Does Composite Decking Scratch

Are you considering composite decking for your outdoor living space, but wondering if it will scratch easily? You’re not alone.

Many homeowners are hesitant to invest in composite decking because they fear it won’t hold up against scratches and other wear and tear. Composite decking is a popular choice for homeowners who want a low-maintenance, durable alternative to traditional wood decking.

But with its synthetic materials, some wonder if it’s prone to scratching or scuffing. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the question of whether or not composite decking scratches and what factors can impact its durability over time.

Understanding Composite Decking Materials

A deck is an essential part of any outdoor living space. It’s where you entertain guests, enjoy barbecues, and relax after a long day. But choosing the right decking material can be challenging.

One material that has gained popularity in recent years is composite decking. Composite decking is made from a mixture of plastic and wood fibers, which gives it the look and feel of natural wood without the maintenance required by traditional wooden decks.

Unlike wood, composite decking doesn’t warp or rot, making it an excellent choice for areas with harsh weather conditions. Additionally, composite decking is resistant to fading and staining, making it a low-maintenance option for homeowners who want to spend more time enjoying their deck than maintaining it.

However, one question that arises frequently is whether composite decking scratches easily. In the next section, we’ll explore this question in detail and provide some tips on how to prevent scratching your composite deck.

Common Causes Of Scratching And Scuffing

Furniture can cause scratching and scuffing if it’s dragged across the surface.

Footwear, such as high heels and heavy objects, can also cause damage to the surface.

Pets and lawn care can also cause scratching and scuffing if not done properly.

Other common causes are moisture, poor installation, wear and tear, temperature changes, sharp objects, tools, uneven surfaces, sun exposure, dirt and debris.


If you’re looking to furnish your outdoor space with composite decking, then you might be wondering if it’s prone to scratching. The answer is yes, but it depends on several factors. For instance, the quality of the composite material and the furniture itself can determine how easily it will scratch.

One common cause of scratching on composite decking is from dragging furniture across the surface. This can happen when moving chairs or tables around, or even when sweeping debris off the deck. To prevent scratches, consider investing in furniture with non-abrasive feet or using protective pads underneath each leg.

Another factor that can contribute to scratching is the type of furniture material used on top of composite decking. For example, metal chairs or tables with rough edges can easily scratch the surface over time. To avoid this problem, opt for soft materials like wood or plastic and regularly clean any debris that may have accumulated under the furniture legs.

In conclusion, while composite decking can scratch from regular use and wear and tear, there are ways to mitigate this issue by choosing high-quality materials and taking preventative measures such as using protective pads or choosing softer furniture materials. Remember that proper maintenance will not only help maintain your deck’s appearance but also extend its lifespan overall.


Now that we’ve discussed the impact of furniture on composite decking, let’s move on to another common cause of scratching and scuffing: footwear.

The type of shoes or sandals that people wear while using the deck can have a significant effect on its surface. For example, high heels or boots with sharp edges can leave marks and scratches when walked upon. Even regular sneakers or athletic shoes with hard soles can cause damage over time.

To prevent this issue, consider enforcing a no-shoe policy on your deck or providing guests with soft-soled slippers to wear instead. Additionally, regularly sweeping or hosing down the deck to remove any small rocks or debris that could scratch the surface is also recommended.

It’s essential to keep in mind that even with preventative measures, some scratching and scuffing may still occur on composite decking due to regular use. However, by taking care to choose appropriate footwear and maintaining the deck through proper cleaning methods, you can help prolong its lifespan and preserve its appearance for years to come.

Factors That Impact Durability

Composite decking is known for its durability, but it is not entirely scratch-resistant. While composite decking can withstand heavy foot traffic, furniture, and even pets, it can still scratch under certain conditions.

One factor that impacts the durability of composite decking is the quality of the material. Low-quality composite decking may have a weaker protective coating or less dense core materials, making it more susceptible to scratches and other types of damage.

Another factor that affects the durability of composite decking is how well it is installed. Improper installation can lead to uneven weight distribution and movement, which can cause scratches over time. It’s essential to hire a professional installer who has experience with composite decking to ensure that it’s installed correctly.

Overall, while composite decking is durable, there are several factors that impact its ability to resist scratches. By investing in high-quality materials and professional installation, you can increase the longevity of your composite deck and minimize the risk of scratches and other types of damage.

How To Prevent Scratching

Having discussed the factors that impact durability, it’s time to address one of the most common concerns among homeowners: scratching.

The good news is that composite decking is generally more resistant to scratches than traditional wood decking. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s scratch-proof.

There are several things that can cause scratches on your composite deck, such as dragging heavy furniture or sharp objects across it. While these scratches may not affect the structural integrity of your deck, they can certainly detract from its appearance.

To prevent scratching, consider using furniture pads or lifting heavy objects instead of dragging them.

Another way to prevent scratches on your composite deck is to invest in a high-quality protective coating. These coatings are specifically designed to provide an extra layer of protection against scratches and other types of damage. They’re easy to apply and can help extend the lifespan of your deck while keeping it looking like new.

Repairing Scratched Composite Decking

Yes, composite decking can scratch.

Fixing light scratches is relatively easy and can be done by lightly sanding the area with fine-grit sandpaper.

For deeper scratches, using a heat gun to soften the material and then applying a putty or resin can help repair the area.

Refinishing a composite deck can be done by using a special composite deck cleaner and then applying a composite deck sealer.

This should help restore the deck and protect it from further damage.

Fixing Light Scratches

If you’re a proud owner of composite decking, you know how important it is to keep it in tip-top shape. Unfortunately, scratches can occur from everyday use or accidents. But don’t worry – fixing light scratches on your composite decking is an easy task that can be done with a few simple steps.

First and foremost, start by cleaning the area around the scratch with a mild detergent and water. This will remove any dirt or debris that may have settled into the scratch and ensure that the surface is clean for repair.

Next, take a heat gun and gently heat up the scratched area until it becomes pliable. Use a plastic putty knife to smooth out the scratch, much like filling in spackle on drywall. Once you’ve filled in the scratch, let it cool down completely before sanding lightly with fine-grit sandpaper.

After sanding, apply a color-matched wax or composite deck sealer to blend in the repaired area with the rest of your decking. This will help protect against future scratches as well as protect against UV damage and fading caused by sunlight exposure.

With just a little bit of elbow grease and some patience, your composite decking will look as good as new in no time!

Repairing Deep Scratches

So you’ve tackled light scratches on your composite decking, but what if you have a deeper scratch that needs repair? Don’t worry, it’s still possible to fix without having to replace the entire board.

Start by cleaning the area around the scratch with a mild detergent and water, just like with light scratches.

Next, use a heat gun to carefully heat up the scratched area until it becomes pliable.

Then, take a putty knife or plastic scraper and gently remove any debris or loose material from inside the scratch.

Once you’ve cleaned out the scratch, fill it with an epoxy filler that matches the color of your decking.

Use a putty knife or small paintbrush to apply the filler in thin layers until it’s level with the surrounding surface.

Let it dry completely before sanding lightly with fine-grit sandpaper.

Finish off by applying a color-matched wax or composite deck sealer to protect against future scratches and UV damage.

With these steps, you can repair deep scratches on your composite decking and restore its beauty and durability.

Remember to always follow manufacturer instructions and safety precautions when using any tools or materials for repairs.

Refinishing Decking

Now that you know how to repair deep scratches on your composite decking, let’s talk about refinishing. Refinishing your decking involves removing the top layer of the material and applying a new coat of finish, which can restore its original shine and protect against future damage.

To start, clean your decking thoroughly with a mild detergent and water. Once it’s dry, sand the surface using a coarse-grit sandpaper to remove any dirt, grime or old finish. Follow this up with a finer-grit sandpaper to smoothen the surface.

Next, apply a new coat of finish using a paintbrush or roller. Make sure you use a product that is specifically designed for composite decking and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and drying time.

After applying the finish, allow it to dry completely before walking on your deck or placing any furniture back on it.

Refinishing your composite decking can extend its lifespan and enhance its appearance. By following these steps, you can keep your deck looking like new for years to come.

Comparing Composite Decking To Other Materials

As the popular adage goes, ‘You get what you pay for.’ When it comes to decking materials, this couldn’t be more accurate.

While traditional wood decks might seem like a cost-effective option at first glance, they often require constant maintenance and can quickly become worn and weathered.

Composite decking, on the other hand, is designed to withstand the elements and maintain its appearance over time.

One of the primary advantages of composite decking is its resistance to scratching. Unlike wood or even some other types of synthetic materials, composite decking is incredibly durable and difficult to scratch. This makes it an ideal choice for families with children or pets who might be prone to leaving their mark on outdoor surfaces.

Of course, composite decking isn’t the only option out there. Other popular materials include PVC and aluminum decking, each with their own unique benefits and drawbacks.

However, when comparing these options to composite decking, it’s clear that composite offers a winning combination of durability, low maintenance requirements, and overall value that is hard to beat.

Making The Right Choice For Your Outdoor Space

After comparing composite decking to other materials, you may be wondering if it’s the right choice for your outdoor space.

One common concern is whether or not composite decking scratches easily. The answer is that it depends on the brand and quality of the decking. Some lower-quality composite decking can scratch more easily than higher-quality options. However, many brands now offer scratch-resistant technology to protect against any potential damage. It’s important to do your research and choose a reputable brand with a good track record for durability.

When making the right choice for your outdoor space, there are several factors to consider beyond just scratch resistance. You’ll want to think about things like color options, maintenance requirements, and overall cost. By weighing these factors and choosing a high-quality composite decking option, you can create a beautiful and long-lasting outdoor space that will bring you years of enjoyment without worrying about scratches or other damage.


In conclusion, composite decking materials are a great option for those looking for a low-maintenance and durable outdoor space. While scratching and scuffing can occur, there are ways to prevent it and repair any damage that may occur.

Interestingly, according to a survey by the North American Deck and Railing Association, composite decking has become increasingly popular over the years. In fact, in 2020, 38% of new decks were made with composite materials compared to only 17% in 2014.

This statistic shows that more and more people are choosing composite decking for their outdoor spaces due to its many benefits. Ultimately, when considering your options for a deck or outdoor space, be sure to weigh the pros and cons of all materials before making your decision.