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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.