How do you choose between Wood or Composite decking?

Deck woodIn today’s world consumers are often overwhelmed with the numerous choices available to them.  Trying to decide on the best option for you and your family before making an improvement to your home often requires time and research.   This holds true when it comes to investing in a new deck design.   How do you decide between wood and composite decking?     


Traditional wood decks offer a beautiful natural appearance that complements the outdoors.  There are three types of wood decking available:  Pressure-treated, mahogany and cedar, and more recently, tropical hardwoods. 

An affordable up-front option, pressure-treated wood, is a common choice for decks.  Cut from pine, pressure-treated wood is coated to preserve the wood.   Every 2 to 3 years it will need a new application of protective stain or clear coating to keep it well maintained.  Over time, the boards may warp or splinter which requires replacing them.  

Many love the natural color and texture of mahogany or cedar.  They are both lightweight wood that hold up well to the weather.  Unless you prefer to let the boards weather naturally, a semi-transparent stain will help maintain the deep beauty of their natural color.  These woods are more costly than the pressure-treated, but require less maintenance and hold up better over time.   

New to the decking world are tropical hardwoods.  Chemical-free, dense, durable and beautiful, tropical woods are uniquely and naturally resistant to insects and rotting.   For tropical wood to maintain its warm color, it requires an oil coating application every one to two years.    The initial investment is more than other decking options, but they create beautiful high-quality, long-lasting decks.


Manufactured from a mixture of recycled plastic and recycled wood, composite decking is relatively maintenance-free.  Composite deck boards are coated in plastic so they don’t need to be stained or refinished.   There are various color choices including realistic faux wood finishes and fade-resistant options. 

A composite deck will need to be cleaned with a hose to remove dirt and grime.  Stains should be removed as soon as possible so they don’t set.  Consider also that chips and dings can be sanded out of a wood deck, but may be harder to repair with composites requiring fillers. 

Composite decks require a larger up-front financial investment than a wood deck.  The cost advantage of a wood deck, however, lessens over time as there is more maintenance costs required for wood decks.   

Depending on your budget, personal tastes and what you are willing to do in terms of maintenance, there is an option for everyone.   Both materials create beautiful outstanding decks.    Let us at Archadeck of Bucks/Mont help you determine what would work best for you and help you create your ultimate outdoor experience.   We offer a free consultation – call us today!

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