Composite vs Wood Decking: Which is the Best Material for Your Home?

About The Author

Jay Beswick

Jay Beswick

Jay Beswick is the visionary founder and owner of Majestic Outdoors, a leader in crafting exceptional outdoor living spaces in Raleigh, NC. His dedication to innovation, client satisfaction, and industry advancement makes him a respected voice in the deck-building community.

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Deciding between wood and composite decking is a common dilemma for those envisioning their ideal home. Each material offers its own set of advantages and drawbacks, leaving many to wonder which is the better choice. In this comparison, we’ll break down the costs, longevity, upkeep, and additional considerations for both wood and composite decking.

Custom Composite Deck

Choosing the Perfect Decking Material for Your Dream Outdoor Space

Embarking on the journey to craft your dream outdoor living environment begins with a basic decision: What decking material aligns with your vision? Are you drawn to the classic charm of natural wood, or do you lean towards the sleek, contemporary allure of modern materials?

Understanding that wood and composite materials are the frontrunners in the decking game, you might wonder what tips the scales for homeowners in favor of one or the other. For some it is cost and for others, aesthetics.

Changes in Tastes and Design Styles

The evolution of decking options, when it comes to materials, is interesting. Traditionally, real wood, and later pressure-treated wood, held the crown as the best choice for decks. To this day, wood decks maintain a significant following.

However, the emergence of innovative decking solutions, like a wood-plastic composite, has caused a shift among homeowners considering alternatives to natural wood decks.

Selecting the right material isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. It’s a balance of your budgetary considerations, the specific environmental conditions of your locality, and your unique lifestyle demands.

Composite Deck with Railing

Wood vs. Composite Decking: Which Costs Less?

If you’re planning to build an outdoor deck, you’re probably wondering which material will give you the most bang for your buck. Let’s compare and see which is the less expensive choice.

Wood wins the prize for being the most budget-friendly material for deck building initially. A deck made of composite materials and composite boards will cost you more in the beginning. And if you’re looking at PVC deck boards, it can cost a little more.

But, something you need to know when considering which is right for you: A composite deck can actually save you money over time.

It might seem pricier at first compared to wood, but it’s a smart investment. Composite decks don’t need as much upkeep, and they last a lot longer, which means they can save you money over the course of the life of your deck through lower maintenance costs.

Choosing the Best Low-Maintenance Deck Material

Everyone wants a deck that stands up to weather without needing constant repairs or a full replacement after just a few years. Picking a low-maintenance deck material saves you from costly and time-consuming fixes and inspections.

  • Wood Decks: Expect Some Work. If you go with wood, it will require regular maintenance, like repainting, resealing, or restaining. You might also have to deal with insect damage.
  • Composite Decks: Relax a Little More. Made from a blend of wood fibers and plastic, or other synthetic materials, composite decking requires less maintenance compared to wood.
  • PVC Decks: The Ultimate in Low Care. You can forget about sanding, staining, or sealing these boards. They’re built to resist rot and won’t splinter like wood can. If you’re looking for a worry-free deck, PVC is a smart pick.

If you really want to keep maintenance to a minimum, PVC deck boards are the way to go. They’re entirely plastic, so rot is out of the question. PVC decks can also handle all kinds of harsh weather without a problem. Like composite, they’re a strong choice if you want to spend more time enjoying your deck and less time taking care of it.

Which Decking Material Lasts the Longest?

When you’re picking out materials for your deck, you want something tough that will stand the test of time. Composite and PVC are the top picks for durability. They’re built to endure and don’t break down or rot like wood does. Composite and PVC are so sturdy that they’re even chosen for busy places like stores and restaurants because they can handle lots of people walking on them and bad weather too.

But don’t count wood out! If you go for a strong wood, like cedar or redwood, it can also last a long while. Keep in mind, though, wood needs more care than composite or PVC to stay in good shape. Being a natural material, it can get damaged by rot and bugs. If you’re okay with putting in a bit more effort to take care of it, wood can make your deck look great and hold up pretty well.

So, how long does a wood deck stick around? If you look after it right, a wood deck can last about 15-25 years. Remember, some woods last longer than others. Cedar and redwood are tougher than pine, for example.

What about a composite deck? These can last a really long time—25-30 years or even more—and they don’t need a lot of upkeep. Most composite decks come with a 25-year warranty, but if everything’s perfect, your deck might even reach the 50-year mark.

And PVC decks? They’re made to last a super long time. PVC decking can keep going strong for 30 to 50 years and doesn’t need much looking after. If you want a deck that’s almost no work at all, PVC is the choice for you. Some PVC decks, like those from Azek, even offer warranties up to 50 years.

Composite Decking

Majestic Outdoors Partners with TimberTech and Azek

TimberTech

TimberTech leads the pack in composite decking with their cutting-edge synthetic materials that skip the wood particles. This innovative approach has really shaken up the decking world.

They craft a variety of products that mix cellulose fibers with plastics, creating a super tough, easy-care deck material that’s a breeze to keep clean and won’t fade. TimberTech keeps pouring energy and resources into developing deck materials that last a long time and are kind to the planet.

You can rest easy with TimberTech’s composite products, knowing they come with a 25- to 30-year warranty that covers both the product and any fading or staining. TimberTech promises to support their product for its whole life.

Here at Majestic Outdoors, we wear our title of TimberTech Platinum Pro contractor with pride. It’s a big thumbs-up to our thorough expertise in crafting stunning composite decks with TimberTech’s top-notch materials.

Ready to pick out the perfect color and wood grain finish? We’ve got a world of beautiful options and the know-how to guide you to the ideal deck design that’ll make your space shine.

Discover why we’re the go-to for composite decks in Raleigh, NC. Get in touch with us today!

AZEK

AZEK, the parent company of TimberTech, makes durable composite deck products with a comprehensive 50-year warranty. Homeowners and businesses have three major collections to choose from:

  • The Harvest Collection
  • The Arbor Collection
  • The Vintage Collection

Each one has a unique look and feel, with composite boards of different widths and colors available.

AZEK composite deck materials don’t contain any traditional wood fibers but instead use durable recycled PVC. You can expect all the benefits of composite decks, plus more.

Choosing the Right Decking Material for Your Home

Figuring out the best material for your deck comes down to what you can spend, how much work you want to put into it, and how long you’d like it to last.

Wood decks might cost less at first, but they need more care than composite or PVC decks. If saving money now is important to you and you love the natural look, wood could be the way to go.

For a deck that’s going to stick around a long time without much work, think about composite or PVC. These options cost more than wood at the start, but they can save you cash over time because they last longer and need less work to keep up.

We’d love to talk to you about why we like TimberTech and AZEK so much. Contact us today.

Composite vs Wood Decking FAQs

What Type of Wood Is Best for a Deck?

For a top-notch deck, go for cedar or redwood. These types of wood stand strong against rot, decay, and bugs, plus they look great. Want to save some money? Pressure-treated pine is your friend. It’s not as tough as cedar or redwood but it’s cheaper and you can find it everywhere.

Does composite decking expand and contract?

Composite decking does change a little in size when during extreme temperature fluctuations, but it’s better at handling those changes than wood because of how the materials are manufactured.

What is the best type of composite decking?

There are many types of composite decking on the market, and each has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Some of the most popular deck board manufacturers include AZEK and TimberTech.

How do I maintain a wooden deck?

Wooden decks need some extra love to stay nice. You’ll have to clean it often and give it a new coat of stain and sealer every couple of years. Make sure you clean it the right way and don’t let water sneak in and wreck the wood.