Wood deck or composite deck: how to choose?

Wood is the star material for terraces. Its aesthetics, its warm appearance, its ease of installation, and its ecological side are the main reasons for its success. Only the regular maintenance required of a wooden deck can make you hesitate to choose this material. Looking for a San Antonio deck builder? Before you choose which deck you will build, make sure to choose the right company.


However, there is a solution to avoid the inconvenience of wood maintenance while benefiting from a similar appearance: choose composite wood for your terrace. Before deciding on wood or composite, here are some things to know to choose the right one.


What are the characteristics of wood and composite to take into account when making a terrace?


If you opt for a natural wood terrace


The natural and warm appearance of wood is perfect for dressing an outdoor terrace.


European wood: this is Douglas pine, poplar, spruce, oak, or even chestnut. All these species have good durability over time, but the oak, chestnut, and Douglas are of superior quality. Most of them must be treated in an autoclave (deep treatment of wood) to become rot-resistant and resistant. These autoclave treatments are classified from 1 to 5, according to the use of the wood and its risks vis-à-vis humidity. So prefer class 4 conifers, or even class 5 by the sea, for terraces exposed to the vagaries of the weather. Certain European woods are treated naturally without chemical additions to be more durable or by being heated to very high temperatures (High Temperature Treated wood, THT).


Exotic wood: among all types of wood, this is the one that has the best resistance to humidity and the best durability over time. There are many species of exotic wood, including teak, which offer very varied appearances and colors. To avoid illegal logging and associated trade, it is essential to choose FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) timber, a label guaranteeing that forests are managed in a responsible and sustainable manner.


Whatever type of wood you choose, to ensure your terrace has good resistance, it is important to use wood slats that are not too thin at the risk of being too fragile, and they must also not have too many visible knots, aspect synonymous with second-best material. On the other hand, the thinner the wood plank, the more likely it is to deform once installed.


If you opt for a composite terrace


Composite is a material made, as its name suggests, of different elements. It contains wood in the form of sawdust, resins from recycled plastics (polymers), and pigments that give it its color. Its appearance is very close to that of wood. But it is advisable to choose a composite that contains at least 50% wood so that its appearance does not have too much “plastic effect.” The main advantage of composite is that it does not require special maintenance, unlike wood, and is very resistant.


The advantages and disadvantages of a wooden deck


One of the main advantages of solid wood is the natural appearance of wood, which gives all exterior fittings a feeling of softness and authenticity. It also has the advantage of being easy to work and cut. The wood is also transformable at will according to the evolution of the tastes of each one. It is indeed very easy to paint and repaint.


Realizing a European wooden terrace has a major drawback: it requires annual maintenance and treatment to prevent it from taking on a grayish color over time. The application of a stain may also be necessary. Be careful; the wood is alive. If the wood can be painted, this is not the case with high temperature treated wood (THT), which only offers a tint, close to caramel.


The advantages and disadvantages of a composite terrace


Composite is a material that offers a great number of advantages over wood. First, that of not asking for maintenance. A simple brush and soapy water are enough to clean it. A composite deck is naturally resistant to moisture as much as the best exotic woods, as well as to frost. If this material has the same appearance as wood, unlike the latter, it does not slip with water, it does not have splinters, and the composite blades do not crack. The service life of the composite is very long: most manufacturers guarantee this material for 25 years.


While composite has many advantages over wood, it still has some disadvantages. The rendering of a composite terrace, especially if it is made with so-called old-generation boards, will not be as beautiful as that of a natural wood terrace, although great improvements have been made to this problem of aspect. Note also the ability of this material to conduct and diffuse heat.

Tips To Make Your Deck Look Bigger

Some houses have very small gardens, which cannot be remodeled or enlarged, so other alternatives should be used. But what are they? Simple, with these tips to make your deck look bigger, you will have everything you need to know.

General suggestions

Before starting, we will give you some tips to visually enlarge the spaces, for example, try to use light colors on walls that do not contrast with each other.

The furniture and objects you add must be functional; otherwise, they will take up essential space. Our advice is that you opt for options with basic shapes and that have storage spaces; this avoids that there are many objects insight, and you feel saturated.

In this case, straight lines will be the best option; we advise you not to use furniture with circular lines since they provide a feeling of heaviness, except for a round table, since it has more capacity and takes up less space.

Plants on the sides

If your deck is not spacious, you must choose a place to place the plants in a straight way, as we mentioned previously, the straight lines will be your best friends, and it will help you so that the organic part follows a previously established order.

Fewer materials

If you want to give a sense of continuity, then we advise you to avoid using the least amount of materials in the yard. Choosing the material and using it uniformly will help you achieve this. Our advice is to use two types of materials at most.

I chose the sizes appropriately

Having a small deck does not mean that you have to use tiny plants, remember that everything is in balance, play a little with the size of the plants because you can get interesting but above all cozy atmosphere.

Yes to the vertical

Take into account that there are dead spaces in most environments, and this also applies to the garden, see if you have this kind of space on the walls and take advantage to decorate with a vertical garden, in addition to looking very beautiful it is functional.

Use various types of flowers

Using flowers of different shades will help you create sectors that will allow you to extend your deck. If you have a land that is not yet flat, take advantage of these irregularities to create levels, this will undoubtedly make it look more spacious.

Finally, to give a spectacular look to your deck, we recommend that you divide the place into different sectors according to each purpose. This will make it look very spacious, no matter how small it is. Do not forget to experiment and combine the ideas you think are convenient; thus, you will learn what works in your garden and what does not.