If you’re thinking about building a custom deck in Omaha, you’re going to be faced with a choice – hardwood decking or composite decking? In the past, hardwood decking materials were the only option, and they did a good job when properly maintained. But today’s technology has given deck buyers an alternative with composite decking, and with continual innovation over the years, it’s now far surpassed the benefits of hardwood decking in all categories.
Hardwood Vs. Composite Decking
Many homeowners choose hardwood decking because it sounds familiar and is easy to find. What they’re not aware of is the wood decking problems like splinters, staining, rot issues, hours of maintenance, and high cost. Homeowners who are not familiar with composite decking and all of the innovations it’s undergone since it first emerged over 30 years ago are afraid composite decking will not look as nice as wood. Let’s take an in-depth look and see how today’s composite decking compares to wood decking.
How do they Look?
It’s true that early-generation composite decking looked artificial and plastic-like. But today’s composites are nearly indistinguishable from wood decks, and many argue much more beautiful. They have grain patterns, so no two boards are alike. They can mimic any hardwood on the market in appearance and do a lot more when it comes to getting the exact pattern, color, and finish.
One of the biggest problems with natural hardwood decking is that boards absorb water. Without frequent applications of stains, sealers, or paint, wood decking will warp, splinter, crack, and rot. Composite decking, on the other hand, is fully moisture-resistant, eliminating the need for repeated sealing applications and can be installed in high moisture conditions with no issues.
To extend the life of a wood deck, homeowners are tasked with regularly painting and staining to keep the deck sealed from moisture, as noted above. It’s a battle that continues for the lifespan of the entire deck. A composite deck only requires sweeping and an occasional wash to keep the boards looking new.
Insects love natural hardwoods. Termites and other wood loving insects can do a number on a natural hardwood deck and render it unusable or fill it with unsightly holes in little time. Composite decks are insect-proof – you’ll never have insect damage with a composite deck.
- Appearance – Hardwood timber fades over time. Composite has the beauty of natural wood with high-performance durability.
- Moisture – Hardwood doesn’t hold up well with water lots of water contact. Composite can be installed with water contact and is moisture-proof.
- Maintenance – Hardwood requires 16-32 hours of cleaning, painting, and staining per year. Composite requires 2-4 hours per year.
- Durability – Hardwood decking is susceptible to rot, splintering, warping, and termite damage. Composite resists rot, warping, splintering, and termite damage.
- Price – Hardwood decks have a lower initial cost, but it varies depending on wood species. Composite has a higher upfront cost, but a much longer lifetime.