decking materials can be customized in different colors and wood grain surfaces according to customer needs. Which is conducive to achieving the different design needs of customers.
Since 2000, we have focused on the development and design of WPC products, with rich experience in product production. We are determined to become the best composite decking brand! If our products meet your requirements, please feel free to contact us. We will solve your problem and provide free samples. Customer satisfaction is our top priority.