Wood VS Composite: What to Know Before Building a Deck

Building a deck is an exciting home improvement project that can enhance your outdoor living space. When it comes to choosing the right decking material, wood and Trex (composite) are two popular options. This guide will help you understand the key differences between wood and Trex, so you can make the best decision for your home.


Wood: Traditional wood decking, such as cedar or redwood, is known for its natural beauty and classic appeal. However, wood is susceptible to rot, warping, and insect damage. To maintain its durability, wood decking requires regular sealing, staining, and occasional repairs.

Trex: Trex decking, made from a blend of wood fibers and recycled plastic, is designed to withstand the elements. It is highly resistant to rot, warping, and insect damage, making it a low-maintenance option. Trex decking typically comes with a long warranty, ensuring its durability for years to come.


Wood: Maintaining a wood deck can be time-consuming and costly. Regular cleaning, sealing, and staining are necessary to protect the wood and keep it looking its best. Neglecting maintenance can lead to splintering, fading, and other issues that may require extensive repairs.

Trex: Trex decking is virtually maintenance-free. It only needs occasional cleaning with soap and water to keep it looking new. There is no need for sealing or staining, which saves time and money in the long run.


Wood: The initial cost of wood decking is generally lower than Trex. However, the long-term costs can add up due to the ongoing maintenance and potential repairs. The type of wood you choose will also affect the price, with options like cedar and redwood being more expensive than pressure-treated pine.

Trex: Trex decking has a higher upfront cost compared to wood. However, the savings on maintenance and its long lifespan can make it a more cost-effective choice over time. The investment in Trex decking can also add value to your home.


Wood: Many homeowners love the natural look and feel of wood. Each plank has unique grain patterns and colors that add character to the deck. Wood can also be stained or painted in various shades to match your style preferences.

Trex: Trex decking offers a wide range of colors and textures that mimic the appearance of natural wood. It maintains its color and appearance over time without fading. Trex can provide a consistent look across the entire deck, and it doesn’t require staining or painting.

Environmental Impact

Wood: While wood is a natural and renewable resource, the environmental impact varies depending on the source. Choosing sustainably harvested wood can help reduce the ecological footprint. However, the chemicals used in treating wood and the frequent maintenance required can have negative environmental effects.

Trex: Trex decking is made from 95% recycled materials, including plastic bags and reclaimed wood fibers. This makes it an eco-friendly option. The manufacturing process of Trex also has a lower environmental impact compared to the production of treated wood.


When deciding between wood and Trex for your decking project, consider your priorities in terms of durability, maintenance, cost, aesthetics, and environmental impact. Both materials have their pros and cons, and the best choice depends on your specific needs and preferences.

For personalized advice and to explore more options, consult with a professional deck builder. They can provide insights tailored to your home and help you make the most informed decision.