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  • Tim Kraemer

Wood Decking vs Composite Decking

Are you looking to build a deck? Not sure what type of material to use? Let's compare Wood Decking vs Composite Decking.

What is Wood Decking?

Wood decking is just that-wood. Popular types of wood used are cedar, redwood and pressure-treated pine.

What is Composite Decking?

Composite decking is a material made of a combination of sawdust and some form of plastic. Typical plastics used are polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyethylene or polypropylene.

So how do they compare?


  • Wood decking cost $20-25 per square foot and $9-12 for installation.

  • Composite decking cost $4-13 per square foot and $9-12 for installation.


  • The appearance of wood decking can vary in color and grain.

  • The appearance of composite decking is consistent meaning you’ll get what the sample looks like.


  • Wood boards have variable strength and durability, depending on the type of wood used. Softwoods just as cedar or redwood may be more prone to scratching or cracking.

  • Composite boards have high strength and durability, making them much less likely to scratch or crack.


  • Wood decking requires maintenance such as resealing, refinishing or staining. These maintenance items average in cost from $800-$2,600.

  • Composite decking requires little maintenance.


  • Wood have an average lifespan of 10-30 years.

  • Composite have an average lifespan of 15-25 years.

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