Which Is Best for Outdoor Decking?

Wood vs. Composite: Which Is Best for Outdoor Decking?

Building an outdoor deck for the backyard instantly enhances the space and extends your home’s usability. With warmer weather right around the corner, having a curated spot to spend more time enjoying the outside can make a difference.

The question is: should you use wood or composite boards when building your dream deck?

Fortunately, there are benefits to both, and we’ll take you through some of the differences so you can decide which is the best fit for you.

Warm and Inviting Wood Outdoor Decking

When you’re considering which materials to use, think about who will be walking on the deck and how often. The warmth and beauty of natural softwood can stay a little cooler under the feet than some composite decking.

Western Red Cedar and Redwood are two of the most popular softwood options, due to their rich colors and shade variations. These softwoods can range from a reddish-brown hue to a dark chocolate brown and are available with knotty or clear grades. Also, they’re durable, sustainable, and won’t bleed like other woods, which makes them ideal for deck stains.

As an alternative, hardwood decking achieves a more sleek and modern look. IPE, Borneo Mahogany, and Red Balau are all beautiful choices with plenty of wood stain choices as well. Both softwood and hardwood decking require some maintenance for cleaning, re-sanding, and re-staining to preserve the appearance of the wood.

Cool and Easy-to-Clean Composite Outdoor Decking

Composite decking is low-maintenance and can deliver a lower cost in the long run. It doesn’t have to be stained or painted and is relatively easy to rinse off and keep clean.

Typically, though, some composite boards tend to stay warmer on the feet than wood, which you’ll want to consider if children and pets will be walking on the deck. Or, if you plan to enjoy plenty of barefoot time relaxing outside and are concerned about the boards being too hot.

However, there are different types of composite decking you choose. For instance, PVC decking and certain lines of composite decking tend to stay cooler to the touch.

TimberTech by Azek is a go-to, advanced composite decking and comes with a 50-year warranty. It’s durable, lightweight, and is ideal for homeowners who are building a pool deck or backyard decking that will receive constant sun exposure.

There are several colors available through Azek and Trex decking to match the aesthetic of your home. Whether you want a hue that’s warmer with a rustic feel or a cool, coastal-inspired color, there’s a perfect shade for you.

Get Decked Out and Enjoy More Time Outside

It all comes down to personal preference when choosing between wood and composite, but in the end, everyone can customize the size, materials, color, and accessories of their deck. With a variety of softwood, hardwood, and composite materials in stock daily, once you’ve made a decision, you can get started on your build right away.

Still not sure which way you should go for your outdoor decking project? We’ll ask a few qualifying questions to help you prioritize which features matter most and point you in the right direction.

 Stop by your local J&W Lumber store and speak to one of our friendly representatives today.

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