April 18

Comparing Composite to Wood Decks


A deck is a great addition to your home. It’s an outdoor extension where you can have casual meals, sit and relax with a cup of coffee or cocktail, or just enjoy nature. It’s a perfect spot to enjoy the warm breeze of a summer evening. With summer drawing near, it’s a great time to start thinking about this type of project.

If you already have a deck on your home, you understand its advantages. If you don’t have one, you may be considering having one added. But you might be wondering whether building a deck made from natural wood is a good idea, what with the high price of wood and maintenance involved.

Differences between Composite and Wood Decks

Let’s face it; building or replacing a deck is a considerable investment. You want to make sure it’s worth the time and money involved by making the right choice in materials. Whether you plan on building the deck yourself or hiring a contractor, this article can help you make an informed decision.

Let’s first define what a composite deck actually is. Composite materials are a mixture of recycled plastic and wood fibers. They are designed to replicate the look of wood. Composite decks include some of the benefits of both natural and artificial decking materials.

  • Cost

This factor is very important in your decision. Until lately, composite decks were considerably more expensive than natural wood decks. However, the cost of lumber has risen dramatically, making the difference in price to install a composite deck negligible. Besides, manufacturers of composite decks like TimberTech now offer budget-friendly choices.

A less expensive option for natural wood decks is pressure-treated lumber. It’s made from fir trees soaked in anti-rot and insecticide agents. However, it’s susceptible to warping, splitting, and cracking, so it requires more frequent maintenance than natural wood. 

Wood decks made from cedar or redwood are superior in appearance compared to pressure-treated decks. They resist warping, cracking, and other damages from the weather. However, their price tag racks up to triple the cost of treated lumber.

There are other natural wood options available, like Brazilian ipe wood. It is also resistant to warping and rot and more durable than cedar or redwood. But you’re looking at spending four times as much as on other natural wood decks since you’re paying to import it from Brazil.

  • Maintenance

Composite decks require periodic cleaning to keep them looking like new. All you need is a garden hose, cleaning solution, and brush to remove surface dirt and stains.  

Natural wood decks demand sanding, stripping, or staining every year or two. Keep in mind that the cost of these maintenance products can negate any savings you may have received on the initial installation price, making composite decks better investments in the long term. Plus, the effort you put into maintenance or the cost of hiring someone else to do it are additional factors to consider.

  • Durability

Composite materials are stain-resistant so there’s less cleanup involved. Composite decks will withstand harsh weather conditions and resist splintering and rotting. They will not fade or change colors from the UV rays of the sun, like natural wood. They retain their original color for years.

  • Appearance

Composite decks of the past didn’t have the aesthetic appeal of real wood. That was one major drawback that made homeowners hesitant to opt for decks built with composite materials. However, with today’s technological advancements, your composite deck will have a look and feel of natural wood.

  • Comfort

One issue with composite decks used to be that their surface was hotter to the touch in high temperatures than natural wood. New technology has made them cooler to prevent burning your skin walking on the deck with bare feet. Your youngsters can play on the deck without getting the splinters prevalent in natural wood decks.

  • Environmental Impact

Natural wood comes from trees that take decades to grow. Composite decks like those made by TimberTech are made from recycled materials that would have otherwise been dumped in landfills. Last year alone, TimberTech diverted 500 million pounds of waste and scrap from those landfills. Since 2015, they saved over 1 million trees.

Trust TimberTech for Your Next Deck

There are pros and cons to both natural wood and composite decks for your home. But when you do the comparison, composite decks are a wise choice. 

TimberTech is the BEST choice in composite decking. That’s why it’s the ONLY composite deck we install at Monarch Exteriors. It is far superior to other composite decks in performance, technology, and appearance.

TimberTech offers three lines of decks to choose from. They will send you free samples to help you decide on the color and finish that’s right for you. If you choose to install your deck yourself, they have detailed specifications and instructions to guide you through the process.

If you don’t have the time, skills, or desire for another long DIY project, Monarch Exteriors can do it for you. We have the knowledge and experience to build your deck from the ground up or replace what you have. Give us a call today to get started.


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