When you’ve built hundreds of decks, pergolas and other outdoor structures, you get to know the materials you use inside and out. I’ve got some favorites, for sure, but people ask me what I think about composite decking vs. real wood. Frankly, I’m a fan. Composite decking has come a long way from its introduction 27 years ago. Today’s products offer a lot of advantages over real wood. Here are a few of the advantages I think make composite decking worth comparing with real wood.
The Look of Composite Decking Is Realistic
Some of my customers say they just don’t like the look of “fake” wood. I get it. When composite decking first hit the market, it didn’t look like real wood. Like I said, composite decking has come a long way, so if you haven’t looked at it recently, it’s worth a second look now. I have found it is better to embrace it for what it is. It’s not fake wood, it’s manufactured decking. Check out one of our manufacturer’s products, Fiberon composite decking, and you’ll see how far it has come. Today’s composite decking is designed to closely mimic the look of various natural and even exotic wood grains.
Composite Decking Requires Less Maintenance
Mother Nature does not play nice with wood. Because wood is naturally porous, if a natural wood deck is not stained, painted, or treated on a regular basis, it will start to splinter, warp, and peel. Additionally, too much moisture can cause wood to rot and insects can cause damage as well. Too much sun will cause fading and too much shade can cause mold and mildew to form. Debris from trees like leaves, acorns, and berries, and even rust from furniture can cause staining. From replacing damaged boards to staining or painting, the average pressure-treated wood deck needs a lot of maintenance. Composite decks, however, clean up nicely with soap and water or a mild cleaner for a high-end look that lasts.
Composite Decks Last Longer Than Wood Decks
Because wood is susceptible to temperature, moisture, and insects, wood decks have a shorter lifespan. Composite decking looks good year after year because it’s formulated to last. Fiberon decking, for instance, is made from recycled wood mixed with recycled plastic which gives its core strength and durability that natural wood can’t match. Composite decking resists splintering, rotting, cracking, insects and decay. Some brands, including Fiberon, offer warranties up to 50 years.
Composite Decks Cost Less over Their Lifetime
Even though composite decks cost more up front to build, they are actually more economical in the long run. Because they outlast pressure-treated wood decks by years, sometimes decades, a composite deck is definitely worth the cost difference in the beginning. I encourage my customers to pay the extra now and save themselves the trouble of years of maintenance and a slowly deteriorating deck, especially if they plan to stay in the house they are in for a long time.
Composite Decking Protects the Environment
Composite decking is better for the environment too. Because manufacturers use components like recycled plastic and lumber mill scraps, not only do they reduce waste, but they don’t cut down trees to make their boards preventing further deforestation and recycle over 100 million pounds of plastic that might have otherwise ended up in landfills or incinerators, every year. And some manufactures, like Fiberon, have adopted manufacturing processes that reuse water and product waste. They use a closed-loop water cooling system for zero water discharge and recover 98.5% of the waste materials they generate.
Composite Decking Is Safer
Composite decking won’t splinter, split, crack, or rot, which means that after years of use, they are still perfectly safe for kids, pets and bare feet. Many offer slip resistance and fire resistance as well. Fiberon offers fire-rated decking in a wide range of colors and styles that resist damage from fire and reduce flame spread.
At Creative Concepts and Design, we’ll help you choose the materials that make the most sense for your deck or pergola. Decks and pergolas are our favorite things to build and we love to hear your ideas – the more creative, the better! Call us at (816) 301-0275 or contact us online. You can even schedule a design meeting and get a free quote. We’d love to bring your backyard dreams to life!