Libby Smoot, May 16, 2016

Look Beyond Wood When Building A Deck

The decking industry projects that nearly 40 million decks in North America are more than 20 years old. Chances are, they are showing some age.

If one of those decks happens to be yours, you may want to think twice before choosing wood again. Since the time these aging decks were built, the industry has witnessed tremendous advancements in engineering and the rapid rise of wood alternatives that outperform and outlast their wood predecessors.


As homeowners discover the benefits of wood-composite decking over wood, many quickly realize that they would rather spend time enjoying their decks rather than maintaining them – a top headache for wood deck owners. Long the go-to material for building decks, porches and other outdoor living spaces, wood is increasingly being replaced by high-performance composite decking as the material of choice among professional contractors and homeowners alike.

Here are five key advantages that composite decking has over wood:

Superior Durability
Traditional wood decks can be beautiful, but they don’t stay that way for long. Wet springs, blistering summers and frigid winters quickly take their toll, leaving wood decks faded, splintered and warped over time. Wood attracts insects that can cause extensive structural damage. This rotting and splitting can pose safety hazards ranging from splinters to deterioration and possibly deck collapse.

Trex Enhance decking in Beach Dune and Saddle

Composite decking, on the other hand, is engineered for maximum durability. It resists fading, staining, scratching and mold and won’t rot, crack or warp, regardless of the harsh weather conditions or daily wear and tear. It’s insect-proof and splinter-free, making it safer and more comfortable for families with kids and pets.

Low Maintenance
Any wood deck – be it pressure-treated lumber, ipe, redwood or cedar – requires time-intensive upkeep. Seasonal sanding and sealing are a must to fend off the natural rotting and splitting that come with wood. Wood also fades easily, and requires regular painting and staining to maintain aesthetics.


With high-performance composite decking, you never need to worry about sanding, staining or painting. Just an occasional soap-and-water cleanup is all that’s needed to maintain superior stability and beauty for decades. Trex decking even comes with a 25-year fade and stain warranty, ensuring that it will continue to look and perform as well over time as the first day it was installed.

Today’s composite decking looks and feels more natural than ever before. Color options range from deep earth tones to spicy reds and pristine greys, including tropically inspired boards that feature the distinct streaked look of exotic hardwoods. With Trex, you can also find a wide selection of accessories, such as railings, stairs, gates, pergolas and furniture, to create a customized outdoor space that reflects your own style.


Eco-Friendly or Environmentally Friendly
Composite decking provides the look and feel of real wood, but without the negative environmental impact. The entire Trex decking portfolio, for example, is made using more than 95 percent recycled content, including reclaimed industrial wood scraps and recycled plastic from common items such as shopping bags, newspaper sleeves and shrink wrap. Trex keeps more than 400 million pounds of plastic and wood scrap out of landfills each year, and has never felled a tree in the making of its products.

Building with wood, on the other hand, contributes directly to deforestation.

You may be surprised to learn that wood decking can be more expensive than composite in the long run. Although the initial cost of pressure-treated lumber is less, when you factor in the cost of ongoing maintenance required with a wood deck, a composite deck can end up paying for itself in well under 10 years.


There also is the added time and cost involved in repairing and replacing wood deck boards that will inevitably warp and splinter over time – even when well-maintained.

Considering all the advantages of building with composite deck boards, the question really is “Why would anyone build a deck with wood anymore?”

To learn more about choosing Trex over wood, watch our video below and click here to learn more.

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