The perfect deck will blend form with function. It’s a relaxing extension of your home, blending the comforts of the indoors with the pleasure of being outdoors. Whether you use yours for barbequing, suntanning, or reading, it’s a mini-escape literally just outside your doorstep.
However, it must be durable enough to withstand the effects of heat, cold, rain, sun, insects, and general wear.
There’s a broad range of choice between wood and composite (a combination of wood fiber and plastic). But how do you decide which one is right for you? Let’s compare the benefits…
The addition of plastic to the wood fibre makes this a harder material, making it more durable
Requires less maintenance to upkeep
Great for regions with extreme climates
Does not require an annual staining or weather-sealing finish
Many varieties are made of recycled materials and are an eco-friendly choice
Surfaces can be finished to repel UV rays
Surfaces can be finished to resist splintering
Some planks are dual-sided with linear and wood-line textures, making a customized pattern possible
A classic choice like cedar creates a more traditional look to your deck
naturally UV ray-resistant choices available, like red cedar
Can offer structural strength to a whole property
Can be good for wet climates: redwood and cedar have natural water-repellant properties
Most varieties have a natural resistance to insets and decay
Can be more economical for drier climates in which you can get away with a softwood like pine
Exotic woods (like Ipe, Cumaru, and Tigerwood) are currently a popular choice for their unique grains and colors.
Exotic woods can be three or more times as hard as traditional woods, increasing durability.
For a durable, low-maintenance material that will hold up well in extreme climates, go for composite decking. However, if you’re after a more traditional look that requires some up-keep, wood decking might be the right pick for you. For more information, take a look at our articles on composite decking and how to choose wood decking for your climate.
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