Wood vs. Composite Decks

Wood and Composite deck side by side

Wood vs. Composite Decks

When it comes down to the difference between a wood and composite deck, it’s all about shelf-life. If it’s made from untreated wood, it can last you anywhere from 10 to 30 years, depending upon how much you maintain it. But a deck made of treated wood or composite materials can last you as long as 50 years. Do you see the difference? Let’s explore.

Your deck is a serious investment, and that’s why your choice of materials is going to make a huge difference. There are both high and low-quality wood and composite materials. It’s common knowledge that composite is lower in terms of maintenance, and that’s why the initial cost is actually higher.

Wood Decks

People prefer real wood decks because they provide a warm, natural appearance. There’s something satisfying about sitting out on a wood deck. But the type of lumber that you choose is the deciding factor in terms of the longevity of that deck. Treated lumber is the most inexpensive option. Pressure-Treated wood is often made of fir that has been soaked in insecticide agents. It gives you a rich, brown-green color, but you can stain it in any color that you choose. But take note, this wood is susceptible to warping, cracking, and splitting.

Composite Decks

Composite decks are on the rise, and for good reason. They are made of a mix of recycled plastics as well as wood fibers. It’s obviously not natural-looking, but you can choose from many different colors that are meant to mimic a natural look. The greatest benefit to composite materials is that there’s no more sanding, staining, and refinishing. Composite materials also come with a 20-year warranty, at the very least. What you get in the long-term from a composite deck you pay for upfront.

Although composite decks don’t require a lot of maintenance, they do require some. Natural wood decks are by far the most demanding, and that includes annual refinishing. If you love the natural look and feel of wood, then a traditional wood deck is the answer for you. If you simply can’t stand the thought of all that upkeep, then you’re in the market for composite.

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