Is Composite Decking Cheaper than Wood?

On average, a treated wood deck costs $23 to $42 per square foot, plus installation. Hardwood decking will cost anything above $30 plus installation. Composite deck boards cost between $30 and $60 per square foot, plus installation. This clearly shows that composite decking boards are more expensive than wood, doesn’t it? But with the increased use of composite decking, is it worth it? Is it cheaper to use composite boards? Is composite decking better than wood? This article provides answers to those questions. 

Despite It Cost, Composite Decking Is Still Cheaper than Wood

How? You might ask. There are several reasons composite deck boards are far cheaper to install than wood, despite their high initial cost. One reason is that you will spend less money to maintain your composite decking than wood. The other reason is that composite decking boards last longer than wood. Let’s consider both reasons in the following subheadings. 

Composite Decking Maintenance Saves Cost

Maintaining composite decking is not as tedious as wood. To explain it better, let’s consider how difficult timber decking is to maintain. Homeowners must care for their wood decking at least once a year if they want it to last longer. 

This maintenance process involves sealing the decking, painting or staining the boards to make them look good, and, at times, scrubbing to remove mold and mildew. Wood decks absorb water; hence the boards will swell, leading to cracks, splitting, and warping when it becomes dry. 

To prevent water absorption, you must seal the deck surface at least once a year. Since buying sealant and paint requires spending money, using wood decking boards is not cheaper than composite decking. 

Composite decking, on the other hand, doesn’t require sealing, painting, or staining. All you have to do is use water and soap to wash the surface during maintenance. This shows that it is cheaper to use composite deck boards. 

Composite Decking Last Longer

Is It Cheaper to Use Composite Deck Boards?

Aside from easy maintenance, composite decking’s lifespan exceeds wood. On average, a wood decking will last for 15 years, which is ten years less than an average composite decking. High-grade composite decking will last 35 years, making it worth every penny you spend on it. 

This means you only have to install your composite decking once in your lifetime if you use top-grade deck boards. But if you install wood decking, you will change the boards and spend more money after 15 years. So, it is cheaper to use composite deck boards. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Cheaper to Build a Deck with Wood or Composite Decking?

At first, composite decking will cost you more than wood, but when you consider composite boards are easy to maintain and last longer than wood, you will realize that it is cheaper to use composite deck boards.

How Long Will the Composite Deck Last?

Depending on the grade you buy, your composite decking can last between 25 and 35 years with less maintenance. 

Is It Cheaper to Use Composite Decking?

Composite wood decking is a cheap option if you want a deck that is easy to maintain and will last longer.

What Is the Average Cost of a Composite Deck?

On average, a composite deck costs between $30 and $60 per square foot, plus installation.
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