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The Difference Between Composite and Wooden Decking

A deck looks pretty, and some may think it’s as easy to create with just a snap of the dainty little fingers. And oftentimes, right before starting a project, a lot of homeowners ask advice on the materials to use in building their decks. It’s a good question; because knowing the difference between composite and wooden decking is important.

But before we really get into how constructing decks work, you need to know that all decks make use of treated lumber for framing.

This is the structural part of the deck that you don’t see because it exists underneath it. For this reason, the decision process lies mainly in deciding materials that will make up the surface and the railings.

Things to Consider in Choosing Decking Material

Decks can last anywhere from 10-30 years if it’s created from untreated wood. Treated wood and composite decks last as long as 50 years. And because decks are long-term investments, it’s necessary to understand the choice of materials before the building project can commence.

There’s not much of a difference between composite and wooden decking material in terms of quality. They both come in high quality, and low costs; only differentiated ever so slightly.

Composite materials, however, require less maintenance. That’s why they cost higher… So, let’s take a look at some of the issues involved in choosing the material for your deck.

A Difference Between Composite and Wooden Decking

There are two main options of deck materials to choose from: natural wood or composite wood (man-made products). Evidently, the former is much more popular among homeowners, but the composite ones are not too far behind.

Composite Decking


Image Credit: Lindus Construction

Composite decking materials are slowly gaining popularity among homeowners. It’s composed primarily of a mix of wood fibers and recycled plastic. Specifically, they include PVC, vinyl, and composites.

Evidently, composite decks don’t have the natural beauty of a wooden deck. However, some homeowners prefer this because it’s low-maintenance; no sanding, staining, or refinishing.

What’s more, it usually comes with at least a twenty-year warranty — if not lifetime guarantees. It runs twice as much as natural wood though, depending on the quality and the warranty.

Wooden Decking


Image Credit: antyradar.info

A lot of people prefer wooden decking because it’s natural, and looks more aesthetically pleasing. The wooden materials you can use vary, however, and they’re important for the longevity of the product, and the level of maintenance that is required.

The most popular wooden decking materials are treated cedar and lumber. Other species of wood, like redwood and hardwoods (jutoba, tigerwood, etc.) are also available, but they’re not as often used. The common option is treated lumber.

Treated lumber or PT (pressure-treated) is made of fir soaked in anti-rot and insecticide agents. Typically, homeowners choose wood because of the initial cost savings.

But there’s a reason why (treated lumber, for instance), is so inexpensive. Wood is susceptible to splitting, cracking, warping, and insect infestation. That’s why it requires regular maintenance.

There’s always weather-resistant wood though, like redwood or cedar. Hardwoods, like ipe, are naturally resistant to rot and is more durable than the aforementioned wooden materials. It costs four times the price of the redwood options though.

In Conclusion

Knowing the difference between composite and wooden decking is the key to finding the appropriate one for your house. And of course, you can always go about doing the maintenance and installation yourself, but getting an experienced roofing service to handle the decking installation for you is much more advisable.

Choose wisely, and you can’t go wrong…

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