The Great Deck Debate: Composite vs Wood

There’s no denying the appeal of a well-designed deck. However, the material you choose to build with impacts your enjoyment of that deck considerably. For example, wood is often the go-to material for decks, but the downside is that wood is susceptible to rot, mildew, wood-boring insects and a host of other issues. Even pressure-treated wood (which is chemically treated to resist decay) has its own set of problems: it doesn’t stand up well to environmental changes and has a tendency to split, crack and warp over time. Oh, and don’t forget about the painful splinters! It’s for reasons such as these that more consumers are looking to composite decking as a reliable alternative – such as the products offered by decking brand and industry leader Trex.

Trex composite decking is made primarily from recycled wood and plastic. The result is a dense and durable material that offers a whole slew of benefits. Ready to build the backyard of your dreams? Here’s everything you need to know about how composite decking compares to its wooden counterpart.

Maintenance
One of the most appealing aspects of composite decking is that it requires very little maintenance after you build the deck. Unlike a wooden deck, which requires regular power-washing and staining to maintain it, composite decking never needs to be sanded, stained or refinished. In fact, for today’s high-performance composite decks, an occasional scrub with soap and water will remove most accumulated grime or mildew. Bottom line: why spend weekends restoring your deck when you could be enjoying it?

Variety
Trex offers three types of composite decking: Select®, Enhance® and, at the top of the line, Transcend®. Together, they offer an array colours and designs, ranging from the simplicity of the Select® line’s monochromatic Saddle brown to the classic grey of Transcend® in Island Mist, seen here on season two’s Home to Win back porch, which has a streaked silvery patina that mimics the look of aged tropical hardwood.

Durability
Perhaps the most impressive advantage composite decking provides compared to wood is its extreme durability. Unlike wood, the material is guaranteed not to fade, splinter, crack or warp. Neither the scorching sun nor rain will affect the beauty of this product. Even accidental spills won’t leave stains. In fact, Trex Transcend boasts a 25-year warranty that covers fading and staining.

Smooth Finish
Trex’s hidden deck fasteners are the ideal alternative to unsightly screw heads. The innovative fastening system allows for screws to be installed and concealed between the boards versus on the walking surface. The fasteners also create the perfect spacing between boards for a flawless look that’s far more difficult to achieve with wood.

Eco-Friendliness
If you love the great outdoors, you’ll feel better knowing that 95 per cent of the material used in Trex composite decking is completely recycled. Recycled wood and sawdust that would otherwise wind up in landfills are combined with recycled plastic film (the same stuff used to make everything from shopping bags to re-sealable sandwich bags). This means Trex doesn’t have to chop down a single tree to manufacture its composite material. In addition, a typical 500-square-foot Trex deck contains the equivalent of 140,000 recycled plastic sandwich bags. That’s pretty great for the environment and for your deck!

Leon's | Toyota | Benjamin Moore | Lysol | Maytag | KitchenAid | Samsung | Jeldwen | Moen | Tempurpedic