If you wanted to have a deck 20+ years ago, there were two choices for you; wood and wood. Now you're inundated with options, pressure treated timber, untreated timber, hardwood, softwood, hollow composite decking, solid composite decking. But, how do you know which one would work best for you and meet your requirements?
In this article, we will be explaining the benefits and the differences between composite versus wood deck and discussing which is better composite or wood deck, by going through the following elements in detail.
- How much is composite decking vs wood
- What is composite decking vs wood decking
- Composite decking pros and cons
- Wood decking pros and cons
- Types of wood/composite decking pros/cons
- Which is better composite or wood decking
How much is composite decking vs wood
No decking material is cheap, be that a deck with composite wood or a deck with traditional timber there will be a pricey upfront cost, with materials, time and labour.
However, over time, composite wood decks are much more cost-effective than real wood decks. A wood deck needs to have constant maintenance and upkeep, staining the wood, treating, stripping and jet washing your wooden decking, treatments which don't come free and take up valuable hours of your day, all adding to the cost of upkeep.
Cladco Composite decking costs roughly £26.30 per square metre (11 square foot) whereas Cladco Timber decking costs roughly £19.40 per square metre (11 square foot). So although the initial price per square foot for composite decking, both composite vs wood deck materials are pricey. Although, per square foot, composite decking does have lower maintenance and cost over time. And thanks to its strong and durable interior structure, composite boards will last for many years without splintering or warping.
What is composite decking vs wood decking
Cladco Composite decking is an amalgamation of 60% recycled FSC accredited wood fibres and 40% recycled plastic, bonded together with colour tints and other preservatives to create a durable, high-quality wood plastic decking board for your composite deck. Available in a range of hollow and solid boards in a variety of eight colours.
To create the real wood traditional timber decking aesthetic, for your Wooden decking. Real wood is recommended, you can use either hardwood or softwood. To be suitable for decking, the wood must be pressure treated, defending the real wood decks against insects, fungal and general deterioration.
Composite Decking Pros and Cons
5 Advantages of Composite Decking
Not only is composite decking better for your wallet, your time (thanks to composite decking being low-maintenance so no need to paint, varnish or sand your decking) and the environment it also has a range of benefits. Leaving you with high-quality wood aesthetic deck, without the hassle of maintaining it.
Low Slip - Thanks to the narrow grooves on Cladco Composite Boards, the boards are less likely to be slippery when wet or icy.
Insect Repellent - Due to the dense structure and the plastic of the boards, insects will not penetrate and eat the interior, like with traditional wood decks.
Durable- Because decks composite boards are made from part natural and part synthetic materials, they do not rot, warp or splinter, making them better for higher footfall areas.
Low water absorption - Unlike wooden decks which absorb water, making them swell, and can rot, composite decking will not absorb water as easily.
Range of colours - Whereas traditionally treated lumber decking comes in a small range of natural colours, Cladco composite decking is available in eight colours.
5 Disadvantages of Composite Decking
There are not many disadvantages to Composite decking, most all come down to personal preference.
Some find the appearance of natural wood vs composite decking to be superior to the too-perfect look of the plastic composite variety.
Like all products kept outside in the sun, despite the composite decking wood being UV protected, deck composite wood will fade in colour, which should just give your decking an attractive weathered look.
While composite decking is more expensive than treated lumber, the cost per square foot is outweighed with the lack of work and maintenance needed for composite vs wood decking.
Like with natural pressure-treated lumber, composite boards will vary in colour between batches, thanks to the natural components of the boards.
Return of interest, when adding wooden composite decking to your home, you could increase its value. Typically, there is a smaller return of invest with composite decks as opposed to having a wooden deck.
Advantages of wood decking
Treated wood decking has the advantage of not only being cheaper but having the authentic look of natural/ real wood. A look that many people desire in their decking, as well as the strength and durability of the wood.
Disadvantages of wood decking
For your wooden deck to prevent insects eating, and burrowing into the wood or the wood from rotting, the wood needed must be pressure treated, even when pressure treated wood decks need a lot of maintenance to keep the decks looking at a high level.
Pros and Cons by type
Unlike natural wood, like Cedar, Vs Composite Deck, wood-plastic decking is defect-free, all boards are man-made, without knots, holes or breaks in the wood.
Cedar timber is a softwood, meaning it is a lot weaker, less durable and less dense than composite decking, especially in places with a high footfall, composite decks will last longer, compared to Cedar Deck.
Trex vs composite deck
Composite Deck is a lower-maintenance alternative to traditional pressure-treated lumber, while although the cost of composite is higher than Trex Deck, the overall perfect look of composite decking, with its UV protection and low slip properties means the added cost is worth the less labour-intensive addition to your home.
Conclusion: Which is better composite or wood decking
For both look and upkeep, when it comes to Wood vs Composite decking there is no comparison.
While Natural wood is cheaper, it demands more of your time once it is down, with sanding, varnishing and painting annually.
All Composite decking demands is a clean every now and again to keep it looking fresh, with the bonding agents embedding throughout, there is no need to seal, stain or paint. Thanks to its low water absorption rate the boards do not attract mould, fungus or rot.
Allowing you to spend your free time, not working but, relaxing on your deck!