Composite Deck

Disadvantages of Composite Decking

Composite decking remains a popular choice for homeowners in Australia because of its many positive features, mainly because it’s easier to manage than natural timber and still looks great.

Made from a combination of plastic and wood, it’s best known for needing little maintenance while having a timber finish.

While there are many benefits from building a composite deck in your yard, there are several considerations, like with any materials you use, that you may want to take before committing to it for your next project.


While the cost of installing composite decking may be recouped by what you save on maintenance over the long run compared to other choices, the initial outlay for certain type of composite decking may be a bit high for certain homeowners on a budget.

Staining and Fading

One of the many benefits of composite decking is that it holds up a lot better than wooden decks that need a lot of attention to maintain their look. Despite this, composite planks are prone to fading over time as well. For example, they can be prone to fading because of sunlight exposure. However, the colour may be preserved if you place an awning or other covering over the composite decking boards.

While not common with all types of composite materials, some are prone to staining. Natural elements, including leaves and sap, and man-made substances such as oil and grease from a bbq, tomato sauce and other food drippings can also stain. Although this is also true of other deck materials such as wooden planks.

Of course there are solutions, such as some companies have paints that you can use to cover the stains with.

The Appearance

Most homeowners prefer the timber look of a deck; however, because composite decking looks like natural wood without the maintenance, customers often choose this option. Even though composite decking materials look like timber, certain difference in the look can still be spotted.

When it doesn’t achieve the exact timber look that homeowners are expecting, the decision needs to be made how important that look is or whether the benefit of low long-term maintenance outweighs an authentic wood look.

Additional Support

When not installed correctly, composite decking materials won’t support their own weight and may sag. As a result, the joist spacing is smaller than that of traditional wooden decks for added support.

Usually, we usually suggest that composite decking be framed with joists 12 feet apart instead of the 16 feet recommendation for wooden decks.

This is only a negative issue if it is not installed right because otherwise, it has the proper support and is a long-lasting and solid choice.

Concluding Thoughts

Like any decking material, composite decking boards have their advantages and disadvantages. However, if they are set up correctly in the first instance and overlook some of the more minor imperfections, you will discover that it’s one of the better choices for a sturdy, almost maintenance-free decking choice.

No type of materials for decks is without its compromises; some are larger than others. Composite decking’s disadvantages are relatively small compared to other materials.