There’s not much that is more inviting and relaxing than stepping out onto your own deck. So, of course, you want your deck to be impressive. You want it to feel at home and like a fresh summer day.
Many people now are choosing composite decking over real wood decking these days. There are many reasons for this. But either way, when someone decides to choose composite decking, it’s important to look at your options.
What Are Composite Deck Boards?
The word composite when used in construction means a composition of two or more materials. When it comes to composite deck boards, part of those materials are synthetic and part of them are natural.
More often than not, the composite deck boards are made from reclaimed wood and some sort of plastic. It is a great alternative to wood deck boards with each type having its own set of pros and cons, which we’ll talk about later.
8 Best Composite Decking
When it comes to composite decking, there are only a limited number of trusted companies. We’ve found the eight best composite decking companies so you can easily find trusted companies that work for you.
When it comes to composite decking, you can’t go wrong with Trex. Not only does Trex decking have the cheapest options, but they also have the nicest options. Their decking is easy to use too, making it the best option for DIY.
The way the boards are laid makes them easy to lay yourself. Most of them come with instructions so you can use your own hardware or buy kits that go along with the boards which can be pre-drilled.
Fiberon has the most options and one of the lowest-priced top dollar options as well. They offer samples, visualizers so you can find your match, and a cost calculator when you enter square footage and what you want.
You can even use their calculator to figure an average cost for other companies. There are a few other calculators, but since Fiberon is such a big company, you can really trust their calculations.
DuraLife decking isn’t the most popular choice but it is a solid choice. The company doesn’t have a lot of options yet but they offer competitive prices and quality composite decking boards. They even offer matching railing!
The best thing about companies without many options is that you can assume that they will have better options soon. If they can compete with a small inventory, they’ll skyrocket when they get more.
MoistureShield wins points for having a user-friendly site and company. They make it easy to find the perfect composite decking for you. Their brand offers high-quality decking, though you will pay for that quality.
However, sometimes paying more for something initially will save money in the long run. If you buy cheap decking, you may be replacing it in the amount of time it will take the more expensive decking to pay for itself.
Envision has average prices, if not slightly reduced prices. But what really makes them special is the “vision” they have and offer to customers. You can use their idea gallery for inspiration, which is a gift even if you’re not a customer.
Even if you don’t buy from Envision, it’s worth checking out their gallery for inspiration. Everyone needs deck inspiration before they really get started designing their own deck.
Timber Tech has the best of both worlds. They offer better composite decking for a high price as well as affordable composite decking for general consumers. Best of all, their samples are free so you can test them out!
So why not order your promising samples and see for yourself what is the best option? It can only help you decide which color scheme and company you are leaning towards.
Deckorators has average prices but that’s where the averageness ends. They have great options, including distressed composite wood that looks a lot like real wood or nice laminate. Give them a look-see!
After all. you don’t have to commit yet. Now is the time to play around with ideas rather than made decisions. So have fun while you do it by contemplating more eclectic or unique designs and colors.
Wold Decking has more than just a cool name. Their nicest composite decking comes with lifetime warranties on the durability of their product and even a 50-year warranty on fading. That’s a promise you can’t refuse.
If you prefer buying only from American companies, Wolf Decking is your best bet. They support local mills by buying their materials from locals only, so you can feel good knowing you are supporting local businesses.
Composite Decking Materials
Composite decking is made primarily from wood fiber and plastic. But let’s break down all of these other words that you hear about when shopping for composite decking. After all, fear comes from a lack of knowledge.
- Waste Wood – the waste wood used in most composite decking is from ground-up furniture and other wood materials. The sawdust and waste are used to prevent waste, making the wood completely recycled.
- Recycled Plastic – most plastic used to create the composite boards is from polyethylene from milk jugs and shopping bags. It is shredded finely before being mixed with the wood dust from the old furniture.
- Pigments – this varies greatly. The pigments can be derived from natural resources as well as chemical compounds that react to create different colors used to tint the boards. This is the way all pigments work.
- Ultraviolet Inhibitors – a UV inhibitor is often used in composite decking to prevent the sun from causing the boards to fade quickly. This is often added to candles to prevent fading and is available over-the-counter.
- Borate Preservatives – this is a type of preservative made for composite boards. It is usually composed of disodium octoborate tetrahydrate which normally prevents termites from eating real wood.
Composite Decking Vs. Wood Decking: Pros And Cons
Both composite decking and wood decking have pros and cons. But which one is better? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of composite decking as it is compared to wood decking. Use your own voice to weigh the options.
Pros Of Composite Decking
- Less Maintenance – this is simple. Composite decking is easier to maintain than wood decking. After all, wood isn’t insect resistant, doesn’t need stained every so often, and is generally longer-lasting.
- More Choices – because it is made with synthetic materials and pressed together, the manufactures can create any color or pattern they want without having to use paint post-production. So the options are limitless.
- Recycled – you now know that composite wood is usually made of recycled materials, even the synthetic parts. This is amazing even though plastic is used, at least it isn’t new plastic, but rather plastic that could be in the ocean.
- Durable – composite wood is more durable than real wood. This is true for most manufactured goods as opposed to natural goods. Although it may scratch, real wood scratches easier and doesn’t smooth down over time as easily.
- No Rotting – wood rots. You can try to protect it, but give it time and it will rot. Composite wood won’t rot because of the plastic in it, which will never rot. Rotting isn’t always a bad thing, but no one wants their deck to rot.
- Doesn’t Fade As Fast – although it does fade to a lighter color over time, it doesn’t fade near as fast as real wood. It also faded to a prettier color. You’ll notice that real wood fades to a grey color, which isn’t appealing.
- Long Boards – being able to buy longer boards will save you a lot of trouble and offer you a completely new look. You won’t have to plan where you have seams as you can lay the boards all the way across the deck.
Cons Of Composite Decking
- Not As Environmentally Friendly – even though the composite decking is made with recycled materials, it still isn’t natural. It is made with plastic, which won’t decompose like wood will.
- Expensive – composite decking is quite a bit more expensive than real wood. This can put a real damper on your journey of building a deck. The average price difference is 10 to 20 percent but can be even greater.
- Not Natural – as in, it doesn’t look quite natural. While it isn’t natural, it also doesn’t look like real boards, which it was designed to mimic. It can be close, but there’s always something a little bit off.
Is Composite Decking Worth It?
Composite decking can definitely be worth it. You won’t find a more durable and low-maintenance deck with as much personality as composite decking has. It may be expensive, but if you find a good company, you can find a steal.
Trex Decking has great deals, for example. They have some of the lowest prices out there without compromising quality. Find them and other brands at your local hardware store or order online. Don’t forget there’s no shame in asking for help when you need it!