More than low maintenance, composite decking offers a huge range of colours and textures. Combine this with big warranties and stain resistance features to make life easier. Make it the most popular first choice of new deck builds.
PricingComposite decking manufacturers are providing more affordable entry-level options. And with extended warranties plus time saved in maintenance, the long term value of a composite deck helps offset the initial price.
They start at $2.42 per linear foot up to $5.90, which is about 2 to 5 times the cost of pressure treated deck boards.
Low maintenanceMinimal upkeep is needed. The occasional soap and water cleaning or gentle pressure washer is enough—no sanding, weather sealing, or staining your deck. That's at least one or two more BBQs or get-togethers each summer. The kind of immediate maintenance that is needed is spills and food cleanup, which all decking requires. And it's still good practice to sweep dust and dirt and remove autumn leaves to keep your deck looking like new.
Stain fade & scratch resistanceComposites are built to take a bit of abuse, with capped composites in the premium tiers as your most resilient. They have a thick, hard shell designed to hold up to spills, dents, and scrapes. This PVC covering is still susceptible, but you won't find the same resilience in natural woods. Even hardwoods like IPE have shown more scars in scratch tests. Fading will happen with all decking material that has lots of sun exposure. Choosing lighter colours will help minimize the visibility of this fading. Innovation in durability has always been a driving force for composite decking. It has progressed vastly in the last decade. Be careful with heavy objects, clean spills quickly with a light detergent. And your deck will flawless
If scratch resistance is high on your priorities, consider upgrading to a PVC decking like AZEK. Scratches can be healed with a heat gun.
Best stain resistant: Wolf Decking
Best scratch resistant: Timbertech
Best Fade Resistance: Deckorators
- Pets claws and heavy furniture can leave marks
- Rubber mats trap moister. Use a woven rug that breathes.
- Be careful with suntan lotion on a composite deck.
- Remember to use a plastic shovel for removing snow.
Colour / ApperanceWith six brands common in Edmonton, each with four or more collections for different textures, wood grains and colours, there are plenty of styles available. The three base colours of red, brown, and grey are possible across all tiers. Higher up collections offer more details, intricate grain embossing, colour streaking, and non-repeating patterns. It's easy to find a consistent look with your home and landscape style with so many options. Since composite doesn't have some of the natural flaws of wood like knots and sap lines, they appear clean and orderly. Maybe a little unnaturally perfect, but it's still immaculate.
DisadvantagesThe most significant disadvantage of composite decking is that you will need to pay more than pressure-treated or cedar.
- The colour is set, if you decide to change the colour of your home or landscaping. The decking would need to be replaced to make a change.
- Some models can be slippery in winter
- Most composite brands expand and contract more than wood. It requires larger gaps between boards and joints.
- It feels like composite or plastic, it doesn't have the same feel as wood.
- Designs are always changing, a 15 year old composite deck retains it's original appearance very well. But the appearance was based on a style from 15 years a go.
TrexTrex composite decking might be right for you if you're looking for:
Looking for consistent colour and appearance from decking to railing and outdoor furniture.
TimbertechTimbertech composite decking might be right for you if you're looking for:
FiberonFiberon composite decking might be right for you if you're looking for:
We'll round in overall features, selection and warranties.
DeckoratorsDeckorators composite decking might be right for you if you're looking for:
A completely waterproof material, ideal for ground-level decks and docks. And the best traction for winter weather, perfect for a front porch or other high traffic areas.