Composite vs. Wood Decking: Choosing Your Decking Material

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custom timber deck provides a good outdoor space on which you can relax, entertain guests or enjoy a beautiful garden during good weather. This is why adding a deck is one of the most requested improvements among homeowners today. There are many designs you can go for, as well as materials that you can use. Because a deck is outdoors (and hence unprotected from the elements), your choice of material is the most important decision you'll make. Read on to learn more about the choices you have.

Composite boards

There was a time when wood was the most popular decking material, and homeowners' associations would bar the use of composite material, but these days are gone.

Composite boards are made from wood fibres and plastic, mostly recycled plastic bags, maple sawdust and shredded carpets. Newer boards (called capped composite) are wrapped with a thin layer of fresh plastic to prevent fading or staining. Because composite isn't as strong as wood, you'll need additional support in the sub-layer to prevent sagging.

While composite is more expensive initially, it is low-maintenance and it can be finished to resemble wood, giving you the aesthetics without the work. In fact, cleaning composite boards is as simple as washing any plastic: simply wipe with detergent water and rinse out. Another advantage is that composite materials don't fade, nor do they need additional treatment.

If your deck is in the sun, consider that capped composite and composite decks can get very hot. However, installing lighter-coloured materials reduces the heat it can hold. In extra-hot regions, wooden decks perform better, unless you have natural or artificial shading.


Wood is the historically known decking material, and it makes very beautiful decks. However, you must be willing to put in the work in maintenance – treatment, re-staining, weatherproofing etc. – to keep it looking sharp.

There are several options, from treated softwoods that can last 2-3 decades depending on maintenance to hardwoods which can last double that time. Different regions have different available woods (and restrictions on certain species as well). You can look around with neighbours who have decks to get a feel of the cost.

Redwood and cedar are good choices because of their natural rot-resistance making maintenance easier. Ipe is a Brazilian hardwood with similar characteristics, but it's more durable and costs about as much as composite boards. Pressure-treated pine is one of the most affordable wooden decking materials. Wooden decks must be power-washed and re-oiled regularly to remove pollen or dead leaves, which provide a food source for bacteria that can eat into the wood.


28 September 2018

Tips, Tricks and Ideas for Running a Business

Have you always dreamed of running your own business? Have you recently opened a business? Are you looking for ideas that will help you be successful? Then, you have come to the right place. This blog is devoted to helping people make their business dreams come true. Whether you run a restaurant, a factory, a dog walking business or anything else, there are a lot of commonalities. You have to identify your target customers, do development research, launch a marketing campaign, potentially hire employees and deal with countless other details. These posts are designed to help you through that process. I wish you the best of luck in your business efforts, and I hope my posts help along the way.