What Are The Pros And Cons Of Composite Decking?

Thinking of building a deck in your backyard? As you weigh your options, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of composite decking. This popular alternative to traditional wood decks offers a range of benefits, such as its durability and low maintenance, but it also has its drawbacks. By understanding both sides of the coin, you’ll be able to make an informed decision that suits your lifestyle and preferences. So, let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of composite decking and explore whether it’s the right choice for you.


Long lifespan

Composite decking has a remarkable long lifespan, making it a popular choice for both residential and commercial applications. Unlike traditional wood decking, which may require replacement after a decade or two, composite decking can last for several decades with proper care and maintenance. This longevity brings immense value, as you won’t have to worry about frequent replacement or the associated costs.

Resistant to rot and decay

One of the major advantages of composite decking is its resistance to rot and decay. Traditional wood decking is susceptible to rot and decay over time, especially when exposed to moisture and environmental elements. With composite decking, you can rest assured knowing that it won’t deteriorate due to these factors. This resistance means that your decking will maintain its structural integrity and appearance for many years to come.

Minimal maintenance

Unlike wood decking, composite decking requires minimal maintenance. While wood decking often needs staining or sealing to protect it from the elements, composite decking eliminates this need. With composite decking, you can enjoy your outdoor space without the hassle of frequent maintenance tasks. Simply clean the deck periodically with a mild detergent and water, and it will continue to look great year after year.


Variety of colors and finishes

Composite decking offers a wide range of colors and finishes to suit your personal style and preferences. Whether you prefer a natural wood look or a contemporary finish, there is a composite decking option for you. You can choose from a variety of colors to complement your outdoor space, creating a visually appealing and cohesive look that enhances the overall aesthetic of your home.

Emulates natural wood grain

Composite decking is designed to emulate the natural beauty and texture of wood grain. It provides the visual appeal of wood without the drawbacks. This feature allows you to achieve the timeless and classic look of wood decking while taking advantage of the durability and maintenance benefits of composite materials. Whether you prefer a rustic, weathered look or a sleek, modern design, composite decking can help you achieve your desired aesthetic.

Does not fade or warp over time

One of the key advantages of composite decking is its ability to withstand the test of time. Unlike wood decking, which may fade, warp, or splinter over time, composite decking maintains its original appearance and structural integrity. It is specifically engineered to resist fading, so you can enjoy vibrant colors for years to come. Additionally, composite decking is designed to withstand temperature fluctuations without warping, ensuring a consistent and beautiful deck surface regardless of the weather conditions.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Composite Decking?

Environmentally friendly

Made from recycled materials

Composite decking is an environmentally friendly option as it is often made from recycled materials. By utilizing recycled plastics and wood fibers, composite decking helps reduce waste and minimize the need for new raw materials. This eco-friendly aspect makes it a sustainable choice for those who prioritize environmental conservation and want to minimize their carbon footprint.

Does not contribute to deforestation

Due to its composition, composite decking does not contribute to deforestation. Traditional wood decking requires the harvesting of trees from forests, which can have a significant impact on ecosystems and biodiversity. By choosing composite decking, you can enjoy a beautiful outdoor space without contributing to the destruction of natural habitats.

Reduced carbon footprint

In addition to being made from recycled materials, composite decking also has a reduced carbon footprint compared to wood decking. Manufacturing composite decking requires less energy and produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions. By opting for composite decking, you can actively contribute to reducing your carbon footprint and promoting a more sustainable future.

Resistance to pests


Composite decking is naturally resistant to insects, making it a wise choice for those concerned about pest infestations. Unlike wood decking, which may attract various insects and pests, composite decking’s composition repels unwanted pests, such as ants, beetles, and other wood-boring insects. This resistance ensures that your outdoor space remains pest-free and enjoyable.


Termites can cause significant damage to wood decking, compromising its structural integrity and requiring costly repairs. However, composite decking is termite-proof, providing a reliable solution to prevent termite infestations. By choosing composite decking, you can have peace of mind knowing that your deck will remain termite-free and durable for years to come.

Does not attract wood-boring insects

In addition to being termite-proof, composite decking does not attract other wood-boring insects. Wood decking, on the other hand, can serve as an invitation to carpenter bees, wood wasps, and other insects that can damage your deck. With composite decking, you don’t have to worry about these pests affecting the longevity or appearance of your outdoor space.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Composite Decking?


Lower long-term cost compared to wood decking

While the initial cost of composite decking may be higher than that of wood decking, it offers significant long-term cost savings. Composite decking requires minimal maintenance and has a longer lifespan, reducing the need for frequent repairs or replacement. Over time, the cost of maintaining wood decking can accumulate, surpassing the initial investment of composite decking. By choosing composite decking, you can enjoy a cost-effective solution that provides value for years to come.

No need for staining or sealing

One of the major advantages of composite decking is that it eliminates the need for staining or sealing. Wood decking often requires regular staining or sealing to protect it from the elements and prevent color fading. This ongoing maintenance can be time-consuming and costly. With composite decking, you can say goodbye to these additional expenses and time-consuming tasks, saving you money in the long run.

Less maintenance and repairs required

Compared to wood decking, composite decking requires less maintenance and repairs. Wood decking may require frequent repairs due to rotting, warping, or splintering. These repairs can be both time-consuming and costly. With composite decking, you can enjoy a low-maintenance outdoor space that doesn’t require constant repairs or attention. This means more time spent relaxing and enjoying your deck, and less time and money spent on upkeep.


Slip-resistant surface

Composite decking provides a slip-resistant surface, making it a safe option for outdoor spaces. This is especially important in areas prone to wet or icy conditions, where slippery surfaces can pose a risk. Composite decking is designed to offer better traction, reducing the likelihood of accidents caused by slips and falls. By choosing composite decking, you prioritize safety and ensure a secure environment for your family and guests.

No splinters or cracks

Unlike wood decking, which can develop splinters or cracks over time, composite decking remains smooth and free of imperfections. This feature makes it a safer option, especially for households with children or pets who may be vulnerable to injury from splinters. By opting for composite decking, you create a worry-free space where everyone can enjoy outdoor activities without the risk of painful accidents.

Fire-resistant options available

For areas susceptible to wildfires or fire hazards, composite decking offers fire-resistant options. These specially designed composite materials have higher resistance to fire compared to traditional wood decking. By choosing fire-resistant composite decking, you add an extra layer of safety to your outdoor space, providing peace of mind and protection for your home and loved ones.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Composite Decking?


Easy to install

Composite decking is relatively easy to install, making it a DIY-friendly option. With proper preparation and a basic understanding of the installation process, you can easily install composite decking on your own. Many manufacturers provide detailed installation instructions, making the process straightforward and accessible to homeowners with basic construction skills.

Can be installed on various surfaces

Another advantage of composite decking is its versatility in terms of installation. It can be installed on various surfaces, including concrete, wood, or even directly on the ground. This flexibility allows you to create a deck in any outdoor space, whether you have an existing patio or a sloping yard. With composite decking, there are no limitations when it comes to turning your outdoor vision into a reality.

No need for specialized tools

Unlike certain decking materials that require specialized tools for installation, composite decking can be installed with basic tools found in most households. With a few common tools, such as a drill, saw, and measuring tape, you can easily complete the installation process. This accessibility ensures that anyone can install composite decking without the need for additional investments in specialized equipment.

Heat retention

Tends to retain more heat than wood

One aspect to consider when choosing composite decking is its tendency to retain more heat than wood. Composite decking, especially darker colors, can absorb and retain more heat in direct sunlight. This can result in a surface that becomes uncomfortably hot to walk on barefoot during the summer months. It is advisable to use rugs or keep the deck shaded during peak heat hours to minimize discomfort.

May become uncomfortably hot in direct sunlight

Due to its heat retention properties, composite decking can become uncomfortably hot to walk on in direct sunlight. While this can be mitigated by providing shade or using rugs, it’s important to consider this factor, especially if you frequently use your decking barefoot or have children who enjoy outdoor play. By taking necessary precautions, you can still enjoy your composite deck even during sunny summer days.


Heavier than wood decking

It is worth noting that composite decking is generally heavier than wood decking. The density of composite materials can make them heavier, which may have implications for the structural support required. It’s essential to ensure that your deck’s foundation and substructure can adequately support the added weight of composite decking materials. Consult with a professional or follow manufacturer recommendations to ensure a safe and stable deck structure.

May require additional support

The added weight of composite decking may necessitate additional support in certain cases. If your deck has a large span or is elevated, it is crucial to plan for adequate support beams and joists. By following proper installation guidelines and ensuring sufficient structural support, you can prevent any issues related to the weight of composite decking and ensure the longevity of your deck.

Susceptibility to scratches

Can be prone to scratches and marks

Composite decking, although durable, can be prone to scratches and marks. While highly resistant to most forms of damage, certain sharp objects or heavy furniture can leave visible marks on the surface. It’s important to exercise caution when moving furniture or engaging in activities that may cause scratches. By using protective pads or avoiding dragging heavy objects on the deck, you can minimize the risk of scratches and keep your decking looking its best.

May require regular maintenance to keep its appearance

To maintain the appearance of composite decking and minimize the visibility of scratches, regular maintenance may be necessary. This can involve using specialized composite deck cleaners or mild detergents and gentle scrubbing to remove grime and marks. By incorporating routine maintenance into your outdoor cleaning routine, you can keep your composite decking looking pristine and extend its overall lifespan.