composite decking cross section

What is Composite Decking?

Published On: August 16th, 2022

Having a deck in your backyard can make it so much easier to enjoy your outdoor space. When you’re looking to build a deck or redo an existing one, you have quite a few options for choosing the material for your new deck. One of those materials is called composite decking. While in the past decks were typically constructed with wood, composite is a viable alternative. Here’s what you need to know about composite decking.

What is composite decking?

Composite decking is a term many people use to describe decking that requires little maintenance. There is actually three types of low maintenance decking and a “composite” deck is just one of them. Typically, composite decking is made of either wood flour, polyethylene, PVC, crushed minerals or polypropylene mixture. In terms of weight, it can be up 35% lighter than wood with a better strength-to-weight ratio.

What makes it so great?

There are a few features of composite decking that make it a fantastic choice for building a deck out of it.

This material can be cut and handled exactly like wood, but it comes in a variety of lengths and colours, so you can make your deck look exactly how you want. Additionally, it’s smooth to walk on barefoot so you don’t have to worry about slivers, and some are textured so you don’t have to worry about slipping when there’s water on it.

Maintenance for composite decking

Any homeowner who has had a wooden deck knows that they will have to regularly stain or seal the deck to prevent it from looking weathered and worn.

With composite decking, it will continue to look as it did the day you built it. The only regular maintenance it requires is regular sweeping and a light washing to keep it looking great.

Cost of composite decking

Typically, a wood deck is less money upfront to build, but with recent lumber costs, it’s almost too close to determine which is the better value at the outset.

For future value, though, composite decking is the clear winner in terms of value compared to monetary output. Choosing composite decking over wood will usually pay for itself within 2 or 3 years.

Prior to the surge seen in lumber prices during the COVID-19 pandemic, the initial investment for composite decking was quite a bit more than a wood one. Still, with the low maintenance costs and longevity of the material, it’s well worth the cost.