There are many types of materials available for decks but two of the most popular ones include wood and composite. These two materials are being compared and the battle between wood and composite decking materials has not ceased. When installing a new deck, the first thing you need to decide aside from the design of your deck is the materials you are going to use.

Wood Decking

Wood is the traditional decking option — and is still a popular option until today — for many homeowners. Wood decking is made from untreated wood and can last up to 10 to 30 years. On the other hand, treated wood or composite decking can last up to more than 50 years. Wood decks are popular because they are made from real wood which looks beautiful because of its natural warm appearance. Not only do they look good, they also smell so good especially if you are a fan of woody scents. 

There are three options you could choose from for your wood decking plan – the pressure-treated wood, the cedar wood, and the tropical hardwoods. Pressure-treated wood is infused with chemical solutions via a pressurized compartment to protect wood against insects and rot. Cedar wood is naturally rotten and insect resistant. They are also straight and stable which makes them the best wood decking option. Tropical hardwoods, on the other hand, are richly grained, giving your deck a unique look. 

Unfortunately, hardwood can be really expensive. Untreated wood may split and crack, especially when subject to harsh weather conditions. You really need to have it maintained regularly.

Composite Decking

Composite decking is a synthetic alternative to wood. It is a combination of about 60-80% of wood fiber and 20-40% plastic compounds. With composite decking, though, you may not have real wood, but there are an array of colors that you can choose to mimic in a more natural “wood” look. 

The best thing about composite decks is that they are very durable; they can last up to 30 years even without proper maintenance. They can also withstand harsh weather conditions and will not rot or crack.

The primary drawback of composite decking is its costs. Installing composite decking is arguably more expensive than wood decking. When planning to install composite decking, you have to make sure you choose well, since some composite decks obviously look “fake” and tend to become slippery when wet.

So, what are the best decking materials for you? The best answer for you is to know what will fit your home best. You can also consider asking for advice from professional deck installers so you have an idea before choosing your decking material.