Wood Decking vs. Composite: Pros and Cons
Before choosing between composite and wood decking, you need to decide where you are using it. Do you want it inside or outside the house? Will it get too much sunlight? Is it for decorating or durability purpose?
Once you have the answer to these questions, you will be able to choose the right decking material for your house. When it comes to wood vs. composite decking, both have some pros and cons.
Variety and Cost
The most common varieties of wood that are usually used are redwood and cedar. There are several other varieties but these two are the most durable and cheap.
On the other hand, composite decking has less variety since it is a mixture of recycled wood dust and plastic. However, composite decking is expensive, even more so than soft woods.
The reason why composite decking is twice as expensive as wood decking is because it is not hard like wood and therefore requires more support and labor work to lay down correctly.
Cedar: $24 to $45
Composite: $32 to $45
Design and Look
Since composite decking is made of plastic and wood, it can look cheap if a proper design is not used. Plus, in the first few days, the material gives off a certain smell.
Wood gives the place a natural look and you can even create a beautiful texture and design by using different kinds of woods.
Wood decking requires regular maintenance with sealants applied every two or three years or it might start getting dull, whereas composite decking requires very little maintenance. A weekly or monthly hose down will clean it immediately. If regular maintenance is not done on wood decking, it becomes porous and gets stained and scratched easily while composite wood can start to sag.
In rain, composite decking can get warped easily and can become victim to mildew and mold, whereas wood can easily crack and splinter under harsh weather conditions.
Composite decking is also resistant to splitting, cracking, premature deterioration and insects.