Sep 07, 2019

Composite Decking vs Wood

Our team answers homeowner questions every weekend on WCCO 830 AM from 9:00 am-10:00 am.  Have your most pressing home improvement questions answered by calling 651-989-9226.  Here’s must-know information from our in-house deck specialist, Luke Panek, shared on 9.7.19. 

The fall months provide an optimum time for planning new deck construction.  Carefully considering material options and designs ensures that the deck you customize for your home will be enjoyed for years to come.  Here are some facts worth considering.


Most homeowners opt for maintenance-free decking because of its lifespan and minimal upkeep.  When compared to cedar decking, synthetic decking is harder to work with.  Boards are heavier to carry and more difficult to cut.  Synthetic decking is less rigid than wood, making it important for joists to be placed closer together.  The fastening process is also more labor intensive.  Special care must be taken to install synthetic decking correctly in order to prevent premature product failure.


PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) Decking: This type of decking is absent of sawdust and organic material.  A popular brand of PVC decking is AZEK®.  This decking material is highly reliable and can stand the test of time.  It comes in an array of colors and patterns.  It is manufactured to withstand fading, termite infestation, mold, mildew, scratching, cracking, and cupping.  When PVC decking does need to be cleaned, is can be washed with premixed composite deck cleaners.  At times, agitation with a brush or broom may be needed.

Tour an AZEK® Deck Built by Lindus Construction: 

Capped Composite: Decking that is capped or coated with polythene lack the durability that cellular PVC products can offer.  They are prone to swelling and expansion and contraction.  However, capped composite decking offers resistance against fading, staining, and scratching.  It wins high marks with homeowners because of its aesthetics imitating the look of wood.


Cedar: Cedar decking is porous and routinely expands and contracts.  Coatings applied to it must be able to handle the expansion and contraction, which makes paint a terrible choice.  Soon after paint is applied to cedar decking, it will begin to chip and flake off.  The remaining paint must be sanded off.  Restoring a cedar deck is a laborious process.  Steps include using a conditioner and brightener to remove mold, mildew, and graying.  Without this, the stain may have a hard time adhering to the deck.  If the deck is still blotchy and uneven, sanding may be required before stain can be applied.

before gutters

Pine: Pine decking is readily available at a low price.  The trade-off is that it is more labor intensive to maintain than Cedar and can easily warp.  Fresh from the lumberyard, pine decking can have a moisture content of 60%-70%.  This means that there is a lengthy waiting period before the deck can be stained.  Kiln dried pine can be an attractive option because much of the moisture has been removed before the product is available for sale.

Ipe: These rare South American hardwoods are a member of the exotic wood category.  Ipe is extremely solid and durable.  It has a dark, teak like look.  Ipe is resistant to rot and can last up to 75 years. Popular types include Iron Woods™ and Tigerwood.  Ipe is a difficult product to use because the fasteners must be specially mortised and piloted because the screws resist the wood if the pilot hole size isn’t exact.  In some cases, each screw must be dipped in wax so that the screws may be drilled into the holes correctly.

Ipe Deck Wayzata

Listen to the Entire Show Here: 

Browse Our Composite Deck Installation Projects:

Browse Our Deck Installation Reviews:

"The guys who built our deck were very courteous and responsive. There were a couple KDAT boards we didn't like because of some big cracks and we showed them and they replaced them without a problem. After the project was finished they sent out their own Lindus inspector who then showed me some other things that we had not noticed and was sending them back out to take care of. We were really impressed with this.  The initial consultation was very informative about a lot of different products out there today. What they are made of, how they are made, how they hold up, and what is best for your personal budget."

Brandon K..
Hammond, WI
July 21, 2022

"We had Lindus do our roof in Plymouth in 2020 and a deck replacement on our home in 2021 to 2022 over winter. Everything was done on time, correctly and for a reasonable price, (not inexpensive but material chosen a large factor in that.) The old adage you get what you pay for applies to construction work and Lindus provided good value."

Mark M.
Plymouth, MN
July 7, 2022

"I recently needed my 22 year old wooden deck replaced and contacted Lindus Construction. Dave, the sales rep, was very responsive and answered my questions. He even looked at the other estimates I received and went over them line by line to explain the differences and signed with Lindus. Chad and Logan did the tear down and rebuild of my deck and they were great! Very efficient, cleaned up the area and constructed the deck in a couple of days. I love it! It looks beautiful and is very well constructed. Then a couple of weeks later, Josh from Lindus called to ask to inspect the deck. I couldn't believe it. Lindus has their own inspectors! I've never seen that before. If you need a new deck, I'd highly recommend contacting Lindus Construction. They aren't the cheapest...but they are the best quality!"

Ginnee B.
Prior Lake, MN
July 5, 2022

"Great working with Lindus.  Easy to see the work being done and if had any questions they willing to answer an explain."

Diane S.
Prior Lake, MN
June 13, 2022

"Couldn't be happier with our new deck! Fast, clean, great craftsmanship - it'll outlast the house."

Karen J.
Minneapolis, MN
May 23, 2022

"Lindus was great to work with. We couldn’t be happier with our new deck."

Todd M.
Woodbury, MN
May 5, 2022
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