When considering deck material options, many homeowners explore the possibility of either a composite deck or a natural wood deck. There are benefits and disadvantages to each option. Below we review various factors to consider when deciding between these two deck materials. At UglyDeck, we are your source for deck products and services to help you achieve a design that is attractive, durable, and functional. Whether the choice made is natural wood or composite decking material, Chicago homeowners can benefit from having a beautiful deck addition to their outdoor living space.
Natural wood provides a lower upfront installation cost than the composite alternative. However, the higher investment with composite decking tends to pay for itself over a few years in reduced maintenance costs.
Wood deck boards easily absorb water, which is a disadvantage to using them. They require a regular application of sealer, paint, or stain to resist and prevent water absorption. Otherwise, the decking is vulnerable to splintering, warping, cracking, and rotting. On the other hand, certain composite decking brands are completely moisture-resistant without the need for stain or other applications.
There is a natural beauty to wood. Many composite materials can imitate the look of wood quite well, but there is no substitute for the genuine feel, look, and smell of real wood.
It is easy to transform wood by sanding and then adding a new coat of stain. However, composite decking material is not so easily modified since it is a manufactured material. Wood gives you the versatility to change its appearance with changing styles.
In addition, if you want to expand your wood deck, you can simply find and purchase the same wood species to ensure your addition melds seamlessly with your existing deck structure. To expand a composite deck, you need to find out if the original composite deck material is still in production.
Unless it is regularly and diligently protected by waterproofing and staining, wood decking will eventually splinter because of its exposure to moisture and temperature changes over time. Composite decking which consists of small wood fibers enveloped in plastic will not splinter after exposure to weather fluctuations. Also, with composite deck railing, Chicago homeowners will not have splinters forming on the railings which people touch.
Composite decking is resistant to damage from wood destroying pests such as termites without the need for sealing or painting. Wood decking, on the other hand, is very prone to damage from insects. Routine painting and sealing will resist such damage from occurring but may not completely prevent it.
With composite decking material, Twin Cities and Chicago homeowners only need to sweep or wash the boards to keep them looking good. Wood decking requires routine painting, staining, and sealing to prevent damage caused by temperature variations, pests, and moisture.