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Composite Fencing vs. Wood Fencing: Why Composite Fencing Is the Smart Choice for Your Yard

If you’re looking to enhance your outdoor space with a stylish and durable fencing solution, you may also be interested in learning the differences between composite fencing vs. wood fencing. These two materials often compete for use in decking projects, but as demand for composite fencing grows, consumers and even building professionals want to unearth the major differences between the two.

In this article, we’ll look at the key advantages and drawbacks of these two options, also looking at how composite compares to vinyl fencing, another popular material. Whether you prioritize design, durability, ease of installation, or lifetime cost, understanding the advantages and disadvantages of different types of fencing materials will help you make an informed choice for your upcoming project.

What Is Composite Fencing?

Composite fencing is a type of fencing material composed of natural fibers, such as wood fibers or wood flour, and plastic. Many brands, such as TruNorth Slide & Go Fencing, use sustainable materials, like rice husks and recycled elements, when creating composite fencing. 

The mixture is formed into boards or panels that mimic the appearance of wood, offering a natural aesthetic while providing several benefits over traditional wood fencing, which are discussed below.

A brown fence next to greenery and a stone wall and a swimming pool

Wood Fencing vs. Composite Fencing

Having looked at what composite fencing is, we can now explore the primary differences between composite fencing vs. wood fencing. In general, the pros and cons are similar to those discussed when comparing composite vs. wood decking, and which type of fencing you choose will depend on multiple factors, including budget, style preferences, and desired amount of maintenance.


The first thing to look at when comparing composite fencing vs. wood fencing is each type of fencing’s durability. Composite fencing is highly durable. Notably, it’s resistant to numerous issues that often affect wood fencing, such as rotting, warping, and insect infestation.

The protective plastic coating around the core of composite fencing is what helps to avoid these issues. As with composite decking, a composite fence is durable enough that it can last over 20 years with minimal maintenance needed. 

Wooden fencing can last up to 10 years, sometimes more, with the proper maintenance. However, it is not as durable as composite fencing, especially if exposed to moisture and harsh weather conditions, including heavy rain and snow. As previously noted, wooden fencing is also susceptible to cracking and warping, insect infestations, and the like, which can often only be solved by replacing the fencing. 


Another thing to consider when looking at composite fencing vs. wood fencing is how much maintenance you want to do on the fence over its lifetime. One of the primary advantages of a composite fence is its low maintenance requirements.

Composite fence panels don’t need regular painting, staining, or sealing like wood fences. There are also fewer issues connected to composite fencing, like rotting and molding, which may need to be treated with wooden fencing. Occasional cleaning of composite fence panels with soap and water or a composite deck cleaning product is usually sufficient to keep it in good condition.

Wood fencing, on the other hand, typically requires more maintenance compared to composite fencing. It needs regular staining, painting, or sealing to protect it from weathering, rotting, and insect damage. In most cases, you will need to re-paint, re-stain, or re-seal the wood fencing once a year. Without proper maintenance, wood fences will quickly deteriorate over time, often leading to replacement being the only solution.

A brown fence with a tree and flowers in front of it

Ease of Installation

Many people will say that wooden fencing is the easiest to install and installation is very DIY-friendly. However, this isn’t always the case. You still need a good knowledge of DIY and how to use tools properly to install a wooden fence. It can also take a good amount of time to complete the project, depending on how much area you want to surround with a fence.

Composite fencing is available in easy-to-install formats, like TruNorth Slide & Go Fencing. The easy-to-use installation system means that almost anyone can put the fencing together, no matter your DIY skill level. It’s also straightforward to take down if needed.

Colours and Design Options

After looking at the practical differences between composite fencing vs. wood fencing, it’s important to also consider style and design differences. While wooden fencing offers a variety of designs, including picket and split rail, composite fencing typically specializes in the privacy style. This style, known for its taller panels and closer slats to ensure seclusion, enjoys considerable popularity among homeowners.

There are some colour restraints with composite fencing as well. With wooden fencing, you can paint or stain it almost any colour you like, whereas you are limited to the manufacturer’s colour options when going with composite fence panels.

However, this doesn’t mean your options are narrow. For example, TruNorth’s Slide & Go fencing comes in 12 beautiful shades, ranging from dark woods to lighter browns and soft grey tones. These shades will also perfectly match or complement your composite decking, should you have one by the same brand.

Another benefit of composite fencing when discussing colouring is that the colour won’t fade over time as it will with wooden fencing. You also don’t need to re-paint or re-stain a composite fence, and it’s crucial to keep in mind how re-painting or re-staining will affect the colouring and quality of a wooden fence as it ages.

Environmental Impact

When it comes to the sustainability of the product, there are also differences between composite fencing vs. wood fencing. Composite fencing often incorporates recycled materials, making it more environmentally friendly than traditional wood fencing. Take, for instance, TruNorth Slide & Go Fencing, which is made with 95% recycled materials and features an eco-friendly wood-free, rice husk-based core. 


Cost will generally be one of the main factors considered when choosing composite fencing vs. wood fencing, and there are some differences. As with composite decking vs. wood decking, the upfront cost is higher for composite fencing. However, most of the time, the long-term or lifetime cost is actually lower for composite fencing vs. wood fencing.

Composite fencing lasts around double the time of wood fencing and also has significantly lower maintenance costs. This minimal level of maintenance translates to cost savings in the long term. 

A fence and patio surrounding a swimming pool

Vinyl Fencing vs. Composite Fencing

Along with comparing composite fencing vs. wood fencing, many consider vinyl fencing when looking at fence materials. But how exactly does composite fencing compare to vinyl fencing?

Like wood, vinyl fencing faces challenges in outdoor environments, including vulnerability to algae mold, and mildew. Cold weather can also make vinyl fencing brittle, which makes it more prone to damage. In contrast, composite fencing such as the TruNorth Slide & Go Fence, boasts superior resilience to these environmental stressors. Crafted with durability in mind, it withstands various weather conditions without the typical issues that plague vinyl, offering homeowners peace of mind and a lasting investment in their outdoor spaces.

Vinyl fencing, while requiring less upkeep than wood, still demands regular maintenance, to combat issues like stains and mildew buildup. While it requires less maintenance than wood fencing, it needs more care than composite fencing and can get significantly damaged, for example, by mildew, if not cleaned frequently.

Additionally, the look of vinyl is not the most appealing and it doesn’t mimic wood as well as composite fencing does. The colour of vinyl also fades quite quickly, meaning the quality of the fence decreases over time and it may need to be replaced frequently. Composite fencing, on the other hand, is very aesthetically pleasing, features wood grain details, and the colour won’t fade over time. 

Choosing composite fencing not only improves the aesthetics of your outdoor space with its rich, wood grain details but it also offers a more robust solution. Unlike vinyl fencing, which tends to be thin, hollow, and less durable, composite materials provide a sturdier structure. In addition, composite fencing is the more environmentally friendly choice.

A dark wood fence next to flowers, a wall, and a swimming pool

In Conclusion

When weighing the merits of composite versus wood and vinyl fencing, the comparison shows a clear standout. Composite fencing not only offers unmatched durability and environmental benefits but also shines in its minimal maintenance needs and aesthetically pleasing design.

While wood and vinyl options might seem cost-effective at first glance, the long-term value of composite fencing—with its lower upkeep and replacement expenses—emerges as the clear winner.

If you value a mix of durability, environmental friendliness, low maintenance, and aesthetic beauty, composite fencing leads the pack. Take the next step in upgrading your outdoor space by considering TruNorth Slide & Go Composite Fencing for your next project. Discover the difference quality fencing can make!