• Fields Johannsen posted an update 2 weeks ago

    There are lots of decking materials on the market from wood, composite (wood-plastic blend) and vinyl/plastic. Wood will have lower initial cost but more maintenance effort and value, specifically if the desired color is not the natural weathered color. Wood appears to be wood. Composites usually are at the center to top quality in initial cost, lower on maintenance effort and price, and beneficial to color retention. Composites usually do not look the same as wood. Vinyl/plastic is commonly the highest in initial cost, longest in expected service life, lowest in maintenance cost as well as, and ideal for color retention. Vinyl/plastic also doesn’t look the same as wood.

    WOOD. Most decking placed in the U.S. is wood and many wood decking is treated pine. Treated pine is treated in order to avoid rot (CCA has become removed and it has been replaced using ACQ & anything else). These are acronyms for your chemicals within the treatments. The wood mostly treated is southern yellow pine. The character in the wood itself, not the treatment, causes it to be susceptible to twisting, splitting, warping and splintering. Another woods used are cedar, redwood, IPE, Tigerwood, Massaranduba and Garapa.

    COMPOSITE. Composite decking can be a distant second in popularity after wood but has become well-known ever in new deck installations and re-decks (re-use old deck framing and replace old deck boards and railing with new composite materials). "Composite" implies that the decking is molded or extruded from the secret formula that is the blend of wood and plastic or vinyl. The wood is often a wood flour of varied grinds and species. The plastic is most often polyethylene or polypropylene. There are various ratios of wood to plastic and other mixtures of recycled & virgin plastic. Most of these things affect performance characteristics. Composite decking is available in regular plank, tongue & groove, grain finish, solids, and mixed colors.

    VINYL/PLASTIC. Vinyl/plastic decking is becoming very popular which is primarily taking business away from the composite deck segment. Decking profiles are normally plank but a few manufacturers offering a tongue & groove. Vinyl/plastic decking comes in a grain or smooth finish, solids, and mixed colors.

    Facts to consider


    " Wood looks like real wood and also the initial price is lower with pine but not necessarily so with many in the other woods

    " Wood weathers and changes color – requires periodic cleaning and staining to take care of a colour apart from the naturally weathered color

    " Southern yellow pine splits, cracks and splinters as time passes

    " Exotic woods like IPE, Tigerwood, Massaranduba and Garapa cost more along with split and crack like pine.

    " Wood must be replaced (usually before many other materials) sooner or later which varies with exposure, maintenance and luck

    " Wood requires some maintenance for the most powerful performance restore life – usually pressure washed to have clean

    " Maintenance costs time and/or money and will offset any initial cost benefits.


    " Initial price is significantly higher than pine, but like the exotic woods

    " Longer service life

    " Lower maintenance cost as well as than wood – usually cleaned which has a pressure washer or even a chemical solution wash & flush

    " No painting, staining or sealing

    " No splinters

    " Variety of colours

    " Variety of textures – embossed wood, grain, grooved, smooth

    " Mixed colors and grains

    " Hidden fasteners

    " May grow fungus within the wood component – can be hard and troublesome to clean completely

    " May stain – cleaning methods vary with form of stain and wood component


    " Initial price is usually same or higher than composites

    " Longer service life

    " Least quantity of maintenance and energy – usually cleaned which has a hose

    " No painting, staining or sealing

    " No splinters

    " Maintains original look and color long lasting

    " Variety of colors with the exception of dark colors like brown

    " Variety of textures – embossed wood, grain, grooved, smooth

    " Mixed colors and grains

    " Hidden fasteners

    " No mildew or mold

    " No stains

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