Composite wood has become a popular choice for many home and commercial construction projects, especially in decking and furniture. But what exactly is composite wood, and how does it differ from traditional wood options?
In this post, we’ll explore what composite wood is, what it’s made of and how it compares in cost to pressure-treated wood decking.
What is Composite Wood?
Composite wood is a man-made material that combines wood fibers with plastic and other additives. The result is a product that mimics the look and feel of natural wood but offers enhanced durability and low maintenance. Unlike traditional wood, composite wood is resistant to rot, decay, and insect damage.
What is Composite Wood Made of?
Composite wood is typically made from a blend of wood fibers or wood flour and thermoplastics. These plastics can include polyethylene, polypropylene, or polyvinyl chloride. Additionally, manufacturers often add various additives like bonding agents, UV stabilizers, and colorants to enhance the product’s durability, appearance, and resistance to the elements.
This blend is heated and extruded or molded into the desired shapes and sizes. The exact composition and manufacturing process can vary among different brands and products, leading to a range of qualities and characteristics in composite wood products.
Cost Comparison: Composite Wood vs. Pressure-Treated Wood Decking
When it comes to decking, one of the most common comparisons is between composite wood and pressure-treated wood. Here’s a brief overview of the cost differences:
- Initial Cost: Composite wood decking generally has a higher initial cost compared to pressure-treated wood. This is due to the manufacturing process and the materials used in composite wood.
- Maintenance Costs: While pressure-treated wood is cheaper upfront, it requires regular maintenance like staining, sealing, and occasionally replacing damaged boards. Composite wood, on the other hand, requires little to no maintenance, which can save money in the long run.
- Longevity and Durability: Composite wood tends to last longer than pressure-treated wood without the need for frequent maintenance. This durability can make composite wood more cost-effective over time despite its higher initial price.
- Return on Investment: Considering the longevity and low maintenance needs, composite wood can offer a better return on investment, especially in areas with harsh weather conditions.
Where do you Buy Composite Wood?
When it comes to purchasing composite wood for your decking or other construction projects, knowing where to shop can make all the difference in the quality, variety, and expertise you receive. While big box stores offer convenience and accessibility, specialty dealers provide a wider range of options and specialized knowledge. In this article, we’ll explore the best places to buy composite wood, focusing on both big box stores and specialty dealers like AdvantageLumber.com.
Big Box Stores
Big box stores are a common go-to for many homeowners and contractors looking for composite wood. These stores are conveniently located in most urban and suburban areas, making them an accessible option for quick purchases.
Limited Variety but Cost-Effective
Typically, these stores offer a limited variety of composite wood products. Most of the time, you’ll find they carry two color options in their more cost-effective product lines. These options are great for those on a budget or for projects where color variety isn’t a priority. However, the limited selection can be a drawback for those looking to customize their decking or match specific aesthetics.
For those seeking more variety and specialized knowledge, turning to a specialty dealer like AdvantageLumber.com is an excellent choice. These dealers focus specifically on decking materials and offer a wide range of products, including composite wood decking.
AdvantageLumber.com: A Cut Above the Rest
AdvantageLumber.com is renowned for providing some of the best options in composite wood decking. Our inventory covers an extensive range of colors and product lines, catering to almost any design preference or project requirement. Unlike big box stores, they offer more than just the basics.
Comprehensive Decking Solutions
In addition to a wide array of decking materials, AdvantageLumber.com also offers deck railing kits, ensuring that customers can find all the components they need for their decking projects in one place. This comprehensive approach simplifies the shopping process and ensures that all elements of your deck will be compatible and of high quality.
Knowledgeable Staff with Hands-On Experience
One of the key benefits of shopping with a specialty dealer like AdvantageLumber.com is the expertise offered by our staff. Our team is not just knowledgeable about our products; they have years of deck building experience. This level of expertise is something you don’t always find in a box store. The staff can provide invaluable advice on everything from material selection to installation tips, making your decking project smoother and more successful.
The Advantage of Specialty Dealers
- Wide Range of Options: From varied color selections to different grades and styles of composite wood, the choices are vast.
- Expert Advice: Benefit from the staff’s deck-building experience and product knowledge.
- Quality Products: Specialty dealers often have higher quality products that are built to last.
- Custom Solutions: Get tailored advice and products that suit your specific project needs.
You can shop online from the Advantage Lumber online store and view all of our composite wood decking and synthetic decking options available. We sell direct and ship your entire composite deck kit direct to your home.
In summary, composite wood is a durable, low-maintenance alternative to traditional wood products. While it comes with a higher initial price tag compared to pressure-treated wood, its longevity and low upkeep costs can make it a more economical choice in the long run. Whether you’re building a deck, furniture, or any other project, composite wood is definitely worth considering for its many benefits.