composite deck material

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Composite Decking Material

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Composite Decking Material

Selecting the perfect composite decking material for your home is a crucial decision that will impact the appearance, performance, and longevity of your outdoor living space. With so many options available on the market, it can be overwhelming to navigate the various brands, styles, and features. This ultimate guide will help you understand the key factors to consider when choosing composite decking, ensuring that you make an informed decision that meets your specific needs and preferences.

Composite Decking

What is composite decking?

Composite decking is an innovative material that combines the beauty and texture of natural wood with the durability and low-maintenance benefits of plastic. Made from a blend of wood fibers, recycled plastics, and bonding agents, composite decking offers a range of advantages over traditional wood decking.

 Benefits of composite over traditional wood

Compared to wood, composite decking is more resistant to moisture, insects, and decay, requiring minimal upkeep to maintain its appearance and structural integrity. Composite decking also offers greater color and style options, as well as a more consistent and splinter-free surface that is safer and more comfortable for bare feet.

 Factors to Consider

When selecting composite decking, there are several key factors to consider to ensure you choose the best material for your needs:

 Durability and Longevity

Look for composite decking with a proven track record of durability and long-term performance. High-quality composite decking should resist fading, staining, scratching, and moisture damage, even in harsh outdoor conditions. Many brands offer extended warranties of 25 years or more, providing peace of mind and protection for your investment.

Aesthetic Appeal and Color Options

Composite decking comes in a wide range of colors, textures, and finishes that can complement any home style or personal taste. From classic wood tones to modern grays and vibrant hues, there are options to suit every aesthetic preference. Consider the overall look and feel you want to achieve with your outdoor space, and choose a color and style that will enhance your home’s curb appeal.


Types of Composite Decking Materials

There are several different types of composite decking materials available, each with its own unique features and benefits:

Capped Composite

Capped composite decking features a protective outer layer shell that surrounds the core material, providing enhanced resistance to moisture, stains, and fading. This extra layer of protection helps maintain the deck’s appearance and performance over time, making it a popular choice for homeowners who want the best in low-maintenance durability.

 Uncapped Composite

Uncapped composite decking does not have a protective outer layer, leaving the core material exposed to the elements. While still more durable and low-maintenance than traditional wood, uncapped composite may be more susceptible to fading, staining, and moisture damage over time. However, it is often a more affordable option than capped composite.

Composite vs. PVC Decking

PVC decking is another low-maintenance option that is similar to composite but made entirely from plastic. PVC decking is highly resistant to moisture, insects, and decay, and requires minimal upkeep to maintain its appearance. However, it may not have the same natural wood look and feel as composite decking, and it can be more expensive than some composite options.


Budget Considerations

 Cost comparison between materials

Composite decking can vary widely in price, depending on the brand, style, and features. In general, composite decking is more expensive upfront than traditional wood, but it can provide significant long-term savings in maintenance and replacement costs. Consider the initial cost of the material as well as the long-term value it provides.

Long-term savings from reduced maintenance

While composite decking may have a higher upfront cost than wood, it can save you money in the long run by reducing the need for regular maintenance, such as sanding, staining, and replacing damaged boards. Over the life of your deck, these savings can add up to a significant amount, making composite decking a smart investment for your home.


Design and Aesthetics

Choosing colors and textures

When selecting composite decking, consider the color and texture options that will best complement your home’s style and landscape. Many brands offer a range of natural wood tones, as well as more modern and vibrant hues. Look for textures that mimic the grain and feel of real wood, or opt for a more consistent and smooth surface for a contemporary look.

Matching the deck to your home’s style

Your composite deck should be an extension of your home’s overall style and aesthetic. Consider the color scheme, architecture, and surrounding landscape when selecting your decking material. Choose colors and textures that will seamlessly blend with your home’s exterior, creating a cohesive and harmonious outdoor living space.


 Installation and Warranty

Professional installation

While some homeowners may choose to install their composite decking themselves, hiring a professional installer can ensure that the job is done correctly and efficiently. Look for installers with experience working with composite materials.

Checking warranty details

Before purchasing composite decking, be sure to carefully review the warranty details provided by the manufacturer. Look for brands that offer comprehensive coverage against defects, fading, and staining, as well as those with transferable warranties that can add value to your home if you decide to sell in the future.


Making Your Decision

When choosing composite decking, consider factors such as durability, aesthetic appeal, cost, and warranty coverage. Research different brands and options and compare prices to find the best material for your needs and budget.

Choosing the right composite decking material is a significant decision that will impact the look, feel, and performance of your outdoor living space for years to come. By understanding the key factors to consider, researching your options, and making an informed choice, you can create a beautiful, durable, and low-maintenance deck that will provide endless enjoyment and value for your home. Whether you prioritize durability, aesthetic appeal, or budget considerations, there is a composite decking material that can meet your needs and exceed your expectations.


Trust the Experts in Composite Deck Installation

Whether you’re just beginning to explore your options or are ready to start building, Decked Out Builders is here to be your trusted deck-building partner. Our team of skilled professionals has decades of experience as premier composite deck builders in Illinois and Wisconsin. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have about composite decking materials and can help you schedule a design consultation when you’re ready to move forward.

In addition to custom composite decks, we offer a range of other outdoor living services, including porches, patios, pergolas, outdoor kitchens, and more. Browse our portfolio of showpiece custom decks and request your free quote today to start turning your outdoor living dreams into reality.