The Benefits of Composite vs Wood Decking

closeup of a wood deck meeting the siding of a home

Comparing Composite vs Wood Deck Options? Consider These Key Factors

If you’re looking to build a deck for your home, chances are you’re facing a crucial decision in evaluating composite vs wood deck options. While wood decks have long been the go-to, composite decks are a compelling alternative, offering the look of wood along with a number of other advantages.

At Xtreme Exteriors, our deck building team is highly experienced in composite deck installation, and we’ve seen the incredible benefits of composite decks in the years we’ve been in business. If you’re comparing composite vs. wood for your deck, here are the benefits composite decks have to offer.

Longer Lasting

The bottom line on composite decks is that they simply last longer on average than wood. Typically a wood deck will last around 10–15 years, or even up to 20 with good maintenance. Composite decks, on the other hand, will last for at least 20–30 years, and significantly longer if you choose an experienced deck builder with a well-defined deck building process.

Overall, this gives you and your family much more time to enjoy your deck before a replacement ever becomes necessary.

Lower Maintenance Requirements

While all decks will require maintenance, composite decks require significantly less annual attention and upkeep. Typically, wood decks will require staining every other year, and sometimes in consecutive years depending on the quality of the stain and the weather. Wood decks can also be more susceptible to storm damage.

Because wood decks are more subject to things like rotting and damage, it’s also more likely that you’ll need to replace boards on a wood deck vs. a composite one. Although composite decks also require maintenance, such as regular cleaning and inspections, generally the maintenance needs are significantly lower.

 

Lower Total Cost of Ownership

One of the major drawbacks of composite decks that homeowners might consider is the cost vs. a wood deck. While it is true that wood decks generally cost less upfront, composite decks actually have an advantage when considering the total cost of ownership.

Total cost of ownership describes the total cost of a product when factoring in not just installation, but also maintenance and repairs. In other words, it’s the cost of the product along with all needed upkeep throughout the life of the product.

While composite decks cost more than wood to build, they have significantly lower maintenance and repair costs. They’ll also last around twice as long on average, which greatly enhances the cost-effectiveness of composite over wood.

Heat and Sun Exposure

One area where composite and wood decks can be more difficult to compare is their performance in direct sunlight. Wood decks will fade and turn gray with time due to sun exposure, and can also be significantly damaged by harsh sunlight and heat. While composite decks are much less vulnerable to damage, they may also become hot in the sun.

However, the latter issue is much easier to remedy. For example, deck umbrellas can significantly reduce surface temperatures on a composite deck, while companies like TimberTech make products specifically designed to reduce heat in full sun exposure. 

So while there is a tradeoff in terms of vulnerability to sun damage (wood decks) and potential for high temperatures (composite decks), the latter is a problem that is much easier to resolve, giving composite decks an advantage here as well.

Xtreme Exteriors: The Midwest’s Top Composite Deck Builders

At Xtreme Exteriors, our experienced team of deck builders has perfected the composite deck building process. Our team works hard to ensure the composite decks we install are of the highest quality. 

If you’re comparing wood and composite deck options, our team will be happy to recommend products or provide a quote for a new composite deck for your home. Get your deck installed in time for summer! Reach out to our team today to get started or find an Xtreme Exteriors location near you: 

Nixa, MO | Shawnee, KS | Rogers, AR | Pittsburg, KS | Goodlettsville, TN 

 

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