So you’ve decided on decking for your garden. Great choice. Whether you’re overhauling the patio, looking to extend your outdoor living space or simply want less grass to mow and maintain, decking offers an attractive and practical solution.
But then comes the next decision. Do you go for traditional wooden decking or opt for this modern composite decking you keep hearing so much about? Is one better than the other and, if so, which way should you jump?
Let’s take a closer look at some of the pros and cons of both types of decking, to discover which offers you the best solution…
From a distance, it’s virtually impossible to distinguish between real wood and composite decking. Both look great, with all boards offering an attractive grain and texture. Look a little closer though and you will soon spot the differences.
Wood is a natural product, by which token there can be many variations between individual planks. Colour, grains and knots all have an impact on the overall look and for many people this adds to the charm of using natural wood. For others though, they prefer the perfection of composite decking where the finish is uniform and consistent.
Yes, you can paint wooden decking any colour of the rainbow, but that’s just it – you have to paint it. In comparison, composite decking doesn’t come in endless shades but there is a wide selection to choose from and – once you have – your decking is ready to go. Saving you time, effort and money on paint!
Durability and maintenance
Timber decking can last a lifetime, but that goes hand-in-hand with a lifetime of routine care and maintenance. On the plus side though, if a wooden plank does get scratched or badly damaged, you can easily sand away the evidence.
On the other hand, composite decking is highly durable and requires minimal upkeep. Exposed to the elements it won’t rot, develop fungus or deteriorate. All that is required is a quick clean every now and again and this too should last for many years to come.
You can’t escape the fact that when wood is responsibly sourced it’s a fantastic natural and environmentally friendly material. Shop around though and you’ll find composite decking can be made from recycled wooden fibres and recycled plastics, making it a worthy contender in the eco-friendly stakes.
If you’ve walked across damp wooden decking, you’ll already know how slippery it can become when it’s wet. Thanks to its convenient slip resistant finish, composite decking doesn’t pose this problem.
A further safety consideration – particularly if you have a young family – is that wood can cause splinters, especially if you haven’t kept on top of maintenance.
This is often the crunch point for many people. So which costs less? Softwood decking is usually the cheapest option, with hardwood and composite decking more comparable in price. But add to this the fact that with real wood you’ll need to finance a lifetime of treatments, stains and oils to keep it looking at its best, and composite decking begins to look far more favourable on the pocket.
Overall, both decking options have a lot to offer, and ultimately the right choice for you will come down to your personal preference and circumstances. If you like what you’ve read about composite decking, and would like to find out more, why not take a look at our composite decking range or get in touch with the team? We’re experts in this contemporary decking solution and will be happy to answer any queries you may have and talk through the options available.