Cedar wood decking has long been hailed as the king of decking materials. Sturdy, reliable and long-lasting, it’s been the material of choice for many a garden for many a decade.
However, the meteoric rise of composite decking since its introduction in the late ‘90s has seen its popularity soar to unprecedented heights in recent years, challenging the Cedar King’s crown.
It appears there’s a new sheriff in Timber Town and this town ain’t big enough for two. Let’s see who will reign supreme when the smoke clears as we go full board with this cedar/composite head to head.
One of the most important aspects of any decking project is durability. After all, who wants to spend a hefty chunk of savings on a deck that won’t last?
Both cedar and composite have built a solid reputation as a sturdy surface – but which one has the ability to outlast the other?
Cedar wood has often been heralded as naturally durable, with organic resistance to rot, decay and pests. It’s also said that cedar doesn’t easily warp or split, making it a great natural option – in theory.
However, this viewpoint is conveniently overlooking the fact that, in order for a cedar deck to boast these qualities, it will require extensive (and repeated) treatment and maintenance throughout its lifetime.
The truth is that, when it comes to hard-wearing wood, cedar is unlikely to win gold. Cedar has even been known to dry out if kept in areas of shade, leading to issues both practically and aesthetically.
While it can be long-lasting with the right conditions, maintenance and care, it’s an inherently soft wood that can be easily scratched or dented. If you have pets, kids or are generally a clumsy oaf, cedar won’t be very forgiving.
By contrast, composite is built specifically with durability in mind. Each individual deck board is designed to last and maintain its stellar appearance year-round for years to come.
We use the highest quality materials to ensure your deck is up for the task at hand, however you want to enjoy it. Capable of withstanding sunshine, spills and seasonal soaks, as well as scratches and abrasions, our composite decking is engineered for longevity.
At TimberTech, most of our products come with a 30-year warranty with fade and stain cover included in that protection. We’re confident in our materials and their reliability, and are happy to offer an extensive guarantee to back it up.
As we head deeper into the 21st century, environmental impact is a topic that has become an increasingly important part of the public consciousness.
From recycling to renewable energy, green solutions are a big point of discussion. How do cedar and composite decking fair in this eco-friendly equation?
Manufacturing methods of wood-products produce fewer toxins and greenhouse gases than most traditional man-made materials, such as steel and concrete. Cedar is also biodegradable and said to have a negative greenhouse effect, removing harmful gases from the atmosphere.
In addition to that, it’s often pointed out that cedar wood is a renewable material. However, while it’s true that cedar trees are renewable, many pro-cedar deck specialists like to gloss over the fact that it takes literally decades for these trees to mature. Felling a tree for deck timber could potentially require half a century of time to provide a substitute.
Deforestation has had a two-fold effect on cedar trees internationally, particularly in Lebanon – a country that bears the cedar tree on its national flag. The widespread felling of trees has contributed to global warming and the subsequent climate change has now hindered the cedar trees ability to regenerate.
Fortunately, we take environmental health very seriously at TimberTech and strive to maintain an eco-friendly process across the board, from our waste management plan to the composition of the boards themselves, all the way to our product packaging.
Each composite decking board is made of up to 73% recycled materials, reducing the amount of rubbish sent to landfills by 90%. Better still, 99% of waste material created during the manufacturing process is reclaimed – we even recycle the water used with a closed-loop water system.
While composite decking can be more expensive, it’s a real investment in a product that not only lasts a lifetime without the need for replacement, but it’s also an investment in the environment around you as well.
While the rest of this comparison may be somewhat neck and neck, with measurable benefits to each, the topic of maintenance is far more cut and dry. When it comes to maintenance, composite is king – all hail the king!
As a natural wood, cedar will age organically over time unless properly maintained. In order to keep your deck looking in tip-top shape, it’s going to require a lot of TLC. Worse still, this process is one that will need to be done repeatedly throughout its lifetime.
Failure to treat your cedar could result in premature ageing that can even lead it to deteriorate to the point of requiring replacement. This is particularly applicable when used for ground-level decking where cedar tends to degrade more rapidly.
From seasonal care for weather-proof protection to aesthetic care like staining and sealing, cedar decking is only as good as your maintenance. Lack of attention shows and ultimately can leave your deck unfit for purpose.
Unlike cedar wood, composite decking is specifically designed to maintain its looks long into the future with virtually no maintenance required.
Engineered to last without consistent upkeep from the owner, composite decking from TimberTech is designed to resist fading, staining and abrasions, ensuring it keeps its fresh look and functionality from day 1 onwards.
Our composite decking boards will never require sealing, staining or painting. Once your deck is down, your worries are literally laid to rest.
So, there you have it: plenty of information to help you cedar wood through the trees and cap off your composite comparison. To learn more about composite decking, call TimberTech today on 029 2080 3756 or drop us a message online using the button below.