Last Updated on May 10, 2022 by woodcutter
Wood and composite timber have been the subject of many debates for decades now. The bone of contention has to do with the difference between wood and composite timber and which one is the best for structure, safety, and durability.
Nowadays, the choice of going for either composite timber or wood comes down to your personal preference and your budget.
We will highlight seven differences between wood and composite timber in this article. They will be examined based on durability, cost, etc. This article will teach you all you need to know about wood and composite timber.
Let’s Compare: Wood vs. Composite Timber
Wood refers to the hard, fibrous substance and the trusted material for building decks. The popularity of wood has made manufacturers of composite materials model the look to make it look like natural wood.
Wood decking has been around for some time as it is known as a durable and versatile material.
But many individuals state that it is not the ideal material for everyone. They may be right because natural wood will eventually age over time.
Composite timber, which serves as the source material for composite decking, is a hybrid product that is generally composed of recycled plastic and wood fibres.
When it comes to upfront cost, treated wood decking materials are generally inexpensive. However, there has been a recent spike in the prices of tropical hardwood and cedar decking materials.
Composite decking costs a lot more than its counterpart. However, it covers this high cost by being ready to use as soon as it is installed. Moreover, composite decking (timber) requires minimal maintenance.
Before the advent of or the development of composite decking in the late ’80s, natural wood remained the premier decking material for decades.
Wood has naturally occurring durable characteristics, making it an incredibly long-lasting material when it is properly maintained.
On the other hand, Composite timber is a hybrid product manufactured from recycled plastic and wood.
It is a durable construction which ensures that the material never fades, cracks, splinters or rots.
Resistance to Pests
Natural wood is usually the home of many pests. This is because wood generally has penetrable qualities and is highly susceptible to termites, carpenter bees, and mice.
However, composite decking/timber is highly inhospitable to rodents, insects or pests in general. And due to the impenetrability of this material, mice, termites, and even carpenter bees or other pest infestations do not affect composite timber in any way.
Wood requires regular and annual maintenance. As wood decking, it must be treated and then stained at least once every 2 to 3 years. Wood that lacks regular maintenance begins to rot, split or crack.
Composite decking/timber does not require any maintenance. As soon as it is installed, you can keep using it for years.
Variety of Options
Composite decking/timber is manufactured in solid or blended colours to reflect the qualities of wood.
They are made of plastic and can therefore be heated and then shaped to give that soft curved deck lines that have become incredibly popular.
But that is not the same with wood as it is used in its natural form to make wood decking.
Wood decking can be stained with any colour you desire or choose. This means it is flexible enough to be customized to match your style and home perfectly.
As mentioned earlier, composite timber comes in blended or solid colours, with the primary goal of reflecting wood qualities.
Wood is highly durable, as mentioned earlier. However, despite its durability, it is incredibly prone to extreme weather conditions.
Snow, rain, and extreme temperatures cause wood deck planks to start warping and twisting over time.
This changes your deck’s overall appearance and looks, thereby making it not to age too well.
Composite timber, on the other hand, is made from a combination of recycled plastic and wood. This means it is highly unsusceptible to weathering. And users need not fear situations like warping, etc.
As you can see, there are several differences between wood and composite timber. And your budget, style, and personality will determine which of them you should opt for when the time comes for you to beautify your home.