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What are the Differences Between Composite vs. Wood Deck?

Composite vs Wood Deck

March 15, 2022

As a homeowner who wants to add a deck to their home, you have one key decision to make—do you want a composite or a wood deck? Both types of materials have their differences, and many people are staunch supporters of each. At the end of the day, the decision comes down to you and your preference. To help you make that decision, your expert decking contractors at McHenry have put together a comparison of composite vs. wood decks.

The Composite vs. Wood Deck Material

Depending on your taste, you may choose that wood is your preferred type of deck simply for the material. Many people want a wood deck because it’s natural, it feels good, and they’re accustomed to wood decks. If you opt for a wood deck, you can choose between cedar, redwood, or some type of pressure-treated wood—typically pine.

Composite decks are unique to wood decks as the material is not natural. Composite is made from a combination of wood fibers and recycled plastic that’s melted together and shaped into boards. While composite may lack the aesthetic that wood possesses, advancements have been made to improve the overall feel and beauty of composite in recent years.

McHenry deck overlooking a pool in a backyard.

As renowned deck builders in Chester County, PA, McHenry Deck Builders can help advise you on the best material to build your dream deck.

Composite vs. Wood Deck Maintenance

When it comes to the maintenance of a deck, you begin to see a real difference in wood and composite. Wood decks require regular maintenance to keep them in good shape. If you don’t maintain a wood deck, the lifespan will decrease. General maintenance includes sanding, sealing, staining, painting, and cleaning. These need to be done every 2 to 5 years.

While wood decks require regular maintenance, composite decks are nearly free from any sort of labor. This is because most composite decks don’t absorb moisture and won’t rot or warp. The only recommendation for composite deck owners is to clean it twice a year.

Durability of the Deck Material

The durability of a wood deck can vary greatly as it’s dependent on how well the deck is maintained. If a wood deck is left alone, it could succumb to rot from water or insects, warping from water, and more. However, if you take good care of your wood deck, it can last 10-20 years. 

Composite, on the other hand, is regarded for its durability. Depending on the type of composite decking used, you can expect a lifespan of 25-50 years.

New deck with step up to dining area.

The Cost Difference Between Composite vs. Wood

The price of wood and composite can each vary depending on which subtype of material is being used. For example, a tropical hardwood will be double the price of a pressure-treated softwood. In general, you can expect to pay a bit more for a composite deck vs. a wood deck. 

Besides the price of installation, you’ll also be paying for maintenance. While it’s tough to nail down the estimated cost of maintenance, it’s fair to say you’ll pay more to maintain a wood deck than a composite deck.

McHenry Deck Builders Can Help With Your Decking Choices

Wood decks and composite decks both have their pros and cons. To many, wood decks are superior for their look and feel. However, if you’re more concerned about maintenance and durability, composite decks hold the upper hand. If you’re looking for deck builders in Montgomery County, PA, contact McHenry Deck Builders today—we can help you choose the perfect material and design for your dream deck!