Natural Wood vs Recycled Materials/Synthetic Wood for Porches and Decks

July 8, 2022

When trying to find the best decking material, there are many different factors to consider. While natural wood is aesthetically pleasing and durable, other options such as recycled materials and synthetic wood are equally decent for building porches and decks. The pros and cons composite decking offers are important to weigh.

If you’re going for a natural appearance, composite timber might be your best bet. Composed of plastic and wood that has been recycled, composite timber is a happy medium between functional and environmentally friendly. Compared to natural wood, composite timber tends to be more durable and dense than its natural counterpart. 

Natural wood’s pros include a low cost, a larger range of choices for color and style (as well as customization), and flexibility. Natural wood usually has fewer upfront expenses than composite decking options. Additionally, natural wood can be painted or stained to match your style. What’s more, natural wood is considered heat resistant while being cooler in the face of direct sunlight than composite decking does. 

While natural wood has some attractive benefits, it isn’t without drawbacks. Cons of natural wood include its safety concerns, lack of durability, and high maintenance upkeep. Natural wood is rife with splinters. Also, the slippery coating on natural wood decks can cause falls in the elderly or pose a safety risk to furry, four-footed family members. 

In terms of durability, natural wood tends to become warped over time due to the expansion and contraction wrought by humidity. Natural timber can also become moldy over time, resulting in permanent damage to the structure and even rot. With natural wood, color and staining also tend to fade even with impeccable upkeep.

Finally, natural wood tends to need a higher degree of maintenance and TLC than composite decks. Natural wood decks must be regularly sealed, stripped, and sanded. Plus, they tend to call for repairs more often than composite decks.

While natural wood has pros and cons, composite timber is becoming popular among home improvement enthusiasts. Offering a wide variety of colors and styles, composite timber is versatile. Pros for composite decks include a sturdy exterior that resists stains, pests, water, and fading. 

Another popular pro for composite decks is that they are friendly to the environment. This is because they are made of recycled material. Finally, composite decks are fire-resistant, which deviates from regular timber decks.

Of course, composite decks aren’t perfect. They tend to cost more upfront than natural wood, but they require fewer repairs, making them worth the investment. While composite wood is durable, it can still cause scuffs and scratches over time. Composite wood is also less flexible than natural timber, making it tougher to repair if it needs fixing.

If you’re building a deck, you don’t have to go through this process alone. Our staff at Coyote Hollow Construction, Inc. offers 30 years of expertise. Call now to schedule your free site visit and speak with our trustworthy staff! 

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