Composite vs. Wood Decking: What’s the Difference?

May 27, 2022

Are you considering adding or remodeling a deck? Here in Ohio, having an outdoor space is a must for enjoying our beautiful spring and summer weather – but you want to make sure it’s built to last. And with so many options to consider, it can be difficult to know where to even begin.


One of the biggest questions people have about decking is whether wood or composite material is the better option. And although wood remains a very popular option for decking, there are a few reasons you might want to consider composite instead.

Distinction Rustic Walnut


Composite vs. Wood Decking: What’s the Difference?

When you’re planning your dream deck, it can be hard not to jump straight to visions of summer days under the sun, ice-cold glasses of lemonade in hand. But before you can start enjoying your new deck, you have to actually complete the design and installation process – and that means making some pretty big decisions.

One of the key choices you’ll be making is choosing what type of decking to use, with wood and composite being two of the most common options. We’ve created a quick and handy guide to each, to make it easier to make an informed decision for your home.

Treated Wood

Wood Decking

What is wood decking made from?

As you would guess, wood decking is made from wood. There are various wood species available, ranging from cedar and redwood to pressure-treated pine. You can also find exotic woods, such as tiger wood or mahogany.

Pros and cons of wood decking

The biggest benefit to wood decking is that it is the traditional choice, and it can look very beautiful when installed and maintained properly. Treated lumber has become an option for homeowners that want slightly easier maintenance, but there are still some important drawbacks to be aware of:

●      Wood decks must be sealed within 30 days of installation.

●      You’ll need to perform annual maintenance to protect the wood (this includes painting, sealing, or staining).

●      In general, the life expectancy of a wood deck is far shorter than composite.

●      Although a wood deck might be cheaper initially, maintenance and replacement/repair costs can quickly add up.

Keep in mind that slacking on wood deck maintenance is a near guarantee that you’ll end up with warping, splintering, rotting, or cracking.

Distinction Grey Wood

Composite Decking

What is composite decking made from?

Composite decking (also called “composite wood” or “wood-plastic”)is manmade produce, created using wood fibers that have been encased in a specialized plastic. The effect is a material that looks like wood but is far more durable and easier to maintain.

Pros and cons of composite decking

Many homeowners are hesitant to consider composite decking because they’re worried it will look “fake” or cheap. However, today’s composites are exceptionally high-quality and can be used to build a beautiful deck. Many modern composites are made using specialized patterns and colors to create natural-looking variations between each and every board, which lends a more authentic look overall.

Really the only drawback to composite decking is that it does require a slightly larger investment up front. That being said, the zero-maintenance and long lifespan of composite decking mean that your long-term costs will actually end up being less (compared to wood). Composite decking doesn’t need to be sealed, stained, or painted, and because it doesn’t absorb moisture, there’s no worry about decay or warping over time.

Distinction Spiced Teak

Professional Deck Installation in Dundee, OH

Are you ready to make the most of the beauty of Ohio by installing a new porch or deck for your home? Regardless of the type of decking you choose, how you decide to decorate it, and what you use it for, make sure that you have the peace of mind of knowing that it was built with integrity.

Kline Home Exteriors is the local deck and porch installation team you can trust with your home because they are fully dedicated to delivering exceptional quality service to each and every client. For decades, they have been Ohio’s exterior experts and the team you can turn to for repairs, renovation, and other exterior projects. Founded by members of the Amish community in 1992, Kline Exteriors consistently holds true to its three principal values: quality, service, and reliability.

Learn more about choosing the best deck for your home when you contact Kline Home Exteriors today.