Lee Roy Jordan Lumber

Hardwood vs. Composite Decking

wood deck
Beautiful hardwood deck

Planning your dream deck involves deciding the specific type of decking materials you will use.  Hardwood and composite decking are the two most popular options you can choose from today.

While hardwood and composite decks both have their own sets of pros and cons, there are a lot of compelling reasons why you might use either options.

Stronger Decking Option?

 Exotic and tropical hardwoods have a wide range of thickness and width. This gives them an edge when it comes to durability and strength. 

When composite materials first came onto the market, they tended to lack strength. Nowadays though, composite decking materials are known to be strong and durable, just like hardwoods.  

Life Expectancy

There are certain types of hardwood decking that you can build and practically forget about as it weathers to a stunning aged patina. In case you don’t like the weathered look, you can apply a UV protectorate on your hardwood deck to preserve the wood’s original appearance.

Decks made from hardwoods can last for 30 to 40 years easily, but lifespan does depend on the specific environment where they are used.

Composite decking materials will have warranties between 25-30 years and will sometimes last even longer. They also will not mold, rot, or become discolored.


techwood deck
Composite deck made from NewTechWood

Both hardwoods and composite decking materials having amazing aesthetic qualities. Ten years ago, you would definitely been able to tell the difference between the two materials. Because of advancements in technology, composite woods look as good as hardwoods now.

Everyone can appreciate the beautiful appearance, shade variation, and way the grain appears on both hardwood decks and decks made of composite materials.

People choose hardwood decks because they love the traditional look, but composite decking materials now provide the same look and feel as hardwoods. 

Heat retention is another consideration. The original composite decks got much hotter to the touch than hardwoods, but this is no longer true. Again, this is because of advancements in technology. Modern composite decking materials are more tolerant of heat.

Cost of Installation

In general, wood is faster and cheaper to install as compared to composite because of framing.  Most composite decks require a center spacing of 16 inches.

On the other hand, hardwood decking allows a center spacing of up to 24 inches, which depends on the pattern of the deck. This helps save money and time on installation.

Another factor to consider though is that the price of lumber has gone up in recent years, due to nationwide shortages. Your best bet is to price check the various materials you’re considering for your deck and make sure that they are currently available for purchase.

Advantages of Hardwood Decks

  • resilient
  • long lifespan
  • durable
  • fire resistant
  • not prone to splitting or cracking
  • natural feel

Advantages of Composite Decking Materials

  • very low maintenance
  • does not require staining or painting
  • long lifespan
  • available in variety of colors
  • some types are made from recycled materials
  • mold and rot resistant
Deck made Garapa wood


Here at Lee Roy Jordan Lumber Company, we offer one exotic hardwood and 3 types of tropical harwoods.

Exotic Hardwood

  • IpeIpe wood is extremely strong, hard, and dense. It is well-known for being insect, rot, and scratch resistant. It ages like a fine wine and for that reason, does not require staining.

Tropical Hardwoods

  • Tigerwood– This wood is also known as Goncalo Alves. Tiger wood is a red/orange color with dark, brown stripes that darken overtime. It has a superior strength and denseness that can last well over 30 years.
  • Garapa– Also known as Brazilian Ash, is not as dense as other hardwoods, but is still very strong. It is a lighter colored wood and it is easy to work with.
  • Cumaru– Sometimes referred to as Brazilian Teak is a darker, reddish colored wood with a wavy texture. It is tough, stable and resistant to rot, insects, and rain.

Composite Decking Materials

Traditional Composites

Traditional composites are environmentally and budget friendly. They are made from recycled materials.

Capped Composites

Capped composites are also made from recycled materials, but they are then covered with a protective PVC covering, which then makes them stain and scratch resistant.

PVC Decking

Of the composite materials, PVC decking is the most expensive composite option out there. It does contain any real wood fibers nor recycled materials. It is very resistant to scratches, stains, and heat.

composite decking with furniture and string lights
Deck made with composite decking materials

Wrapping Up

When you incorporate a deck into your outdoor space, that area becomes functional and aesthetically pleasing. Decks are great for entertaining and relaxing. Not to mention that they increase the value of your home.

Honestly, if you’re trying to decide between a hardwood and a composite, you can’t go wrong with either choice. Both will have a long lifespan and are easy to maintain.

Contact Lee Roy Jordan Lumber Company today to get pricing information on both hardwoods and composite decking materials.





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