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Composite Vs. Timber Decking

There are many benefits to the addition of garden decking to your outdoor space. The two most popular types of garden decking are timber and composite boards, but what are the differences between them, and which would be the best choice for you?

Installation

Both composite and timber decking are very simple to work with and both can be installed, for the most part, with standard tools and equipment. Composite decking will require some additional items; including a ‘smart’ drill bit, spacers and colour-matched screws – all available with our composite decking range. For further information on the installation requirements and guides visit our composite decking downloads page.

 

Maintenance

Composite boards are very low maintenance and only need to be kept free of leaves and detritus, with a quick wash every now and then. Timber decking on the other hand must be treated regularly with stains, oils or preservatives to prevent moisture ingress and deterioration over time.

 

Lifespan

Composite decking will remain unchanged for years with little to no maintenance, although it may look a little tired if not cleaned. While timber decking will also last for a very long time if regular maintenance and treatment are carried out.

Durability & Strength

Many hollow composite or plastic decking boards require additional support as compared to timber decking due to the reduced structural rigidity. However, our solid composite boards offer similar durability and strength to timber decking, with only a slight increase in flexibility.

 

Safety

Timber decking can splinter and split if maintenance is left unchecked, while it also tends to be very slippery when wet, especially if a build-up of algae has been allowed to manifest. However, composite can suffer similar issues if not careful. Our composite boards are textured for greater slip resistance, while timber decking boards are grooved to improve grip.

Colour & Finish

Composite decking is available in a range of colours with a woodgrain-like finish. Timber decking has a natural colour variation of the wood, with grain and knots often offering an attractive feature. Timber decking can be stained to a shade of your choice to suit your home and garden.

 

Price

Finally, perhaps the most important element to consider. Timber decking has a lower initial installation cost, however, ongoing treatment and maintenance costs can become substantial over time. Upfront costs for composite decking can be expensive but it then requires almost no ongoing costs during its lifetime.

 

Conclusion

There are pros and cons of both materials and choosing which to add to your home will often come down to budget and personal preference. Composite is ideal for a durable, low-maintenance decking, whereas timber is perfect if you want a natural, more ‘traditional’ real-wood decking.

If you require any help or advice on materials or methods please get in touch or speak to one of our staff members in-store.

For further information on our decking options please visit our decking page.

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