There is a few arguments that composite decking sellers use to create the false impression that you should better chose composite decking over wood decking. In short these arguments are:
1) cheaper, better price decking - FALSE
2) no maintenance - FALSE
3) 100% eco friendly because you can recycle it FALSE
1 - cheaper) Brazilian ipe hardwood decking comes in the United States as low as $1,90 per linear foot. also include the lifespan of the decking into the equation: ipe decking lasts from 40 and up to 100 years while composite decking most is guaranteed for 10 years. While installation costs is 50% of your total decking costs, it is easy to conclude the ipe decking is much cheaper then any composite decking.
2 - maintenance) Composite Decking Manufacturers stopped using Maintenance Free when describing their products early on after law suits. Nowadays they refer to it as Low Maintenance. The maintenance of the composite decking is very simple; you cannot refinish a composite deck; you simply replace it. 5 years from now, your composite deck will look like a 5 year old composite deck, with scratches and stains. Instead, in the worst-case scenario, your ipe decking can be sanded over and over and a brand new deck appears.
3 - eco friendlyness) To the contrary to what those composite decking companies want you to believe, a composite deck is not environmentally friendly. They like to say that you can recycle the plastic. This is the theory, in reality when their deck eventually breaks down or needs to be replaced, they simply throw it in a landfill. The environmental impact of throwing out that much plastic is clearly damaging. And, when you consider that, given how many problems composite decks have, you can imagine just how many composite deck boards are being tossed into landfills all across the country. When buried in a landfill, composite decking may very well last forever. They say a plastic shopping bag will last 1000 years underground, I bet the composite decking will also do just as well.
If you want some further reading, please visit www.roquevalente.com/composite_decking.htm
Below some further examples of why it is better NOT to buy composite decking.