Skip to main content

Composite Decking Vs. Wood

Decking is a flat surface that is capable of taking weight. Much like a floor, decking is usually found outside, and elevated from the ground. It is used to add something extra to your garden or outdoor space, and is often made of timber. However, there are some debates when it comes to decking, and one of them is whether you should use composite decking or wood. It’s a long-standing debate with different people having different opinions. In this article, we are going to be looking at the facts only, and using these to come to a conclusion as to the difference between composite decking and wood, as well as which is better. Keep reading if you would like to find out more about your decking options.

What Is Composite Decking?

Composite decking is not a fully natural material. Rather, it is a manmade mixture of wood fibres, plastics and a number of bonding agents to give it the utmost strength and durability. The mixture is heated so that it can be made into boards, and then cooled to set. These boards can then be used to build a deck; a deck that will need far less maintenance due to this mixture that they were created with. You will also find that the use of wood fibers in the composite decking give it a far more real and authentic look and feel than some of the fully plastic alternatives that you could purchase. 

What Is Wood Decking?

When it comes to wood decking, you have two options. You can either choose hardwood or softwood decking, each having their own pros and cons. The main difference is what tree they come from, so this is something that you can speak to our specialists about when you hire us to sort your decking for you. Of course, all wood decking is made from timber, albeit sometimes a mixture of different types. But, there is no plastic or other manmade materials in wood decking.

What Are The Benefits?

Composite Decking:

  • Durability: One of the benefits of composite decking is that the plastic in the boards means that this type of decking is far less likely to be susceptible to rot. It also makes it more durable, as the mixture of ingredients ensures that it is stronger than wood alone. It is not going to split or crack if the sun is shining down hard for a long period of time, it’s going to be just fine.
  • Less Maintenance: You are never going to have to spend time sealing or painting composite decking. What you get originally is what you are going to have for years to come, making your life that little bit easier. The maintenance is very small, only needing to wash it every now and then if it gets dirty from people walking all over it. Speaking of people walking all over it, it is also stain and fade resistant, so you don’t have to worry about this either.

Wood Decking:

  • Less Expensive Upfront: One of the benefits of wood decking is that it is a cheaper alternative to composite decking as the ingredients are natural, and it’s therefore easier to prepare. The fibres are packed tightly together, giving the wood decking extra strength over composite decking which you need when you think about the fact that this will be elevated from the ground. However, with wood decking, there is yearly maintenance to keep it in good repair.
  • Readily Available: Wood decking is also readily available depending on the type that you choose. This means that it’s easier to get, and you won’t have to wait as long for your decking.

What Are The Issues?

Composite Decking: 

  • More Expensive: The main issue with composite decking is that it is quite a bit more costly than using wood. You would think that with all the benefits it has this would be the case, but it can really put some people off. The price of composite decking is high, and it’s something that you really need to think about before making your decision as you don’t want to spend a whole bunch of money on something that you’re not entirely sure of.
  • Can Attract Mold: It is also true that even though composite decking is moisture resistant, that doesn’t always stop the mold. If you are not careful, you are going to end up with mould over your decking, and sometimes under and in between boards as well. It’s not an uncommon issue, and is frustrating to say the least. 

Wood Decking: 

  • Wood Rot is Common: One of the issues with wood decking is the fact that wood rot is common. After a while, wood decking is susceptible to water damage, fading colour, board gaps and a few more issues. It’s true to say that there are more issues with wood decking than with composite decking.

Which Is The Best?

So, which is best then? At the end of the day, it is going to depend on a number of things. If you have the money readily available, and you can afford composite decking, then this may well be the best option for you. You are less likely to experience issues that will mean looking into new decking entirely, it looks fantastic and requires less maintenance than wood decking.

However, if you don’t want to spend this kind of money, then the budget friendlier option of wood decking is still not a bad choice. While it might be more susceptible to some kinds of damage, it is also stronger than composite, bringing its own benefits to the table. If you would like to find out more about the types of decking, then contact an expert such as to get advice based on your individual circumstances. 

We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now understand a little more about the composite decking vs. wood debate. You are, of course, free to make up your own mind as to which is better, but at least now you have all of the facts to go on when making your choice. Feel free to do more research into the topic if you think that there is more to be learned, and then make the best decision possible when it comes to which type of decking you would like. We wish you the very best of luck.