There are varying opinions and reviews out there regarding Composite Deck Materials (good and bad) so I may as well add mine to the mix
Composite deck materials or WPC (wood, plastic, composite) are slowly gaining popularity. According to a market study done by : Principia Partners for new, remolded and replacement decks market share of deck boards based on millions of linear feet, from 2004-2009 WPC has gained 14% over pressure treated softwoods or PTS.
While 65% of the decks installed are made with PTS, the consumers are realizing that the initial lower cost is being offset with the almost yearly maintenance. This coupled with the “Go Green” revolution is giving rise to the increase in popularity of a composite deck with WPC.
The cost of a composite deck can be up to 3 1/2 times higher and will still require some upkeep. There are lots of deck builders that have experience working with WPC so finding a deck contractor for WPC deck construction should be a easy task.
Some of the Advantages and Disadvantages
1- A Composite deck can have a higher heat retention but can be offset by purchasing a lighter color.
2- Composite deck cost is higher than a wood deck but you have more choices on deck design with your deck ideas.
3- Surface is of a composite deck is nonskid vs wood deck with stain applied.
4- With a Composite Deck there is no splintering or warping that you get with PTS.
5- No reapplying of weather sealant/stain every 2-3 years although some of the manufacturers recommend a light application.
6- WPC has wood fibers with the recyled plastics and when cut and left exposed are subject to rot and mold unless it has additives such as zinc borate.
7- WPC contains plastic, either polyethylene which is recycled and more malleable plastic and wood fiber, or polypropylene which is virgin plastic which is more rigid.
8- WPC can stain with oil, rust, wine, chemicals or grease from your BBQ grill but can be minimized with an approved protectant.
9- Some of the WPC’s are softer than others and will scratch easier.
10- You can choose from a variety of colors, textures and wood grain simulations.
11- They call WPC environmentally friendly but yet the chemicals that are needed to clean are not quite so environmentally friendly.
12- If scratched or stained you have to replace and can not refinish like you can with wood.
I have been in deck construction for a long time and have seen products come and go. I like working with the different brands of WPC and have been very pleased with ease of installation as well as the appearance
but only time will tell if it will last as some of the claims made.
If you are considering deck construction with WPC then first do a online search on the composite’s that are available and what some of the pro’s and con’s are so that you can make an informed decision. We offer No Obligation Quotes.
Here is a short list of some of the more popular Composite Deck Materials available :
Trex, Timbertech, Correct Deck, Choice Deck, Ultradeck, Veranda Decking and Lattitudes.