Which decking products should you choose for your deck floor: wood or composite? Here’s the lowdown to help you make the right decision for your situation.
Wood Is Still King
Most deck floors today are still made of wood. It’s more affordable than a composite material, and many people prefer the natural look of wood. You’ve got two basic options here: hardwood and softwood. Most people are more familiar with softwood, which includes cedar, cyprus and pressure-treated pine. The hardwood decking species like Garapa, IPE, Tigerwood are more exotic and require more maintenance. Either way, don’t forget the staining and eventual stripping and sanding that comes with any wooden deck as the years go by.
Of course, if you’re a low-maintenance kind of person, then composite is the way to go. Composites are a man-made combination of plastic and wood fiber. Over the years, we’ve done many composite decks, and we’ve yet to hear one person who thought they made the wrong decision. Still, composites are only available in select colors and you won’t have that all-natural appearance that only wood can offer. You can also expect to pay anywhere from 30 to 45 percent more for a composite deck compared to a premium wood deck. But if you figure in the annual maintenance costs for a wood deck, you can expect to break even in about five years.
Time To Take A Second Look at Composites
Only a few years ago, composite decking was known to stain, fade, scratch and mold. But that’s all changed. Today’s composites have resolved all of those issues, and they don’t crack, warp or splinter. Just be sure to look at composites that have an exterior layer of vinyl (PVC) also known as capstock. We offer composites from these trusted suppliers:
No matter what decking materials or product you use, talking with a professional is always a good idea. Most homeowners will build one or two decks during their lifetime, but the pros will build hundreds if not thousands. So their feedback can be very useful.
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