What is the difference between solid wood decking and composite wood decking? Solid wood decking simply means the wood plank is 100% solid wood and there is no other material in it. Being 100% natural wood, solid wood without a doubt comes with a certain level of wear and tear. Somewhere in the 1990s, composite wood was introduced with a composition of wood and plastic with the intention to make a decking material that is more water resistant and more maintenance-free. Since then, we have two choices of decking – solid wood and composite wood.
So what are the considerations in choosing the right material for your decking?
1. Material Durability
The most common (and probably the most important) factor of consideration is how fast the wood rot over time. Unfortunately, there is no fixed answer to this. The decay rate of a wood depends on many factors such as the type of wood, its location, whether its sheltered or not sheltered and also the humidity and climate of the country. This is one of the reasons Composite wood was introduced as Composite wood cannot rot. It is also worth noting that Composite wood decking generally comes with a clip system that suits aluminium support. Relative to wood support for solid wood decking, aluminium supports is definitely much more long-lasting.
Another typical complaint about wood is termite issues after some time. Solid wood materials for decking are generally treated with some “termite protection” but it does not last forever. Composite wood material, on the other hand, is termite-proof due to its plastic property. This is why most composite wood contractors would feel comfortable offering long-term warranty for termite issues on composite wood. In conclusion, if your number one priority is to have a long-lasting deck, the best choice for you is composite wood decking with aluminium support.
Wood is definitely one of the classiest materials that ever exists for construction. The natural grains of real solid wood are often found attractive by homeowners. With solid wood decking, homeowners may enjoy the beautiful nature the wood portrays. Some woods, like Teak wood in particular, have very pleasant-looking grains making the wood deemed to be a premium wood in the market.
Composite woods, being man made, are not meant to have grains anywhere comparable to solid wood. To some wood fans, composite woods may look artificial in that sense. Also, each individual composite plank will look exactly the same with each other as per photos above. This is very different to solid wood decking as every wood plank will look different to each other, enhancing the nature element in it. For wood lovers, this natural beauty of solid wood would at times outweigh the durability aspect of composite wood.
3. Wear and Tear
As far as this article is concerned, we define “Wear and Tear” as aesthetics downgrade which do not affect structural ability (discussed in point 1). It should be easily presumed that composite wood does not deteriorate as fast as solid wood. Solid wood decking will have colour fading issues after some time; in some cases where the decking is not sheltered, the colour may fade in even a few months.