Pros and Cons of Composite Decking

Posted June 30, 2021 to Before You Buy: Tips, Advice, Checklists.

Tags: Decks

Traditionally, most outside decks are made from woods like pressure-treated pine, cedar and redwood. Another option homeowners consider now is composite wood decking. Composite decking consists of wood fibers encased in plastic. At Sierra Structures, we offer Trex composite decking.

Composite decking was first produced in the 1980s, and it has come a long way since then in appearance and quality. Just like with wood, there are pros and cons to using composite decking materials for your home. We will discuss each of them here:


  1. Maintenance: Unlike wood decks that require regular sanding, painting, staining or sealing to prevent moisture damage, composite decking only requires regular sweeping and washing.
  2. Insect damage: Composite decking, unlike wood, is not prone to damage from termites, carpenter bees or other wood-damaging insects.
  3. Splinters: Because the wood fibers are encased in plastic, composite wood will never cause splinters, which is a nice feature when walking barefoot on a deck.
  4. Durability: Since composite decking resists rotting from moisture and insect damage, it is more durable than traditional wood decks and will last longer. Composite wood also is less likely to fade from weather exposure.


  1. Price: Composite wood has a higher upfront cost than traditional wood lumber. Many will argue that the long-term savings in maintenance costs more than make up for it. Still, the price to install composite decking is higher.
  2. Appearance: Many people simply like the look of a real wood deck versus composite decking. While composite materials have come a long way since their original version, it still does not match the look of genuine wood.
  3. Mold: Composite deck materials can become hosts for mold if they are not cleaned properly.
  4. Versatility: Unlike wood, composite decking cannot be painted. As a result, once installed, owners cannot change the color or looks of the deck in the future.

For advice on which decking material is best for you and your budget, contact us today for a free estimate.

AFA Elite Fence Ameristar Trex SPS Universal
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