Wood Decks Versus Composite Decks: The True Pros and Cons

Posted by Tre Pryor, Editor-in-Chief in Home Improvement, Residential tagged with
There’s nothing quite like spending some of your Summer out on your Louisville deck. Should you choose wood or composite? Read this article and find out!
This guest post was written by Doug Chapman, a staff writer for HomeDaddys, a stay-at-home Dad blog. He specializes in diapers and Sippy cups by day, but is a successful real estate investor by night.

The deck. It is arguably the most relaxing place in and around your house that you can escape to at any point in time.

We sometimes take for granted what all goes into making the deck your perfect getaway, but you need to figure out which decking is your best option, whether you are redoing your deck or starting from scratch.

I have provided some pros and cons of both wood decking and composite decking to try and narrow your choices down while offering some insight as to which will suit your house, both aesthetically and financially.

Take these into consideration when you try to figure out which decking road you are going on:

Positive Features of Wood Decks

  • One natural plus to having wood decking is that you can have a variety of different options when you are choosing your wood. You could choose a number of types of wood – pine, cedar, etc. – and it has that natural outdoor feeling to it when it is stained and finished.
  • It has a look that no other style of deck can compare to, and the natural beauty of the color enhances the deck and blends with the outdoor surroundings. Whether you have a garden in your front yard or backyard, the natural look of the wood deck is much nicer to complement it rather than any other form of decking.
  • Wood decking is a cheaper option than most other decking, and the materials are readily available at nearly any local hardware store. You can use your own pickup, but I would suggest you rent a truck and properly transport all of the wood decking so that it is easily available when you start the project.

Negative Features of Wood Decks

  • Even though the wood may have a more natural beauty to it, maintaining that fresh outdoor look can be somewhat of a project. You will find yourself power washing and staining the deck nearly every summer, and this will require some elbow grease that you may not want to do.
  • This is pretty much common knowledge, but wood will fade over time and therein lies the previous issue of making sure that you stain and keep the deck updated as much as possible. Even if you do take the necessary steps to the upkeep of the deck, you can win the fight with time. Wood fades, and there is nothing you can do about it in the long run.

Positive Features of Composite Decks

  • Probably the most important plus to composite decking is that the boards are durable and will last for a very long time. The outside elements – wind, rain, snow, etc. – will not affect the composite decking like it may to the wood decking.
  • You do not need to put forth much effort in the maintenance and upkeep of the composite decking like you do with wood decking. The composite decking will not require staining or finishing.

Negative Features of Composite Decks

  • Nothing can replace the natural look of wood decking, no matter what you try to do. There is something about having the look of a stained wooden deck overlooking your back yard. This will never change and neither will the appearance of the wood decking compared to the composite decking.
  • The cost of the composite decking boards will be more expensive than if you were using cedar or pine wood for your decking. There will be less maintenance to the composite in the long run, but the initial costs will be significantly different.
  • Insulation on a wood deck is better than on a composite deck. Wood is an insulator and will keep the temperature of the decking standard in both the heat and cold. Composite decking is likely to be less able to lock in the heat, thus changing the temperature on your deck a few degrees in the warm summer sun.