Composite decking is made from sawdust, old wood, plastic bags and milk jugs and, therefore, does not look or feel like real wood. Composite decking burns, but at a higher temperature than wood, and it is easily scuffed and prone to staining, notes ThisOldHouse.com.
Composite decking is a viable option for many homeowners because it has a long life due to the fact that it does not rot or attract termites. It has a high recycled-material content, making it better for the environment, and it offers reduced maintenance. The boards used in composite decking often change color, lightening after the first two to three months after installation, but do not fade as much as real wood. However, just as composite decking has its benefits, there are also some downfalls.
Composite decking is usually not barefoot friendly. It heats up in the sun similarly to dark wood. It is more expensive to install, costing up to 30 percent more, notes ThisOldHouse.com. High-end composite decking can cost as must as wood harvested from tropical rain forests.
When composite decking gets scratched or scuffed, these marks cannot be sanded out of the boards. They do blend in in time but can never be completely removed. Composite decking also stains easily, but like scratches, the stains fade over time.
A final downfall with composite decking is that it does not look or feel like wood. Some darker decking may look like wood from far away but, generally, it is not hard to tell that a deck is made from composite material.