The Pro’s and Con’s of Wood and Composite Decks



When it comes to the construction of a wood deck, there is a question that comes up almost immediately. That question is: should you use composite materials or wood? In order to make the right decision, you need to know what the strengths and weaknesses are of these two materials. Consider, then, these pros and cons of both composite and wood for deck construction before you make your decision.

Traditionally, because composite material was not invented into recently, wood was use to build decks. Wood, of course, has its own set of pros and cons when it comes to decks. Here are some of the more prominent pros and cons of wood.

On the pro side, wood gives your deck a warm natural appearance. They also have a natural wood feel that many people enjoy. This natural look and feel is something you simply cannot replicate and thus gives the wood a solid advantage. Additionally, the wood is a renewable resource. Trees can be replanted, composite materials cannot. Finally, wood does not get all that hot even in direct sun. The material reflects the heat more than it absorbs it.

On the con side of wood is that it does take a little work to clean and maintain it. You have to reseal and restain every few years and pressure cleaning has to be done with care. Additionally, wood is susceptible to pests and decay which is not a problem with composites.

On the other side is composite material for decks. Composite material has its own set of pros and cons that can help you make a decision. Consider these important factors when consider whether you should use composite material for your deck.

When it comes to composite material, the biggest pro you usually hear is that it is not susceptible to rot or pests. Composite material is not something termites will eat. Additionally, the rain and sun do not damage it as significantly as wood in most cases. It is also easier to clean since the pressure cleaner will not dent it and you do not have to restain or reseal it every year or two as you may with wood.

On the con side of the composite deck material is its look. Even though many of the plastic composites have a faux grain to them, they still come across as looking “plasticy.” Additionally, composite material can get very hot in direct sun so that walking on it in bare feet can result in real burns or blisters. It seems small, but that makes for an uncomfortable pool side situation. Finally, not only are most composite materials not renewable, they are not environmentally friendly due to the pollution created when they are manufactured.

When it comes to making the decision between wood or composite decks, you should consider all the factors. By looking at these pros and cons, you can begin to sort out which material will work best for you. While each has its own upside and downside, the decision of wood or composite decking is ultimately up to you.