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When it comes to the best materials on the market for building decks, there are so many great options to choose from. Taking into consideration your environment, budget, and design wants— there is the perfect decking material out there for you. 

At Rocky Mountain Forest Products, we primarily offer real wood and composite decking materials for our customers. While both come with their own sets of pros and cons, it’s hard to go wrong with either. Continue reading below for a comprehensive breakdown of each kind of decking material and which is best for your own deck projects.

Benefits Of Real Wood Decking

We may be biased, but the beauty of real wood decking is unmatched. There’s nothing quite like the natural and raw look of wood materials. Whether you’re looking for something simple like cedar, or you’re hoping to make a statement with exotic Tigerwood; the opportunities are endless. 

The biggest advantage of real wood decking is, of course, its looks. Natural materials will often weather over time to reveal deep grains and one of a kind texture that cannot be replicated. Real wood will almost always look the best in its surrounding environment. For those with ample trees on their property and stunning landscapes, real wood decking is the perfect addition of seamless natural perfection. 

In terms of pricing, real wood decking is often more affordable than many composite options. Unless you are looking for exotic hardwood materials, natural decking will almost always be a big bank for your buck. Exotic materials will cost the most, but will tend to be the most stunning for years to come.

When stained or sealed properly, natural wood decking will last decades with minimal issues. It’s important to occasionally check for damages, but these materials should otherwise last for a very long time. With natural wood, you’ll want to ensure the surface is mostly clean of debris and leaves, stain or seal it every year or so, and repair boards as needed. 

Benefits of Composite Decking

When it comes to quality you can count on and the best low maintenance options, composite decking is the way to go. Unlike real wood materials, composite decking is made from recycled parts and plastic. Although it is an artificial product, these materials can look very natural and almost identical to real wood materials.

Composite materials will cost more than your average redwood or cedar products, but they will last for decades with no issues. So although the upfront cost may be slightly more, composite decking will make up for it with its longevity. It’s an investment you can feel good about and guaranteed to last.

The biggest upside to composite decking is their low maintenance. Once installed, these materials are pretty much good to go for decades. While it is beneficial to sweep the surfaces and wash them occasionally, they require significantly less upkeep than real wood. You can enjoy your deck for 30+ years with little to no issues.

Disadvantages To Real Wood And Composite Decking

Truly, you can’t go wrong with either real wood decking or composite materials. But with anything, there are potential downsides to each that buyers should be aware of. 

The biggest issue with real wood is ensuring it is sealed properly and protected at all times. Wood can be damaged by sun exposure or other harsh environmental factors, so it’s important your decking is safe and sealed. These materials can also be affected by furniture or foot traffic causing etching or scratches. Ensure all items on the deck are protected and can’t hurt your deck surface.

The largest disadvantage of composite decking materials is their sometimes artificial looks. While many composite products are built to look like natural materials, many of them fall short and end up looking tacky or fake. And although composite decking may come with a higher price tag, these materials last just about as long as properly-cared-for wood. Overall, there’s no ‘wrong’ choice for decking. Either of these options are sure to look spectacular in any outdoor space.

To learn more or to get a quote from one of our representatives today, contact us here.