Answering Your FAQs About Innovative Decking Materials

Are you trying to decide on the best decking material for your new deck? Thinking about redoing your existing deck, and not sure how to choose between wood and composite options? 

You’ve heard that wood’s best for aesthetics and a lower carbon footprint. But what about care and maintenance? 

Wherever you’re at in the decking materials research process, you likely have a few questions. After all, choosing the right decking is a big decision that will impact the enjoyment and value of your home. 

At Johnson Lumber, with over a century of experience in the central Maryland area, we understand that there’s a lot of planning that goes into selecting the perfect decking materials

To give you a helping hand, we’ve gathered up the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about wood and composite/PVC decking. Take a look below, and be sure to let us know if there’s anything we missed!

Exploring Wood Decking

Q: What are the aesthetic benefits of wood decking?

A: Wood decking is renowned for its natural beauty and classic charm. It offers a warm, inviting look that can enhance the aesthetic appeal of any outdoor space. 

The variety of wood types, including cedar, pressure-treated lumber, ipe, and more, provide a range of colors and grain patterns to suit different tastes and design needs.

Q: What types of wood are available for decking, and what are their benefits?

A: Several types of wood are popular for decking, each with unique advantages:

  • Cedar – Naturally resistant to moisture, decay, and insect damage, cedar is ideal for a durable, long-lasting deck with a beautiful, rich color.
  • Pressure-Treated Wood – Treated to resist decay and insects, this wood type is an affordable choice for many homeowners.
  • Ipe – Known as Brazilian walnut, ipe is extremely hard and durable, resistant to rot and insect damage, and offers a beautiful, rich color that can last for decades with proper care.

Q: Is wood decking environmentally friendly?

A: Yes, wood is a renewable resource, and many types of wood decking come from sustainably managed forests. Wood is also biodegradable and has a lower carbon footprint than many synthetic alternatives.

Under the Surface of Composite & PVC Decking

Q: What is composite decking, and what are its environmental impacts?

A: Composite decking is made from a blend of wood fibers and recycled plastics, making it an eco-friendly option. It utilizes waste products that would otherwise end up in landfills, contributing to a reduction in environmental waste.

Q: What are the practical advantages of composite and PVC decking?

A: Composite and PVC decking materials are prized for their durability and low maintenance requirements. They resist rotting, warping, fading, and insect damage. Unlike wood, they do not require staining or sealing, which can save considerable time and money over the life of the deck.

Q: How does the aesthetic of composite decking compare to wood?

A: Modern composite decking comes in a variety of colors and textures that can closely mimic the look of natural wood. Brands like Trex, TimberTech, and Azek offer high-quality composite products that provide the beauty of wood without the maintenance.

Cost Comparison

Q: How do the costs of wood and composite decking compare?

A: Initially, wood decking often costs less than composite decking. However, when considering long-term expenses, composite decks can be more cost-effective. 

Composite decking requires minimal maintenance and has a longer lifespan, which can offset the higher upfront cost through reduced repair and maintenance expenses.

Maintenance and Longevity

Q: What maintenance is required for wood vs. composite decks?

A: Wood decks require regular maintenance, including staining, sealing, and occasional repairs to address wear and tear. 

Composite decks, on the other hand, need only basic cleaning with soap and water, as they do not suffer from the same vulnerabilities as wood.

Q: How do weather conditions affect the durability of these materials?

A: Wood decks can be affected by weather conditions; they may warp, crack, or rot if not properly maintained. Composite and PVC decking materials are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions without deteriorating, making them a robust choice for areas with extreme weather.

Any Other Questions About Decking Materials? Johnson Lumber’s Got Answers!

Choosing the right decking material is crucial for ensuring that your deck meets your expectations in terms of aesthetics, maintenance, and longevity. 

At Johnson Lumber, we are dedicated to helping you navigate these choices with expert advice and a wide range of high-quality materials. 

Send us a message for personalized advice, or feel free to visit our showroom to see our materials firsthand.

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