Aug 29, 2020

The Difference Between Wood & Composite Deck Materials

Lindus Construction’s in-house deck specialist, Luke Panek offers information concerning the two most popular decking materials for your new deck.

Listen to the Entire Show Here:

Wood Decking

When it comes to new deck installation, one of the biggest decisions a homeowner must make is which material to use.  While wood decking has a lower upfront cost than composite materials, it requires substantially more maintenance.  Wood decking provides a rustic look because it weathers over time.  For homeowners opting for wood decking, there are many varieties to choose from, including wood, pressure treated, and kiln dried.

wood deck installed on Twin Cities home

Most treated wood at a lumberyard is either green or brown treated.  When wood is treated, it is placed in a tank and swells up with the treating solution.  When the wood is removed, it has a moisture content of 60%-70%.  The wood is not given a chance to fully dry out.  Instead, it is bundled, stacked, covered with a tarp and moved to an indoor lumberyard.  The material is not exposed to natural elements, such as the sun or the wind until it is installed on their deck.  The introduction to the outdoors leads to treated lumber shrinking, warping, and cracking.

Approximately a decade ago, kiln dried wood made its introduction to the marketplace.  This process involves lowering the moisture levels of the wood to about 15%, just as is done with interior millwork.  This creates a lighter, yet more stable wood product that is less prone to shrinkage, cracking, and warping.

zuri deck

Composite Decking

Homeowners wishing to forego costly and time-consuming deck maintenance can find composite decking to be a desirable option.  Comprised of sawdust and/or other organic materials mixed with PVC resin, this material holds up well against Mother Nature.  One example of this is TimberTech AZEK which is entirely cellular PVC synthetic decking. This decking material works particularly well in the Midwest, where rampant climate and humidity changes are commonplace. The absence of sawdust within the product’s makeup equates to less expansion and contraction than other composites with sawdust.  The only maintenance of this type of decking requires washing off organic debris, such as pollen.  When compared with wooden decks, synthetic decks will have more tread grip, making them less slippery.  Since synthetic decks are denser than wood, they hold heat longer. This creates an argument for opting for a lighter decking color to prevent the deck from getting too hot in the summer months.  Cellular PVC decking also tends to be cooler to the touch than composites that contain sawdust.

Go Behind the Scenes on a Decking Project Completed by the Craftsmen at Lindus Construction: 

When it comes to calculating the price for a deck, the best option is to request a free estimate from a reputable contractor.  As a general rule of thumb, wooden decks are cheaper than composite decks.  Factors that can drive up the price of the deck include whether or not a staircase is needed.  The taller the staircase, the more the price increases.  Oftentimes, the staircase is at least 1/3 the cost of the project.

Contact us today to get started on your next decking installation project.

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 addressed by calling or texting 651-461-9226. 

Browse Our Deck Installation Projects:

Browse Our Deck Installation Reviews:

"The job went well. It is great having new support structure. The decking looks fabulous."

David S.
White Bear Lake, MN
December 26, 2023

"We have an 80-year-old 2-story colonial. The shaker porch needed some serious help with the railing, floor, and drainage. The result is very nice, providing a good place for morning coffee."

Dale A.
Minneapolis, MN
December 18, 2023

"I used Lindus to right the wrong of no deck on the back of my house. From working with Dave Anderson on the sales side to Cory Maxon and his build team, every piece of the process was handled with professionalism and care. Cleanest jobsite I've ever seen! I had a great experience working with Lindus!"

Chris B.
Forest Lake, MN
December 12, 2023

"I just wanted to say how pleased I am with the finished deck projects.  Thomas, Chad and Logan are true craftsmen coming from a retired construction superintendent. They always took time to answer my questions and acted on behalf of Lindus Construction so professional.  It was a pleasure to have been in their company for the week they were here."

Bob W.
Danbury, WI
October 6, 2023

"We highly recommend Lindus for home improvement projects -- our new deck is beautiful, built with high quality materials and attention to details. The construction crew was experienced and professional."

Cheryl G.
White Bear Lake, MN
July 5, 2023

"Lindus built a deck beyond my expectations. Dave and Triston were very professional. The upper-story deck they built is amazing and much better than the deck it replaced. I am grateful for their skill and hard work."

Carolyn M.
Apple Valley, MN
July 2, 2023
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