One of the most popular garden features across the country is a garden deck. Providing a stable platform for outdoor seating, barbeques and planters, decking creates a versatile space that requires less maintenance than grass and is more appealing than concrete or gravel.
Adding a garden deck to your outdoor space may seem like a no-brainer, but not all decking materials are created equally. Choosing a high-maintenance, low-quality decking material can cause more problems than it’s worth. Understanding the pros and cons of different decking materials before starting your project can help make sure your deck looks great and lasts a long time.
Currently, plastic decking, timber decking and composite decking dominate the decking market, with composite decking rocketing in popularity in the last 30 years or so. Composite decking combines elements of wood and plastic decking to form a superior, hybrid decking material with lots of attractive attributes.
In the quest for an effortless garden, composite decking requires far less maintenance than a typical timber deck.
Natural wood takes on moisture if left untreated so a regime of regular sealing is required to preserve the deck boards. Similarly, wood decking will start to lose its appeal after a couple of years in direct sunlight, so you can add annual staining to your list of decking jobs too!
In contrast, composite decking is designed with low-maintenance in mind. The polymer resins used to bind the wood flour ensure the composite decking is water resistant from the surface to the core so that sealants aren’t required. Similarly, the colour pigments are incorporated thoroughly throughout the boards so that you’ll never need to stain them to keep them looking consistently beautiful.
High-quality composite decking is an appealing decking option for homeowners with pets, children and elderly relatives where garden safety is a key concern.
Composite decking, unlike timber decking, won’t split or splinter which dramatically reduces the likelihood of a cut or injury if the deck is walked on in bare feet or unprotected paws.
Similarly, composite decking is manufactured to offer excellent grip and slip-resistance to prevent accidental falls. This can be very beneficial during the colder months when wood and plastic decking becomes comparable to your local ice rink.
For added safety, add a balustrade and some deck lights to your composite decking for increased visibility and stability.
When it comes to durability, your deck needs to be able to withstand hot summers, cold winters, and everything in between. Cheap wood and plastic decking tend to struggle in adverse conditions; warping, splintering and fading from one season to another.
Composite decking is manufactured to be a hard-wearing, durable material that can withstand whatever the British weather throws at it. It dries quickly after heavy rain showers, is unfazed by icy temperatures and won’t bow or crack during warm spells.
If you’re trying to be more conscious of your carbon footprint, composite decking is the way to go.
Plastic decking is manufactured using materials and chemicals that are damaging to our environment. Disposing of plastic decking at the end of its life is also problematic, with most of it ending up in landfill!
While timber decking looks like an eco-friendly option on the surface, it is usually created as a product of deforestation and shipped hundreds of miles to locations around the world. While there are some ethical timber decking suppliers out there, composite decking tends to be the eco-friendliest option.
Composite decking manufacturers are able to use discarded materials that would otherwise be sent to landfill to create their deck boards. Hardwood offcuts are turned into wood flour while unwanted plastics can be melted down into polymer resin. When these two recycled elements are combined, eco-friendly composite decking is born!
Finally, if we haven’t convinced you of composite decking’s superiority quite yet, let’s consider the value it adds to your property!
Generally, composite decking is pricier than wood or plastic decking, but that’s because it’s a fantastic long-term investment. When you come to sell your home, composite decking is an additional selling point that you can guarantee will spark the interest of potential buyers.
If you’re about to embark on a garden renovation, we’re confident that composite decking won’t let you down!