DIY

Composite Deck Materials Win Over Lumber

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Composite deck boards are a fairly new product as compared to lumber, their main competitor in the deck flooring industry.  This product has increased in popularity since first hitting the construction market because there are several advantages to using composite decking over natural lumber.

The composite material is manufactured by combining wood fibers with plastic and processing these materials into pellets. The pellets are then pressed and molded in to the desired dimensions of the finish board.  The materials used in the process are waste woods and virgin recycled plastics. The use of these materials is a strong selling point for environmentalism for its reduction in landfill waste and the need to harvest new lumber from trees.

A strong selling point for consumers looking to build a composite deck is that there is no need to paint or stain. The composite deck boards come in various colors and can be purchased with simulated wood grain finishes. There are multiple color and texture combinations available on the market.  With composite deck boards the consumer knows what the finished product will look like before they begin. With wood decks there is always a chance the finished color will vary because boards take stain differently. The finished composite deck will have a more clean and consistent appearance.

Composite decking is also very durable. It requires minimal maintenance and lasts longer than traditional lumber because it is extremely rot resistant.  Composite deck boards don’t warp and twist like traditional lumber and when cleaned properly won’t show wear.  

Composite decking reviews indicate that this product has improved in overall quality and durability over the past ten years.  Problems with mold and mildew were common on early products because the composite absorbs moisture. Manufacturers have been successful in improving the mold resistance of the product.  A wider variety of colors and styles have evolved in the last decade as consumers tastes have moved further away from the traditional redwood deck style.

Composite decking will cost more than lumber but the cost will even out very quickly when the costs to sand, finish, maintain, and repair the wood deck is taken in to consideration.

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