Is Composite Decking A Good Alternative To Traditional Wood Decking


Composite decking is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to traditional wood decking. But what is composite decking and how does it compare to regular wood?

In this article, we’ll explore the differences and similarities between composite and traditional wood decking, as well as the pros and cons of each – compared to one another. By the end, you should have a better understanding of whether composite decking is right for your next project.

Let’s begin.

Comparison Between Composite And Wood Decking

In order to give you a definitive answer to the question at hand, we must first take a look at both of them together. To do this, we’ll take a look at the properties and main features of both, see what they have in common, and how they stack up against one another.

1. Material

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Composite decking is made from a mix of wood fibers and plastic, while traditional wood decking is made entirely from wood. This means that composite decking is more resistant to rot, decay, and warping than traditional wood decking.

2. Cost

Composite decking is typically more expensive than traditional wood decking. However, it’s important to keep in mind that composite decking has a longer lifespan and requires less maintenance than wood, which could make it cheaper in the long run. However, this doesn’t hold universally true. Some hardwood decks can be quite expensive and durable, as well, although they do come with other disadvantages.

3. Durability

Composite decking is more durable than traditional wood decking. It’s also more resistant to rot, decay, and warping. When it comes to weather and water resistance, composite decking is better than wood as well.

4. Colors And Patterns

There’s only so much you can do with wood when it comes to colors and patterns. Composite decking, on the other hand, comes in a wide range of colors and patterns. This means you can find composite decking that closely resembles real wood or that has a completely different look altogether – depending on what you’re looking for.

5. Maintenance

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Arguably the biggest advantage of composite decking is that it requires very little maintenance. Wood decks need to be regularly cleaned and sealed (amongst many other things), while composite decks only need to be cleaned.

Pros Of Composite Decking – Compared To Traditional Wood

To further our exploration of whether composite decking is a good alternative to traditional wood decking, let’s take a look at some of its pros.

Many Style Options To Choose From

If you’d like to explore your options when building a deck, you’re in luck – composite decking comes in a variety of colors and styles. This means that you can find the perfect look for your home, no matter what your personal style may be.

Very Low Maintenance

With composite decking, the only “maintenance” you’ll be required to do is pretty much limited to sweeping. That’s it! No need to worry about sanding, staining, or painting – composite decks pretty much take care of themselves. Now, this doesn’t mean you should let it stew in its own filth. You do have to keep it clean, but that’s about as far as it goes.

Durable And Long-Lasting

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If you’d like your deck to last you a long time, you’re probably much better off going with composite decking. This material is incredibly durable and long-lasting, meaning that you won’t have to replace it nearly as often as you would with traditional wood decking. It won’t rot, warp, stain, or crack, and it’s also resistant to insect damage.


If you’d like to stay green while also building a deck, composite decking is definitely the way to go. Composite decks are made from recycled materials, so you can feel good about your purchase knowing that you’re not harming the environment. And, if you’d like to know just how green composite decks are – you can read more about it.


If you have young children or are just concerned about safety in general, you’ll be happy to know that composite decks are non-slippery – even when went. This is due to their grippy, textured surface, which makes them much less likely to cause anyone to slip and fall.

Cons Of Composite Decking – Compared To Traditional Wood

Now that we’re done with the good, let’s check out the not-so-great things about the composite decking.


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It’s not a secret that composite decking is more expensive than traditional wood decking. But at the same time, while the upfront cost may be higher, you have to remember that composite decks will last you a really long time, so it’ll all even out in the end.

Can’t Be Stained

Tired of how your deck looks? Well, that’s unfortunate. Unlike traditional ones, these can’t be stained or painted (at least not successfully) because the material simply won’t accept it. So, if you’re not happy with the way your deck looks, you’re pretty much stuck with it unless you want to rip it out and replace the whole thing.

Looks Plastic-y

Nothing really beats how the real wood looks, does it? Unfortunately, that’s one area where composite decking falls short. Even the best ones look a bit plastic-y and fake when compared to the real deal. So, if that grinds your gears – you might want to stick to the au naturel.

May Fade Over Time

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While very resistant on so many levels, dark-stained composite decks may fade over time – especially if they’re constantly exposed to direct sunlight. So, if you live in a particularly sunny area and were planning on going with a dark color, you might want to change your mind and go with something light.

Final Verdict – Is Composite Decking A Good Alternative To Traditional Wood Decking

So, what’s the deal? Is it a good alternative? Should you go with composite over traditional wood?

As far as we’re concerned – no – it’s not a good alternative. We’d say it’s the other way around. Wood is an alternative to composite.

The way we see it, you can’t really go wrong with composite decking if you plan ahead and do your research. It’s the better option out of the two. So, yes, you should definitely go with it over traditional wood.