Softwood decking is a real and renewable product that provides a natural beauty that cannot be duplicated. In contrast, composite decking is typically made from a combination of different synthetic materials that are processed to give the appearance of wood. Wood decks already look like wood, which is what all of the composite decking manufacturers try to emulate.
Wood makes for a deck you can enjoy all year round – even in the heat of summer. Wood naturally absorbs the sun’s energy, so in warmer temperatures, wood stays cooler to the touch. Composites can be uncomfortably hot on bare feet.
Wood decking is extremely affordable compared to other options on the market. For example, a deck made with manufactured materials can cost three to five times more than a comparable deck made with real wood. Plus, according to Remodeling Magazine, a wood deck addition returns an average of 81 percent of the original investment – more than what a composite deck delivers.
Beyond cost, there are numerous environmental benefits to selecting a wood over a composite deck.* In a side by side comparison, wood vs. composite decking:
- Wood is biodegradable
- Composite decking ends up in a landfill
- Wood decks store carbon throughout their lives, making for a much lower carbon footprint.
- The carbon emissions from a composite deck are more than double that of a wood deck.
- Wood is a renewable building material. More trees are planted than harvested every year in the U.S.
- Composite decking is made from finite fossil fuel sources.