Composite Decking VS Wood Decking: A Complete Guide

wood decking vs composite decking

What are the benefits of composite decking vs wood decking?? At Upper Dauphin Vinyl Products, we understand the dilemma and are here to assist you.

Composite decking is a cutting-edge solution that blends wood fiber, plastic, and a binding agent. While it may be a bit pricier compared to wood, it offers unparalleled advantages. Composite decks are denser, incredibly durable, and built to last for years to come.

Meanwhile, wood decking has stood the test of time as the oldest decking material in the market. Pressure-treated wood is a more cost-effective option than composite decks, but it does not provide the same extensive benefits.

Let us break it down – here are the advantages and disadvantages of composite decking versus wood decking.

Advantages of composite decking vs wood decking

deck reconstruction
  • Composite decking has superior durability than wood decking
  • Composite doesn’t require maintenance like sanding or sealing and doesn’t rot like wood over time
  • With Composite decking, you have multiple options for colors
  • Composite decking does not splinter
  • A long lifespan of 20-30 years
  • Slip-resistant 
  • No insect damage, crack, or growth of mold

Disadvantages of composite decking vs wood decking

composite decking vs wood timbertech
  • Composite is more expensive than wood decking.
  • They are not entirely maintenance-free; you still need to clean them with detergents so they don’t get sun damage or start chipping over time. 

Which is easier to clean: composite decking vs. wood decking

washing a wooden deck

When it comes to cleaning, composite decking is more convenient and efficient to clean than traditional wood decking. Removing stains and spots on composite decking is much easier than wood decking. You can clean the stains with a cleaning solution, whereas cleaning stains on wood decking is more complicated. So when it comes to composite decking vs wood decking composite decking has a clear advantage.

Can you paint composite decking?

color options

Yes, composite decking can be painted or even stained. Painting composite decking adds beauty and style to your deck. When painting the composite decking, use Latex because it is better for foot traffic and will not fade over time when there is a lot of foot traffic.

Painting composite decking will not make the decking last longer. Still, it will help cover any sun damage and other damages.

When comparing composite decking vs wood decking, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of each material. While wood decking allows for painting and staining, it requires regular maintenance to preserve its appearance and structural integrity.

Composite decking, on the other hand, offers low maintenance and exceptional durability but is not designed to be painted. By understanding these differences, homeowners can make an informed decision based on their preferences and requirements.

Which has a longer lifespan: composite decking vs. wood decking

rotting wooden deck

Wood decking has been a popular choice for generations due to its natural beauty and versatility. However, wood is susceptible to various factors that can affect its lifespan. When compared to wood decking, composite decking lasts nearly twice as long. Because wood requires more maintenance than composite decking, as it ages, it begins to rot, attract insects, and even sprout mildew.

Wood decking has an average lifespan of 10 to 15 years with proper maintenance and cleaning. Composite decking, on the other hand, has a 25 to 30 years lifespan. You can prolong the life of your deck by annual inspection and maintenance every 6 to 7 months.

Is Composite Decking More Durable?

azek composite decking vs wood decking

Yes, When compared to wood, composite decking is more durable. Composite decking is better than wood when it comes to durability. Wood decking may appear attractive for the first few years and have a more natural look. Still, when it rains, it becomes slippery and begins to rot, potentially endangering you and your family.

Composite decking is the market’s most slip-resistant decking material and the most long-lasting wood-based decking material. Composite decking is free of cracks, rot, and mold growth.

Can you power wash composite decking?

powerwashing deck

You can power wash composite decking, but it is not recommended. Most composite decking products have a protective plastic cap covering the boards. You have to be careful if you are power-washing composite decking.

If the power washer has too much pressure and is too close, it can break through the outside layer. If the external layer of your composite decking gets opened, water will seep in and damage the board. Keep in mind that this issue doesn’t just apply to composite boards. Wood and vinyl decking will also be damaged by too much water pressure.

Which is vulnerable to rot, composite decking or wood?

old wooden decking

Composite decking is rot-resistant. Composite decking is made of wood fibers and plastic combined, making it resistant to rot. Composite decking is valuable to other damages, like chipping and scratches. Wood, on the other hand, will start to decay over time. Most wood decking rots over time as a result of poor maintenance and mildew and fungus growth, and prolonged exposure to moisture.

When a wood deck is exposed to excess water, it attracts wood boring pests, which will make the structure of the decking weaker. Rotten wood makes the deck more dangerous when pressure or weight is applied, resulting in a collapse. 

Which is more slippery, composite decking vs. wood?

decayed wooden decking

The completely slip-resistant decking is composite decking. Composite decking has textures compared to traditional Wood decking, which looses its traction when wet. On the other hand, wood decking is very slippery when wet, but you must clean the debris often to give it a bit of traction. 

Which decking is more stylish composite decking vs. wood decking?

timbertech composite decking vs wood

When it comes to composite decking vs wood decking for a stylish or modern look, composite decking is the go-to. Composite decking gives you more options for texture and designs than traditional wood. Composite decking also gives you an aesthetic look.

Wood decking gives you a traditional decking look. Plus, wood decking doesn’t give you as many texture options and features as composite decking. Even Though composite decking is wood fibers and plastic combined at the end, composite deckings look very similar to wood decks.

Are composite decking boards fire-resistant?

fire burning wood

Yes, most composite decking products are fire-resistant. You have to know the fire rating of composite decking boards because some are fire-rated class C, meaning the fire spread is 76 and 200. Most composite deckings are fire-rated class A, the best fire rating. Other class A fire-rating materials are Gypsum, wallboard, and brick. To learn more about composite decking vs wood rire rating, visit Timbertech’s website.

Is Composite Decking Fade Resistant?

Thermometer in the sun

When it comes to composite decking vs wood decking, composite boards don’t fade as wood boards do. Composite decking is fade resistant because of its composite nature and provides excellent UV light protection. It will not fade even if exposed to direct sunlight, making it more resistant than wood decking. On the other hand, wood decking will fade to a grayish tone over time, making it unattractive.

When wood decking fades, it requires sanding and painting to cover the spot of the fade, which is a hassle with composite decking. You don’t need to worry about your decking board fading colors, growing mold, or even cracks.

Deck Cost: Composite Decking vs Wood Decking

timbertech composite decking

A composite deck is more costly than a wood deck, so is it worth the money? Yes, it is! Composite decking is more durable than wooden decks and requires less maintenance. A wooden deck will need periodic staining, and you will need to replace sections that are starting to decay.

These maintenance costs will add up over time. Besides, your time is valuable. Do you want to spend it while maintaining your backyard deck? No decking material is entirely maintenance-free. You will need to wash composite decking and clean off leaves and debris. At the end of the day, when you compare composite decking to wood decking, composite is worth it.

Composite Deck Contractors in Pennsylvania

harrisburg deck contractor

Are you ready to upgrade your outdoor living experience? A composite deck will do the trick! You can install a DIY composite deck, but that will take time and effort. Do you want to avoid stress and hassle? Get a composite deck contractor! We are a deck contractor located in Central Pennsylvania. If you are interested in a backyard deck or what to rebuild your old, decayed deck, request a quote, and we will help you design your outdoor living dreams. If you want some inspiration to get started, visit our project gallery and see our finished projects. Let’s get started!

Upper Dauphin Vinyl Products specializes in wood composite and vinyl decks.

Not sure what you want? We will assist you with the design process and answer any questions you have! Submit a custom quote or contact us today!