Update on Composite Decking VS. Wood Decks

I last wrote about Composite Decking material at the beginning of March 2007 in my article 6 Advantages and 6 Disadvantages of Composite Decking.

Since then the author of the article that I linked to has written an update (March 27, 2007) and although there are some good things about composite decking material, and it is maturing as a product, it still has a long way to. The writer comes to the conclusion that the claims of composite material manufactures are erroneous. Those claims are:

  • Composite Decking is Maintenance Free
  • Composite Decking is Better Than Wood
  • Composite Decking Last Forever

Some of these claims have been debunked in lawsuits and others are wrong in the opinion of the author.

You can read the full article at:

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9 Replies to “Update on Composite Decking VS. Wood Decks”

  1. Lawrence

    Hi! Nice Blog–

    Thanks for the kind words, and the link to the composite article. You wouldn’t believe the number of phone calls and emails that garners.

    Be Well and keep up the great work. I’m digging into your blog now!


  2. Kelly Williams

    Composite decking has come a long way since its inception in the early 1990s. However, composites have never been available with “factory coatings” to protect them from the environment; until now. The reason is composites are based on plastics that do not readily adhere to anything. There is a new technology called InFin Coating Technology that combines a pretreatment process with in-line coating of a urethane-based polymer that can be clear or pigmented to any desired color. This coating is chemically analogous to automotive topcoats. The color hold will be warranted, it doesn’t scratch easy at all, will 100% not develop mold, maintains a lower surface temperature, and is easy to clean. And, it can be stained or painted down the road which cannot be done today. I know I am not going to build a deck until this technology is available in the marketplace. And, it is still way cheaper than an all-vinyl deck board.

  3. Bill Hutchison Post author

    Thanks for the comment Kelly,

    I reckon that as time goes on Composite Decking will be come a more viable option for decking and building materials. It’s good to see that composite material manufactures are making advancements to it.

  4. Chris V

    I am looking to construct a 80sqm deck and was hoping to do so sustainably by using composite decking. It would appear however that it may be a false economy and the decking may not be as good as the advertising would have one believe.

    Is there any evidense out there that things have improved since your last article.

    Qny info would be appreciated.



  5. Lawrence Winterburn


    I have heard from builders using the stuff that many composite companies are just hanging on. Now that petroleum is getting more expensive that will adversely affect the composite decking companies bottom line.

    Last year there were many more complaints and no changes to their warranty. They are still excluding mold and fading from their warranty, and when they do have a legitimate warranty claim, they exclude labor and disposal.

    This pits the builder against their client–that they often recommended the product to in the first place. Dirty pool in my book.

  6. Chris V

    Thanks guys, I think I will steer clear of this stuff. Any suggestions as to a good hardwood with some character. I am thinking that I would put a clear hard wearing twopack on it to minimize wear and to maintain the look.

    Any suggestions?



  7. Lawrence Winterburn

    look for kiln dried tigerdeck… and seal it with the oil they recommend on all 4 sides before putting it down.

    It will need recoating twice a year, but it is more like mopping than refinishing.


  8. Lawrence Winterburn

    Hi Bill… it is a work in progress. The original article was done nearly 7 years ago and it keeps growing.

    I really do try to keep things positive on the website, and tend to post updates to that on the blog, so your second link contains all the updates.

    Feel free to post any snip its you see fit…

    Keep up the good work!

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