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In the Virginia townhouse I'm renting, there's a deck out back made out of composite decking material (or rather, topped with it; the underlying structure is wood). Stepping out onto the deck after it has been in the sun for several hours, I find it's quite hot in bare feet - painful to stay out for too long even. I don't recall the cedar deck in my old house being that hot, even in the Texas summer sun.

Is this my mind playing tricks on me, or does the composite decking hold more heat than wood decking? The composite deck is a light brown color, similar in color to the cedar deck at my old house.

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No, you're not mistaken, you are perceiving the main drawback to composite decking material; compared to real wood it gets hot and stays that way longer.

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