When you’re planning how to build your deck, picking what decking to use is one of the biggest choices you make. Two common options are wood and composite decking. When choosing which one is best, you’ll want to look into a variety of factors. Let’s take a look at the differences between wood and composite decking.
Some earlier models of composite decking look plastic and artificial. However, there are more modern options that look more natural. Modern versions of composite decking actually look quite similar to wooden boards.
Wood decking is susceptible to warping because wood absorbs water. To prevent warping, cracking, and rotting, you need to regularly apply stains, paints, or sealers. Composite decking will absorb much less moisture, meaning you can have these decks installed even in higher-moisture environments.
The aforementioned moisture concern poses a threat to the longevity of a wooden deck. Without regular sealing, painting, or staining, the deck won’t last as long. Since composite decking doesn’t have the same moisture concerns, all you need to do to keep it in top shape is sweep and wash your deck so that the boards stay looking good.
Termites, as well as other wood-eating insects, pose a large threat to wooden decks. Composite decking is not prone to these insects, making it a safer option in that regard.
Eventually, all wood decking splinters. In contrast, composite decking won’t splinter because it is comprised of wood fibers that are wrapped in plastic. Having a splinter-free deck is much safer, especially when walking barefoot, and for family members like pets and children, whose feet may be sensitive.
Wood decking has a lower initial cost. However, there is more maintenance that needs to be done on these decks, and the costs can stack up. Composite decking is more pricey up front, but will usually pay for itself in 2-3 years when you consider annual maintenance costs. Prices also vary based on what wood species or composite decking brand you choose.
Wood and composites options can be cut and fastened with ease using everyday tools many homeowners have. Composite decking is bent more easily if you heat it, making it easier to create curved deck sections.
In the past, wood decking has been better for warmer temperatures as composites can get overheated in direct sunlight. But nowadays, there are modern options with more heat absorption that make walking around more comfortable. Feet can start blistering at temperatures of 109 degrees Fahrenheit. Any heat absorption that can be done helps lower the chances of hurting your feet, especially in the summer when the heat is at its peak.
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Since 2003, Albaugh & Sons, LLC has been dedicated to meeting the fencing, decking, and home remodeling needs of homeowners throughout the greater Frederick area. All of our team members are experienced, well-trained, and committed to exceeding the expectations of every customer.
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