Composite Vs Wood Decking - Which is Right For You?
When it comes to the appearance of your deck, wood and composite are two of the most popular options. While both types have their pros and cons, there are some differences between the two types. These differences include the decking lifespan and maintenance.
Read on to learn more about these two types of decking that will transform your backyard.
Pros and cons of wood decking
Wood is an excellent choice for a deck because it is both durable and attractive. It is environmentally friendly and is available in a variety of natural hues. However, wood is also subject to splintering, scratching and fading. Some types of wood are more susceptible to this than others.
Wood decking is also affordable. Timber is easy to work with and can be stained in a variety of colors. Cedar and redwood are both good choices for a budget-friendly decking solution. These woods are easy to work with and don't warp as easily as cheaper materials. Furthermore, timber decking can last more than 40 years, which is a big benefit.
That being said, wood decks require regular maintenance. Unlike composite materials, wood decks need to be stained or painted periodically. In addition, they must be cleaned periodically.
Another drawback of pressure-treated lumber is its toxicity. It contains chromate copper arsenate, which is a known carcinogen. Pressure-treated lumber can cause health problems when burned and should be avoided at all costs.
Pros and cons of composite decking
While composite decking may cost a bit more than traditional wooden decking, its longevity makes it more than worth the money. While real wood decking will need regular cleaning and staining, composite decking only needs occasional maintenance. Besides, it's versatile and can be used in different climates and terrains. Plus, it can also increase the value of your home! This article explores some of the pros and cons of composite decking.
One of the cons of composite decking is that it can get hot. If you live in a hot climate, it's important to choose lighter colored composite decking. The lighter color will reduce the heat absorption, and you'll be able to use your deck all year long. Another important consideration is the material's texture. Matte and highly textured materials will absorb less heat than high-gloss composite decking.
Another drawback of composite decking is its price. Depending on your budget, you can find decking in vibrant colors and with a natural wood look. In addition, you won't have to worry about the appearance of your decking fading in the summer sun. Composite decking is also stain-resistant, which means that most spills can be cleaned up easily. In addition, composite decking comes in different colors, so you can easily match it with your house's interior design.
Composite decking is denser than PVC, making it 40% to 50% heavier than timber decking. Plastic deck boards weigh an average of 1.58lbs per linear foot. However, composite decking's grooved edge is lighter and thinner than solid edge decking, reducing the weight of the material. Also, composite decking can span up to 16-foot-centers, which is more than two feet longer than plastic decking.
Decking lifespan of wood vs composite
The lifespan of wood and composite decking differs considerably
Natural wood decking is a traditional choice, but composite and PVC options have become increasingly popular. Composites are much more durable than wood and can withstand more foot traffic and harsh weather conditions. Good wood decking that is properly cared for can last 40-50 years, though some decks may need to be replaced after 15 to 20 years. A deck contractor can provide more solid info on longevity.
Composite decking is often made of recycled plastic or wood particles. Some composite decking manufacturers use recycled plastic for its components, while others use virgin plastic. Moreover, composite decking boards can be hollow, which makes them cheaper than solid boards. Hollow boards don't expand and contract as frequently as solid boards, but they can also hold water internally, which can cause warping and decomposition.
Composite has a longer lifespan than wood because it is resistant to cracking, splintering, and stains. Most will remain in good shape for up to 50 years without much maintenance.
Maintenance for wood and composite decks
Both types need cleaning once in awhile. When cleaning wood and composite decks, you need to clean them with a mild soap solution and a soft brush. Then, you should rinse with a hose to remove dirt, pollen, and other contaminants. This process will keep the deck looking new, and will keep it sanitized.
Choosing a deck material and style is fun, but you also need to remember that maintenance is necessary. Before you make your decision, you should weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each material. You should know how to clean the materials properly and know what other types of maintenance will be necessary.
Most woods need yearly staining and care while composite needs less maintenance. From time to time wood boards will need to replaced or repaired due to splintering and cracking. All in all, wood requires more work from the homeowner.
When removing snow and ice from a composite deck, be sure to use a non-scratching tool and not a metal shovel. Alternatively, you can use a leaf blower or broom to remove thin layers of snow. In addition, rock salt or calcium chloride can be used to melt stubborn ice. Both of these options are safe for modern composite decks, but be sure to remove any salt or rock flakes after using them.
Another option for cleaning composite and wood decks is to use a biodegradable liquid dish detergent such as Dawn. This detergent is non-toxic to humans and animals, and contains no phosphates, which make it a natural cleaning solution. Dawn is gentle enough to avoid damaging composite decking, but strong enough to get rid of stains and dirt. You should apply it with a long-handled brush, and work in the direction of the grain pattern of the planks.
Wood and composite deck costs
Choosing between wood and composite decking can be a difficult decision. Each material has its own cost and benefits, and you should look for the right mix of cost and benefit for your project. Start with a budget, and ask a qualified local deck builder to design a deck that fits within that budget. If you need to modify the design, discuss it with your contractor. Another important consideration is timing. Prices for decks tend to spike during the summer, when materials and contractors are most in demand.
Pressure-treated lumber costs have tripled since the beginning of 2020, making wood decking more expensive than in the past. The cost to build a wood deck is now approaching that of composite decking. You should consider the total cost of ownership and the total value of the deck before deciding on which material to buy.
Composite decking costs vary widely. Trex, ModWood, and DuraLife all have varying costs. Prices range from $10 to $22 per board. Polyethylene Plastic, on the other hand, starts at around $4 per linear foot and offers better slip resistance and mold resistance. Wood and composite decking costs depend on the size of your project.
While wood decking costs are higher, composite decking prices are more affordable. Depending on the type of wood you choose, the material costs can range from $4.50 per square foot to $13. Composite decks can cost between $30 and $60 per square foot. However, if you choose a highly desirable wood for your deck, the price will be higher.
Deck personal preference
If you're planning on building a deck for your home, it's important to know the differences between wood and composite decking. There are several benefits to using each type, and they each have their own pros and cons.
Wood is less expensive and readily available, but it can be difficult to care for. Wood is susceptible to rot and splinters, and requires more maintenance than composite decking. Composites, on the other hand, are more resistant to the elements and can last for decades. However, they lack the natural look and feel of wood.
As with any home purchase, choosing the right material for your deck is a personal preference. The pros and cons of each material must be weighed against the maintenance required to keep it looking beautiful. If you're a busy person, composite decking might be a good option for you. However, wood decks still require some maintenance and are a great investment.
Composite decking is also easier to cut and bend, making it ideal for curved decks. However, one disadvantage of composite decking is that it can be very hot in the direct sunlight. It's also susceptible to mold growth if it's not completely covered.