If you love real wood’s aesthetics, pressure-treated wood decking delivers affordability and classic looks—as long as you’re ready for its maintenance requirements. Composite wood decking delivers low maintenance and durability—yet the initial investment in it is greater than pressure-treated wood.
A deck is a long-term investment, so it’s wise to understand your material options before having one built. Weigh your options and indulge in the perfect deck—an ideal place to enjoy open space, blue skies, and starry nights with friends and family.
Read on to gather the facts to get the ideal results for your backyard deck.
5 Features of Pressure-Treated Wood Decking
Wood decks have been enjoyed for decades and deliver a classic look and great function. Here are some of our favorite things about pressure-treated wood decking:
1. Beautiful aesthetics
If you love the natural, warm appearance of real wood, a pressure-treated deck is a perfect choice. Wood is a proven material that looks fantastic amidst the beauty of the outdoors. Over the years, if you want a different aesthetic, you can stain it a different color.
2. Comfortably affordable
If you’re up for the maintenance, a cost-effective pressure-treated wood deck may be the perfect solution for your home.
3. Readily available
Pressure-treated wood decking is a popular material that is easily accessible, so you shouldn’t need to deal with any delays in your installation due to materials.
4. Easy to clean
If your wood deck gets dirty (particularly during pollen season), use a soft bristle brush and mild soap to clean it. Don’t power wash it, or you could strip it of its protective coating (allowing moisture to penetrate it).
5. Lasts long when well cared for
A well-maintained pressure-treated wood deck can last up to 20 years. While this isn’t as long as a composite deck lasts, it’s still substantial for the economic upfront costs.
- Wood decking comes with maintenance requirements that you must be willing to attend to for your deck to last. Wood decks should be sanded and either sealed or stained every 1-2 years. If you don’t regularly seal your pressure-treated deck, moisture can invade and cause rot, warping, cracks, mold, and deterioration.
- Family fun on summer days is great on a wood deck until someone gets a splinter. This issue can come with the territory, so consider minimizing the possibility by requiring people to wear shoes.
5 Features of Composite Decking
Made of a mix of small wood fibers encased in recycled plastic, composite decking has come a long way in its aesthetics. It delivers an attractive look that mimics wood.
1. Easier to maintain than wood
Composite decking doesn’t need to be sanded, stained, or sealed annually like pressure-treated wood decking. You’ll have more time to enjoy your deck when you choose a composite material. To keep it in tip-top shape, clean your composite deck annually with mild soap and a garden hose. Resist the temptation to power wash your deck to avoid damaging it.
2. Exceptionally attractive
While a composite deck doesn’t look exactly like real wood, it mimics the look of wood, creating an attractive backyard gathering space. Most composite decking offers handsome designs and cohesive finishing touches like fascia boards, railings, balusters (deck stair railing), treads, and posts in the same color and material as the rest of your decking.
Composite decking resists water intrusion, so it won’t decay or rot on you despite St. Louis’ seasonal rainy weather. Pests are drawn to water, so keeping moisture at bay also helps keep critters and their damage away.
4. Durable and reliable
Composite decking delivers high performance and is built to last. If it’s installed properly and well maintained over the years, it can last up to 50 years! Composite decking is stain resistant and holds up well to harsh weather. It resists damage from termites and other wood-destroying pests and won’t fade due to its built-in UV resistance.
5. No splinters
Due to the composite decking’s makeup, it won’t splinter even after it’s exposed to variations in weather. Children who love to go barefoot each summer and pets who walk on your deck will enjoy their summers splinter-free when you choose composite decking.
Composite decking’s drawback:
- There is a greater initial investment when you choose composite decking, but it is worth it because you get to bypass the tedious maintenance needs wood decking requires.
How Do Composite Decking and Pressure-Treated Wood Decking Compare?
A deck’s framing (the structural part of the deck you don’t see) is typically made out of treated lumber. The pressure-treated or composite material you select will make up your decking surface and railings. Their pros and cons vary, so it comes down to your preference.
If you adore the rich, natural look of wood and are ok with investing the time and money needed for maintenance, then pressure-treated wood is for you. If you prefer a low-maintenance deck that lasts twice as long, and you don’t mind the initial investment, then composite may be best for you.
Enhance Your Outdoor Living with a New Deck
Enjoy entertaining and lounging on your greater St. Louis area home’s new deck installed by our expert team.
At Lakeside Renovation & Design, we take time to understand your dreams so we can offer multiple solutions for your budget. We partner with DuraLife Building Products to deliver the highest-performing decking materials that are also low maintenance. These amazing decks outperform other composites and PVC decking products, ensuring your decking resists fading or staining.
Learn more about our top-tier deck services.