What are the advantages of wood-alternative decking?

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Adding a deck to your home can earn you a pretty high return on your investment, but what material should you be working with? We checked in with Trex, a company that specializes in wood alternative decking, to get a better idea of how this material compares to a standard wood deck.

Following are four key attributes of composite decking:

Durability–Unlike wood, and even many PVC options, high-performance wood alternatives resist fading, scratching and mold—and won’t rot, warp, crack or splinter. Spilled food, dropped grill tools and wet planter pots are no match for newer composites.

Pictured right is an installation of the Trex Transcend collection. Transcend offers a combination of fade, stain and mold resistance due to its protective shell and high-traffic formulation.

Low maintenance–It’s important to wash, stain and seal wood decks–a process that can take several days and may require the use of heavy equipment like a power washer. High-performance composites retain their beauty for decades with minimal upkeep, meaning you’ll spend more time enjoying–rather than maintaining–your deck for years to come. In fact, you never need to worry about sanding, staining or painting–just do a simple soap and water cleaning twice a year. Since spills, splashes and other mishaps are inevitable, it’s extremely important to select a composite that guarantees no-fade color–so that your decking remains looking the same for decades as it did on the day it was installed.

Realistic colors and textures–With high-definition wood grain patterns and rich, saturated colors inspired by the outdoors, today’s composites look more natural than ever before and boast a vibrancy that remains unchanged for years. Compared to wood and PVC, composite building materials offer a variety of color options for incredible design flexibility to suit the style of any home. Color options range from deep earth tones to warm umbers, spicy reds and pristine greys–while some boards offer the distinct streaked look of tropical hardwoods and others provide an appearance with less color variation.

Sustainability–High-performance composite decking provides the look and feel of real wood, but without the environmental impact of deforestation. While PVC decking is made only from synthetic materials, the entire high-performance Trex decking portfolio is manufactured from more than 95 percent recycled content.

Strong warranties–Lengthy warranties on composites guarantee enduring good looks and offer additional peace-of-mind. For example Trex decking has a 25-year Limited Fade and Stain Warranty.

While a wood deck is cheaper upfront it may require more cost towards maintenance and upkeep over time. According to Trex, often in five to ten years the cost difference between the two materials even out.

For a better idea of the cost of a wood-alternative deck we got numbers from Trex. Their suggested retail price for composite decking ranges from approximately $2.35-$3.75 per linear foot.

For more information on the cost comparison of composite and wood decking check out our FAQ: Whatis the best material for constructing an outdoor deck to enhance my home?

For more information about composite decking visit trex.com.

To make your new deck a reality this summer, find a professional in your area to do the job.