A Comparison of Traditional Wood to Composite Decking

Have you dreamed of expanding your outdoor living space, creating indoor-outdoor living? If you have, you have probably also considered adding a deck to your yard. A wood or composite deck can be used for an outdoor living room, kitchen or other recreational space. These are some features of wood and composite decking.


Wood has a natural beauty. It’s filled with interesting lines, knots and textures. Composite decking manufacturers have worked for decades to match the beauty and interest of wood, but they have yet to duplicate it. However, they do offer a multitude of colors, styles and textures of decking materials.


Wood decks are durable, but they do experience damage from wear and weather. For example, they can splinter and heat up in the sun, and their metal screws can loosen. They also gray with age. Some boards may warp or rot, and some wood products are susceptible to termites. Although you can choose more durable wood products, such as pressure-treated wood or cedarwood, they still require almost yearly maintenance.

Composite decking does not warp or decay and is termite resistant. Unfortunately, these boards can fade over time, but they will fade uniformly, so you won’t have light and dark patches.


Wood decks require yearly maintenance. Every few years, you need to sand the boards to eliminate splinters and rough patches and check the fasteners to prevent injury. Every year, you need to stain or seal your deck to prevent rot and graying.

Composite decking does not require maintenance every year. It never needs to be stained or sealed, so you aren’t adding chemicals to your decking. You do have to wash it off, but a simple household cleaner will work fine.


Although composite decking is more expensive to install, it requires no maintenance, reducing its long-term costs. Wood decking is less expensive to purchase initially, but the yearly maintenance can be expensive, and you will have to replace boards or the entire deck sooner than a composite deck.

Outdoor living space is priceless. However, there are a number of factors that should be considered when choosing a wood or composite deck.