So, you have either newly built a home, started renovating it. Or you are planning to and have decided to change out the decking that you already have installed. Maybe it’s old, maybe it’s ugly or maybe you just feel like you want to! Any reason is okay and it’s totally your choice. But then comes the question, what do you replace it with?
Traditional decking and composite decking
Traditionally decking is made out of wood. Pressure impregnated wood is the most common variety. But there is a “New” contender. Composite Decking. Composite Decking is usually made out of Recycled plastics and organic material that is re-used from other applications.
Wooden decks are just that traditional look and feel that many have seen and remember. It’s natural and has a warm appearance. It usually alters a bit from which lumber you choose to use. Whether it is Pine, Ipé, Teak, or any other wood type there is.
Pressure Treated wood
This is usually pine wood that has been Pressure treated with some mix of chemicals. And some liquids (most commonly used is Copper sulfates) make the wood more resistant to rot, mold, and insects. This also usually gives the wood a greenish hue to it. (or brown if the dye has been added) This variety needs regular maintenance though, to keep It from warping, splitting, and cracking.
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Other wood types such as Cedar or Redwood are naturally weather, warping, and cracking resistant.
Using these materials can give you a much more natural look, but it comes at a cost. Compared to pressure-treated wood it’s about three times as expensive.
Ipé on the other hand is a very hardwood that can be used that is more durable than Redwood or Cedar. Since it’s imported from South America the price can be that of three to four times that of Redwood and Cedar.
Wood decks in general all need some form of material because they eventually “dry out” causing rotting and cracks to form. Some require more than others, but if it’s something you want to manage, then it’s a viable option.
So, Composite decks are the “New” and hip contender for decking. With it being made out of Sawdust (WPC) or Bamboo (BPC) and Recycled plastics, Composite decks is a sustainable and recycled alternative that can give you the same feel and look as that of natural wood. Sure, we are a bit biased here. But I still want to spread as many facts and information about Composite as possible. I mean, can you blame me?
Plastic Composite decking
With Composite Decking you get the options of multiple colors and structures and they can usually be worked and used in the same way that any of the wood deckings can be used. One thing that composite does better than wood is that it doesn’t require much maintenance at all. This is because of the recycled plastics in the material, it doesn’t absorb as much water or moisture nearly eliminating the chance of mold and rot. What can still happen is that Algae can grow on your deck if water is allowed to accumulate on the deck. To avoid this the deck is usually built at a small angle to allow for the water to naturally drain of the planks.
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You also won’t ever need to sand or stain the material. Since it’s a homogenous mix it’s dyed and sustained within the material itself. A typical composition of Composite decking is 30% wood fibers, 60% recycled HDPE, and 10% additives (binders, dyes, and UV protecting components).
I hope this small article has helped to inform you about some of the differences in composite decking and wooden decking. If you feel that we have missed anything or you have a question you have about composite decking that you want answered, send us an email.
Read more: What you need to build a deck with composite decking