If you are setting out to add a deck to your backyard, one of the first things you will need to consider is what type of material the deck will be constructed out of. When it comes to deck material, one of the most common question asked is whether the deck should be made out of wood or composite. Composite, for the record, is designed to look like wood, but it is comprised of synthetic materials.
The first thing you need to know that all decks use treated lumber when it comes to the structure of the deck, so the question of wood or composite really only pertains to the deck’s surface and railings.
Wood Or Composite Decking?
Both have pros and cons, like anything. Whether you choose wood or composite decking will ultimately come down to several factors, as outlined below.
- Aesthetic Considerations
Most decks, for the record, are made out of wood. The reason for this is that the initial cost is typically lower.
Over time, however, the two average out once you consider the maintenance costs associated with wood, particularly if you decide to hire a professional to do any resealing and any other kind of deck maintenance.
When people choose composite over wood, it’s typically because it is much easier to maintain than wood decks. Composite decks require periodic washing while wood decks require the application of a deck stain every other year in order for it to maintain its appearance. You also must apply UV protection to keep the wood from wearing down.
The benefit of composite decking is that it doesn’t wear down due to sheer exposure to the elements, for one. For example, it won’t splint or crack. The fact that composite materials are also insect repellent also contributes to their lifespan. As such, composite decks last longer than wood, even by as much as 15+ years. Pressure-treated lumber, however, is an exception.
Composite decking comes in a wide range of colours.
Within both categories, natural wood or man-made composite, there is a lot of variation. When it comes to wood, the most popular options are pressure treated lumber, cedar and redwood, all of which happen to be affordable. Pressure treated lumber, however, also tends to last a lot longer because has been treated to resist both weather and insects.