Choosing a Deck – Wood or Plastic?
There is a good number of decks, available in various designs and style. Anyone can get deck building ideas from these designs and layout plans for their own deck. But the question that most beginner deck builders or homeowners ask is ‘which deck to go for–wood or plastic?’ This question brings no surprise. Because of the widespread acceptance of plastic lumber and a good number of manufacturers of these materials, a lot of DIYers, and professional deck builders prefer using plastic decks over wood. This popularity doesn’t change that wood is still the ideal choice when building decks. To answer the question of which is best for you, you will need to consider what you need in a deck regarding its color, available dimensions, price and maintenance.
A lot of deck builders always recommend using wood for decking and the reason for this is clear. Decks built with wood are known to be long lasting, high quality, and sturdy. Most wooden decks can last for a very long time. The availability of decking accessories for wooden decks can help it keep its a natural aesthetic feature and excellent texture.
Like any decking be it composite or wooden, what comes to mind is the cost. When considering wooden decking, it is best to know your budget. Most high-quality decking lumber like Ipe decking may not be the most pocket-friendly choice at the interim, but over the long run, they manifest as a great choice. The most cost-effective approach for wood decking is to go with treated wood. When building your deck, you need to consider what wood/lumber type you need. Will be an exotic wood like Ipe or Tigerwood or a less exotic wood like Cedar (which is not a bad decking option)?
Higher grade woods are very resistant to moist, fire and other negative factors. Woods have fewer flaws when used in decking. It is recommended to go with higher grade lumber when planning a deck construction.
Wooden decks usually require periodic support of the structure. Wooden decks periodic staining and sealing to keep natural glow. The period between each sealing could range from about a year to three years, depending on the wood type.
They usually comprise polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or polythene and some wood particles. Plastic deck boards may be hollow or solid and can be made from some different materials including recycled plastic. Hollow deck boards are usually cheaper but do not expand and contract like solid boards. Hollow boards can also hold water internally which will probably lead to decomposition and warping. Solid boards look more like real woods than hollow boards.
Plastic or composite deck boards usually cost more than wooden deck boards at the time of purchase. However, the lesser need for maintenance is an added advantage.
Composite or plastic deck boards are very susceptible to external elements and may require more maintenance than wood. You’ll normally need a professional to lay boards properly to avoid irregular movement of boards. Composite boards, unlike wood, cannot be painted when they fade. Composite/plastic deck boards are not the most favorite for homeowners.
Your choice of a deck construction material usually depends on what you need and your budget. Deck boards from wood are the most preferred because they tend to last longer and are resistant to external elements over more extended periods. A wooden deck always has a natural and luxurious feel to it especially when built with exotic woods.