Lumber and Trex Market Update: 1/29/2022
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Does Composite Decking Get Hot Compared To A Wood Deck?

Carpenters building a Trex composite deck in New Hudson Michigan
Are Composite Decks Hotter Than Wood?
Are Composite Decks Hotter Than Wood?

Some people who are considering a capped composite deck have questions about the surface temperature of composite vs wood decking. Are composite decks hotter than wood? If so, is this a problem?

This is a reasonable question because capped composite decking does get a bit warmer in full sun than other decking materials.

Here’s why it doesn’t matter and why it may even be an advantage for many custom decks.

Surface Heat in Composite vs Wood Decking

In one test of the surface temperatures of various decking materials, composite decking came out the hottest when exposed to full sun on a day with an air temperature of 86ºF (30ºC).

However, the composite decking was only slightly hotter than stained wood decking. Both might be uncomfortable to a barefoot, a baby, or a young child at mid-day in July or August.

While unpainted wood had the coolest temperature compared to other decking materials, it was still hot enough to be uncomfortable on bare feet for many people when exposed to full-sun on a hot day.

Besides, building a deck with unfinished wood is inadvisable for many reasons including splintering, warping, and fading of color and texture.

Michigan decks are exposed to average temperatures well below 86º for most of the year. The hottest monthly average high temperature is only 82º ((27.7ºC) for the greater Detroit area.

In spring and fall when air temperatures range from the mid-50s to the low-70s (13º-23ºC), having a composite deck that retains heat more efficiently can be an advantage in our area.

The warmer temperature of composite decking material may make the deck more comfortable to use for a more substantial part of the year.

For peak-heat months when the sun is the hottest, you have many choices for keeping your composite custom deck cool and comfortable.

How to Keep Composite Decks Cool in Summer

If you are concerned about your new deck getting too hot in the summer, here are some of the ways you can keep capped composite decking cooler in hot weather:

• Choose a lighter color of decking material
• Build your deck where it gets mid-day shade from trees or buildings
• Install a wood or fiberglass pergola over all or part of the deck
• Use a retractable umbrella to create shade when and where you need it
• Install an awning over the deck

Decking Color

Composite decking comes in a wide choice of shades and colors, including:

• dark brown
• light brown
• pecan
• brick red
• light grey
• slate

Lighter grey and brown colors do not heat up as much as darker colors, so chose one of these colors if you are concerned about deck surface temperature in summer.

Deck Location

If possible, build your deck where at least some of the surface is in the shade during peak sun hours in summer.

If your location does not have any existing shade from vegetation or buildings, consider planting fast-growing shade trees or other plants to block full-sun in summer months.

Installing a Pergola

Pergolas are attractive additions on many custom decks. A pergola provides shade with a lattice roof as well as a simple, upright structure, which can become a framework for climbing plants or hanging shade cloth.

Awnings and Umbrellas

Retractable umbrellas have the advantage of mobility: You can quickly move one around to different parts of the deck as needed. Shade umbrellas are available as part of an outdoor table unit and also come as free-standing units.

Awnings are attached to the house and can cover all or part of a deck. Awnings can be fixed or retractable, and retractable installations are usually better suited to Michigan weather.


A capped composite deck may be slightly warmer to the touch on a hot summer day, but you may find this characteristic an advantage at other times of the year.

With the many advantages of composite decking over other decking materials, the surface temperature in hot weather is a minor consideration.

For more information about custom Michigan decks, contact Custom Deck Creations at (734) 931-6700.
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About Custom Deck Creations

From design to installation, Custom Deck Creations combines beautiful decks with fair pricing and unparalleled customer service. Our designs stand out, while our install processes exceeds expectations. We are a certified TrexPro Platinum builder. Custom Deck Creations is located in and serves Southeast Michigan. 

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Lumber and Trex Market Costs Update

Last Updated: 1/29/2022
Custom Deck Creations

A brief look into the current and expected inflation

Quick Summary

Lumber rose +28% locally from November 2021 to January 2022, and is expected for another significant double-digit increase impacting us in June 2022. We’re also anticipating a cost increase  from Trex around that  same time frame. Depending on size and material selection, decks are anticipated to increase in cost an average of $2,000 to $4,000 come June 2022. Custom Deck Creations is currently scheduling projects for April/May, before we feel these cost increases. Schedule a quote with us today to lock in today’s costs.

For a more detailed look into the market, please continue reading:


The lumber market continues to see pressure on the supply side. Canadian truck drivers are protesting COVID vaccine mandates, threatening to disrupt deliveries in Canada and possibly into the US. Fuel prices are also increasing. Overall demand for Southern Yellow Pine (pressure treated lumber used here in MI) remains steady. Mills are not sitting on a lot of inventory. Lead times from mills to dealers are getting extended.

Pressure treated lumber costs increased locally +28% from November 2021 to January 2022.

Lumber is expected to increase another ~+40% in June 2022. 

Custom Deck Creations is currently scheduling projects for April & May 2022, before we’re impacted by these increased costs.


Data from Trex distributors nationwide are seeing a steady growth in purchases even through winter.

Trex continues to see huge demand increases nationwide. 

Our Interpretation

Lumber will continue to rise in price throughout 2022. We don’t believe we’ll see pre-2022 lumber pricing any time soon.

In 2021 Trex put out 4 separate approximately +10% price increases. We believe more are to be expected in 2022. We do not expect Trex to ever lower their pricing.

No Inflationary Clause

Custom Deck Creations does not have an inflationary clause. Lock in today’s lumber and Trex costs with a signed agreement which puts you on our schedule. We will not charge you more even if our costs go up.

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