Are you thinking about adding composite decking to your home and wondering how it stacks up against traditional wood decking?

Composite Decking (often referred to as an eco deck or even a fake wood deck) is becoming more and more popular due to the many benefits it has over traditional wood decking.

It’s also easier to maintain than wood, as you only need to sweep or hose it down occasionally. Plus, it comes in a variety of colors and textures so you can find the perfect one for your home.

Let’s dig a little deeper into the pros and cons of composite decking to help you decide if it’s right for you.

What are Composite Decks Made From?

Composite decking is a combination of wood fibers and plastic materials, which makes it waterproof and durable. It entered the market in the 90s and has been seen as the alternative to wood ever since.

The wood fibers give the composite material its structure and strength, while the plastic protects it from moisture damage, mold, and rot. Some composites also contain recycled materials like sawdust or milk jugs to further reduce their environmental impact.

Let’s look at the pros and cons…

Related: Replacing Your Wood Deck With Composite Decking

The Advantages & Disadvantages Of Composite Decking

Like any type of decking, there are both advantages and disadvantages to composite decking.

Here’s a quick look at some of the most important ones:

Advantages of Composite Decking

  • Is Durable.
  • Easy to Maintain.
  • UV resistant.
  • Is eco-Friendly.
  • Stain, and scratch-resistant (to a point).
  • Comes in a Variety of Colors and Textures.
  • Composite Decking is slip-resistant.

1. Is Durable

Composite decking is arguably one of the most durable materials you can use to build a deck. It’s made from a combination of wood fibers and plastic, so it’s not going to rot or mold like traditional wood. It’s also extremely easy to work with if you’re looking to DIY your deck.

It’s so durable it has been estimated to last from 25-30 years, or even longer with proper maintenance.

Related: 25 Cheap, Quick, And Easy Alternatives To Decking

2. Easy to Maintain

Composite decking is also very easy to maintain. You’ll never have to sand, paint, or stain it like you would with traditional wood. All you need to do is sweep or hose it down occasionally and you’re good to go!

Some use vinegar and other have even used Simple green, however, a simple pressure wash regularly is all you need to keep it clean.

Related: How To Clean Your Composite Deck (STEP BY STEP)

3. UV Resistant

Another big advantage of composite decking is that it’s UV resistant. This means it won’t fade in the sun as traditional wood decking can.

This is a huge bonus if you live in an area with a lot of sun exposure as it will help your deck look new for years to come.

With its protective polymer sleeve, composite decking is also more resistant to scratches than traditional wood.

4. Eco-Friendly

Composite material is made from recycled plastics and wood fibers, so it’s an eco-friendly choice for your deck.

In fact, some brands use up to 80% recycled materials in their products!

Using biodegradable composite materials helps to reduce your carbon footprint and keep plastic and wood out of landfills.

One of the most sustainable choices you can make for your deck is to use recycled composite decking.

This type of material is made from recycled plastic and wood fibers, so it’s an eco-friendly choice for your deck.

5. Stain, and scratch-resistant (to a point)

I say to a point because there isn’t a deck out there that’s bulletproof when it comes to scratches and stains.

That being said, composite decking is much more resistant than traditional wood. With its protective polymer sleeve, composite decking is also more resistant to scratches than traditional wood.

There are certain manufacturers like AZEK that claim their product is completely stain and scratch-resistant but, I haven’t personally seen a deck that lives up to this claim.

6. Comes in a Variety of Colors and Textures

When it comes to composite decking, you have a lot of choices in terms of colors and textures.

Some brands even offer boards that look like wood grain, so you can get the best of both worlds – the beauty of wood with the durability of composite.

Related: How To Choose The Right Composite Decking Color

7. Composite Decking is slip-resistant (or anti-slip)

This is a big advantage, especially if you have kids or pets.

You know what it’s like when your deck is wet and slippery – it’s not fun. You’re basically trying your hardest to walk across it without making an absolute fool of yourself.

But with composite decking, you don’t have to worry about that because it’s slip-resistant. So no more slipping and sliding.

Disadvantages of Composite Decking

  • Upfront costs are higher.
  • Adds no additional value to your house price.
  • You can’t change the color.
  • Fades over time.
  • Cheaper brands struggle to look like wood.

8. Upfront costs are higher

Let’s face it, there are ton of pros. However, I’d be lying if I said composite decking was cheap.

It’s definitely more expensive than traditional wood decking, however, it will save you money in the long run because it’s so durable.

A redwood or cedar deck costs roughly $25 to $30 per square foot. Composite decking is the most expensive, costing around $30 to $45 per square foot, but it’s a one-time investment. With composite decking, you won’t have to purchase sealer or stain every few years.

9. Adds no additional value to your house price

While a new composite deck will make your backyard look amazing, it won’t necessarily add any value to your home.

If you’re planning on selling your house in the near future, then you might want to stick with traditional wood since it will add more value to your home

That said, very few of us are thinking of home improvements adding value to our homes and that’s not the main reason we do them. We do them because we want to live in a nicer home, right?

10. You can’t change the color

If you decide down the road that you want to change the color of your deck, you’re out of luck.

You can’t simply paint or stain composite like you can with traditional wood.

You could replace the boards, but that’s a lot of work and money.

11. Fades over time

Composite decking does tend to fade over time. Now don’t get me wrong. It definitely doesn’t fade as much as wood overtimes, but it will fade nonetheless.

There are some manufacturers, like Trex, that offer a 25-year warranty against fading, so if you’re worried about it, make sure to get composite from one of these brands.

12. Cheaper brands struggle to look like wood

If you go for the cheaper composite decking boards, then you might not be happy with the results.

The cheaper brands usually don’t look as much like wood and they’re not as durable. So, it’s worth spending the extra money to get a good quality composite decking board.

Why Composite Decking is Worth Fitting and Why it’s Worth it!

Now, the budget you have for this project will ultimately determine whether you think it’s worth it or not.

But, even if you have to spend a bit more money upfront, composite decking is definitely worth fitting because of all the benefits it has to offer.

It’s durable, low maintenance, slip-resistant, comes in a variety of colors and textures, and it adds value to your home.

So, if you’re thinking about getting a new deck, go for composite! You won’t regret it!

FAQs

Is a composite deck worth the money?

100% yes! Composite decking is definitely worth the money. You’ll save money in the long run because it’s so durable and low maintenance.

How long do composite decks last?

Composite decks last 25-30 years on average. It all depends on which brand you buy, how you maintain them, and the climate you live in.

How long does trex decking last?

Trex decking also lasts approximately 25-30 years on average. They even offer you a fade guarantee for up to 25 years.

What is the best composite decking?

There are a few brands that make high-quality composite decking boards, such as Trex, TimberTech, and Azek. But, it is recommended to order samples before you make your final decision to see which one you like the best.

What is faux deck wood?

Faux deck wood is just another name for what they call “fake wood” or “composite wood”. It’s made to look like natural wood, but it’s not.

Is composite decking waterproof?

Yes and no. Composite decking is water-resistant, but it’s not waterproof. That means that if you live in an area with a lot of rain or snow, your deck might suffer some water damage.

About the Author

Passionate about helping households transition to sustainable energy with helpful information and resources.

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