Pro Tips: An Outdoor Decking Materials Comparison

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    Building a deck in your outdoor space will enhance your home and provide a place for entertainment and relaxation. However, before being able to enjoy the comfort of your outdoor deck, you have to carefully plan how your deck is going to be built. The most important step is to decide which material to use for the decking. 

    There are several questions you should ask yourself when picking the material for your deck. Some important questions are; What is the best outdoor decking material? What is the best composite decking material? Does Composite material get hotter than wood? Which material has the best quality? Why choose composite decking over wood? All your questions will be answered here!

    Let’s stack them up, what’s the best outdoor decking material?

    The two main outdoor decking materials out there are composite decking material and wood decking material. Each material has its own perks and downsides, ultimately it’s up to you to decide which is the best choice for your own outdoor space. Here, we’ll go over the pros and cons of the most commonly used materials; composite and wood. Then, it’s up to you to decide which is the best choice for you !

    Composite Decking Material

    Composite decking, also known as synthetic decking, has quickly become a quite popular decking material for residential use in the past few years. One of the many benefits of composite decking is that it is an environmentally friendly lumber alternative that combines plastic and wood fiber. Composite decking combines both synthetic and organic materials, and creates a durable product that looks and feels similar to wood decking. And it is a great way to cover an old concrete patio!


    Wood-composite decking is for those who want an attractive low-maintenance material. Some composites can even resemble exotic wood species, giving you the best of both worlds. If you like to walk barefoot, wood-composite ensures that you will avoid splinters. But the best benefit of wood-composite decking is that it’s weather resistant. It is guaranteed not to rot or split, and it’s stain-resistant and lightweight. Not to mention, there is great color variety to choose from. The longevitydurability, and functionality of composite materials allow for a good choice for many people!


    If you look at composite decking too closely, you might notice it’s not real wood. There are some composite decks that may look fake if not done properly. Regarding price, composite decking is more expensive than wood. Even though this material is weather and stain-resistant, it’s not resistant to mold and mildew, especially in the shade. Over time, composite decking shows signs of age and decay such as fading and surface damages. In some cases, composite decking might be slippery.

    Wood Decking Material

    Wood is the most classic and popular decking material in the market. This type of decking is usually pressure-treated softwood, such as hemlock, fir, or pine. If you want wood that doesn’t look dull with time, you need more premium wood like redwood or exotic hardwoods, such as teak or ipe. However, these types of premium woods are typically more expensive. 


    Natural wood is the best choice if you want to save on costs, you don’t want anything complicated, and you want to install the decking yourself. Standard wood decking is usually sold at local lumber yards and home improvement centers, while exotic woods must be ordered through specialty lumber dealers. Another good thing about real wood decking is that it has a natural look and feel that the other materials lack.


    A downside of choosing wood as your decking material is that you have to be willing to regularly maintain your deck by scrubbing or power-washing and restaining it every two or so. The cost of refinishing over the life of the decking is also something you should consider. The long-term cost of maintenance on a wood deck should be factored in with the initial cost of the material. Also, wood decking is likely to need replacement sooner than the other decking materials because it is prone to decay and rot over time.

    What is the best composite decking material?

    The majority of composite decking products are made out of recycled or reclaimed materials, with polyethylene plastic or PVC mixed with wood fiber, rice hulls or other fillers, as well as a blend of chemical additives. Within these types of composite decking materials, there are different brands. There is no specific answer as to what is the best brand of composite decking material, but the most popular brand is Trex or TimberTech. 

    Does Composite material get hotter than wood?

    The short answer is no. Typically wood gets hotter than composite material. However, on a hot summer day any surface, whether it’s wood or composite, is bound to get hot. If you choose a lighter-colored material when building your deck, it does tend to be a little cooler than a dark-colored material. This is why the color of the decking board matters, regardless of the material chosen, because it is what holds the ‘heat retention’ of the board. 

    Ultimately, both composite and wood decks have their own pros and cons. Composite decks are usually a better long-term investment, whereas wood decks are a better short-term investment. After you research and consider the ups and downs of each deck material, you simply have to choose which is the best choice for you!

    There are many different materials that can be used for outdoor decking, and it can be difficult to know which one is right for your home. If you’re not sure which material to choose, then it’s a good idea to contact a professional decking company like All Pro Decks. Get A Free in-home Estimate Today!

    Justin Wylie

    Justin Wylie, owner of All Pro Decks & Patios is a Deckorators® Certified Pro Elite located in the San Antonio Hill Country area. He specializes in building decks, patios, patio covers, pergolas, concrete slabs, fireplaces and more while providing quality and service for his customers.

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