Skip To Content


aluminum vs composite decks


I’ve lived in my home for six years and I’ve always wanted to add on a deck for some additional outdoor living space.  I’m finally ready to pull the trigger and I’m curious…What is the advantage of aluminum deck vs composite?

Collette, Fruita


I can break this down pretty easily, I think.  Another question that requires a good bit of research, but here we go……Aluminum decking is the best for longevity and durability without question, but it is also MUCH more expensive (as much as 3X as expensive as composites) and can be slippery with winter/cold weather as it has the least amount of grip and appears to generally be more “slippery” when cold or subjected to freezing temperatures.  It is the best performer if you are going to have it subjected to water, like around a pool etc, and is quite popular in heavy rain climates because of its ability to stand up to moisture. It also does not expand or contract due to heat and cold which is nice, but color choices are quite limited and the sound under your feet appears to be something of an acquired taste. It appears to be the “Cadillac” of decking material.

Composite decking can vary significantly in pricing from quite expensive (within ballpark range of aluminum) to significantly less expensive.  It comes in a wide variety of colors and comes in capped and uncapped (the ends) versions that add to the life expectancy.  Capped vs. uncapped also has an impact on the pricing as capped is the more expensive route but is the better product as the ends are protected from the elements.  Typical warranties will be 25-50 years for some of the top-performing brands, which is excellent.  It looks and feels more like wood than aluminum and is generally weather-resistant with only mild concerns with mold and mildew of the uncapped versions.  In our climate, I would not think mold and mildew would be a significant concern unless you are using it as some sort of pool decking.  I have a composite decking material and have been VERY pleased with it thus far.   We installed it 5 years ago and it looks about like it did when we installed it and has proven very easy to clean and seems to hold up to the elements quite well.  I shovel snow off of it, like my concrete, when it snows to prevent any freeze/thaw cycles that may negatively impact the condition over time, but other than that it has proven durable and aesthetically pleasing thus far!    

I think ultimately it comes down to personal preference and budget!  It is rare, almost never, that I see some kind of aluminum decking here.  It appears that the big advantage is life expectancy and durability, but honestly who needs a deck that will last 50-75 years when the average time people live in a house before moving is 8 years!  The big question in my mind is, do I really need to spend the money for bombproof decking material when the odds are I will be moving in less than 10…. Maybe 15 years?  If you want the best material and money is not in the equation, then go aluminum… if cost enters the equation I think you would likely be very happy with a composite material.  Best of luck and my bet is you will be happy with either product as I believe both are excellent!  Good luck and Happy Decking!!

Dave Kimbrough
The Kimbrough Team



Trackback from your site.

Leave a Reply