What are the pros and cons of composite decking?

pic of a Composite deck built in fort collins, co

More and more homeowners are looking for durable ways to improve their homes. Many want to increase the value of their property by installing decking. The most common version is the traditional wooden decking. However, an increased amount of people is interested in more durable variants, such as composite decks.

Composite decking is gaining rapid popularity. They have greater durability and are easy to clean. They have a longer life span than traditional wooden decks as they are resistant to mold, insect damage, and the elements. Composite decking is more expensive but definitely worth the money.

In this article, I will take you through all the advantages and disadvantages of this durable version of decking. I have no doubt that after reading this article, you will have all the necessary information you need to make a well-considered decision.

What are the advantages of composite decking?

If you are a homeowner who’s looking to improve their home with a durable deck, you might wonder, what are the advantages of composite decking? I listed the most relevant advantages down below. 

  • Less maintenance

Nowadays, people are always busy. They are working around the clock and want to spend the time they have left with their loved ones. Therefore, it is extremely valuable to have decking that requires as little maintenance as possible. No wonder that this is one of the biggest advantages when it comes to composite decking.

As wooden decking is very prone to mold and rot, it needs lots of maintenance. On the contrary, composite decking is very resistant to rot and is therefore easy to maintain. The material doesn’t require repainting or resealing. However, it is good to regularly clean the composite deck. This can easily be done with water and soap. 

  • Durability & Lifespan

We want every part of our house to be as durable as possible. Therefore, composite decking is an excellent choice. To put it easy, the material is a mix of wood and plastic. As this material is resistant to rot, it is an extremely durable option. Its lifespan is also a lot longer compared to the wooden variant. Where traditional wooden decking can last up to 15 years (with proper maintenance), composite decks can last up to 30 years. This is double the lifespan!

Composite decking does not fade or stain, which makes it the most comfortable option for families with kids and pets.

  • Slip-resistant

We all know these winter mornings, where we have to be extremely careful when going outside due to the danger of slipping. When having little kids, composite decking is the perfect solution. You don’t have to worry that anyone might slip, as most composite decks are slip-resistant. 

  • Resistance to weather conditions


The traditional wooden decks can get discolored and weakened by extreme weather conditions. Composite decking withstands these circumstances better and causes your decking to have a longer life span. You no longer have to worry about frost, rain, or extremely high temperatures. Your composite deck will survive it all! 

What are the disadvantages of composite decking?

In order to make a well-considered choice, you should also be familiar with the possible disadvantages of your purchase. So, what exactly are the disadvantages of composite decking? Below I listed the disadvantages you should be aware of.

  • Price

Something that might be seen as a disadvantage of composite decking is its price. As it is approximately double the price of a traditional wooden decking. However, considering the fact that it has double the life span, we could conclude that it is definitely worth the investment. Besides that, considering all the costs you save on maintenance, a composite deck ends up paying for itself over the years. Also, a good quality composite deck can even increase the value of your house, as the next homeowners will be able to use it for many years more.

  • It’s not natural

Another disadvantage that some people might mention, is the fact that the materials used for composite deck boards are not natural. Therefore, some people have the opinion that they lack the natural look and color. However, for most people composite decking is famous for its striking resemblance to natural wood. I guess we could say that it is a matter of personal preference and taste.

  • Scratches

Composite decking is made of a combination of plastic and wood. This blend increases the life span of the deck. However, it is good to remember that the material is not indestructible. There is still a risk of scratches when replacing outdoor furniture. Handle your deck with great care, to enjoy it for a long time.

What is composite decking made of?

As mentioned before, the two primary ingredients of composite decking are wood and plastic. The materials have often been sourced from recycled materials. Therefore, it is an eco-friendly choice. The blend of these two materials provides more stability and better performance.

TimberTech

A well-known company providing composite decking is TimberTech. Their deck boards are made of 80 % recycled materials. The core is a blend of wood fibers and composite material coated in a protective cap. The materials used, result in decking with all the beautiful features of natural wood, but without the risk of mold, insect damage, and maintenance costs. The deck boards won’t rot or weather, as the traditional wooden version tends to do. 

Read more about the advantages of TimberTech composite decking

Does composite decking get hot?

Many people are afraid that composite decking is more sensitive to temperature than wood, and therefore gets hotter. So, the question is, does composite decking get hot? 

Like any surface that is exposed to direct sunlight, composite decking might get hot. However, while the early composite decks were very sensitive to high temperatures, the newer versions are much more resistant to heat. Good quality, modern composite decking won’t become any hotter than the traditional wooden boards.

If it’s important for you that the deck remains as cool as possible, it is wise to choose a light color of decking boards. As with any other product, black attracts more heat than white. Therefore, it is wise to choose a light color of composite decking, as this will reduce the temperature during summer. 

Is composite decking worth it?

If you are thinking about installing composite decking, you might wonder if it is worth the cost. We understand that you don’t want to be spending a lot of money on something that might not be worth it. As you are going to spend almost double the price of a traditional wooden decking, it is understandable that you want to make sure that it is worth the investment.

Taking all of the above pros and cons into consideration, we can conclude that composite decking is definitely worth its price. After all, in this case, double the cost means double the life span. So, you are not actually spending more money. As mentioned above, with all the money you save on maintenance, the deck actually pays for itself! Besides that, many disadvantages are not valid anymore due to new designs and techniques. 

We would definitely recommend composite decking, as it is the best way to improve your house in a durable way. To learn more about our deck construction services click here. If you live in the Northern Colorado, area give us a call today at 970-663-2868 to talk to someone about your next outdoor project.