Comparing Types of Decking: Composite or Wood?

June 28, 2021

Are you finally ready to build that outdoor deck so you can have the backyard oasis of your dreams? If that’s you, one of the first things you will need to decide about is the decking materials you want to use.

There are two main types of decking: composite and wood. Each one comes with its own pros and cons.

In this guide, we’re going to break down each type so you can decide which one is right for your brand new deck. We’ll also share our favorite types of composite decking.

Once you nail down this decision, work on the deck of your dreams can begin. Let’s get started.

The Pros and Cons of Wood Decking

Let’s start with wood. Traditional lumber, like cedar, redwood, or pressure-treated wood, is a long-beloved choice for decking. 

The main pros of wood are that it looks beautiful and is a cost-effective option. It can also last for up to 15 years; however, it requires regular maintenance. Every year or two it needs to be resealed and restained to maintain its quality and color. 

Cedar is a durable wood option, but other types of wood will easily soften and splinter. 

The main complaints about wood have to do with the yearly maintenance requirements. Along with resealing and restaining, it also needs to be sanded every two to five years. If you paint it, it will need a fresh coat every two to five years too. 

Wood is beautiful, and for some homeowners, there’s nothing like the real thing. However, wood comes with some drawbacks that composite decking can eliminate. Let’s check out how composite options stand up to traditional wood next.

The Pros and Cons of Composite Decking

What is composite decking? It is a combination of real wood and plastic that’s manufactured to mimic the look of wood. 

Composite decking has become a popular option because it’s durable and virtually maintenance-free. Thanks to the plastic component, it is water-resistant. It also doesn’t warp, split, or crack as wood decking does. 

Additionally, composite decking does not succumb to insect infestations. 

Unlike wood, it doesn’t need to be resealed, stained, painted, or sanded. The only maintenance it requires is a routine cleaning. Composite decking can even last up to 50 years.  

It is also resistant to UV rays, which is how it maintains its color longer. However, if you desire a new color, you can paint your composite decking.

Another nice thing about composite decking is that it looks just like real wood, and you can get it in a variety of styles and colors. The main complaint homeowners have about composite decking is that the upfront cost is higher than wood. 

However, when you factor in the time and money you will spend maintaining your wood deck, composite decking will save you more in the long run. Plus, it lasts longer than wood decking, so it has a higher value. 

The Pros and Cons of TimberTech Decking

As you can see, composite decking is a better choice than wood decking these days. TimberTech is a type of composite decking, but we think it deserves a special mention. 

TimberTech includes an advanced capping technology that safeguards it from weather and moisture damage, which means it can last even longer. This means it also resists mildew and mold.

TimberTech includes all of the other benefits of composite decking, including its low maintenance and durability. Plus, it’s designed with beauty in mind.

Your deck is where you will host parties, family nights, and summer hangouts, so you want a flawless presentation. With TimberTech, you can get the exact look you want, from weathered teak to English walnut and more.

Like composite decking, the only con to TimberTech is the higher price point. However, it will still save you money over the long term thanks to its low maintenance requirements. 

TimberTech also comes with a 50-year fade and stain warranty, so you can feel confident about your purchase. If you want the best durability and style, TimberTech is our top choice when it comes to different types of decking. 

AZEK Capped Polymer Decking

Timbertech also carries a top-tier line of capped polymer decking called AZEK. Like other composite decking types, it is strong and durable, but the polymer capping takes it a step beyond the rest.

This option is also known for its particularly beautiful design. It has the most natural wood look, and it comes in vintage-inspired color options. It’s built to sustain its color no matter the weather conditions, and it stays cooler to the touch than other composite decking options. 

Building a Deck in Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina is the perfect place to build your dream deck. The crisp spring days are perfect for enjoying your morning coffee on your deck. As the weather grows warmer, enjoy long summer nights on the deck with sweet tea.  

If you’re looking for the best deck builder in Charleston, Contract Exteriors can build you the most beautiful deck in your neighborhood. Our professional decking consultants will go over all the material and design options with you so you can choose the right one for you.

We can also replace an existing deck, and we offer flexible financing plans. Our deck installers are the best in South Carolina, and we take pride in our work. We want to build you a deck that your family will love for decades. 

Finals Thoughts on the Different Types of Decking

As you can see, each of the different types of decking has perks and drawbacks. In the end, it comes down to your preference. For the lowest upfront cost, choose traditional wood. Just make sure you choose durable wood like cedar for your deck.

For an elevated and long-lasting deck, go with composite decking. You will love how easy it is to maintain.

For the most design options and superior quality, we suggest TimberTech decking. It’s perfect for hot Charleston summers since it resists heat damage and fading in the sun. Plus, it’s beautiful, incredibly durable, and low-maintenance.  

Request a Free Estimate

Still unsure about which one of the types of decking is right for your home? Our professional decking consultants can help. They can go over all the options with you in-depth, and you can request a free estimate for your new deck.

Get started with Contract Exteriors today so we can build you the deck of your dreams.