Composite Decking or Timber Decking? Which one is best for you?
Published 9 Oct 2019 in Articles
If you are considering upgrading your outdoor area, in researching your options you may have wondered, is composite decking right for me? The composite decking vs wood debate is one that has been raging across the industry and in homes for many years. It is a basic question of whether a manufactured product can ever be better than the original, natural one.
Read on to find out about the advantages and disadvantages of composite decking to help you make your choice.
As with most manufactured products which are designed to imitate natural ones, the early iterations of composite decking weren’t fooling anyone. However, technology and manufacturing processes have come a long way. There are composite decking products available now which are nearly indistinguishable from wood decking.
There are also ranges of composites and materials used in manufacturing. For example, you can choose composite decking made from recycled or virgin plastics, and wood chips, wood fibre or sawdust. The composite product can then be capped with a polypropylene shell to make it stain, spill and wear-resistant, and protect it from harmful UV rays. Alternatively, a polyethylene or PVC coating will be added to the composite decking which won’t have the strength or stability of polypropylene.
The wide range of composite decking also means you have a wide choice of colours and finishes available to you. All you have to do is choose the colour of your composite decking and you never have to worry about maintenance. Composite decking is weather, scuff and stain resistant thanks to highly advanced manufacturing techniques and sealing products.
However, this also means you will need to be happy with your colour and style choices for many years to come. Unlike timber decking, composite decking can’t be sanded back and re-stained in a different colour. You’ll also want to make sure you are choosing composite decking which is made out of responsibly sourced and recycled materials. While it may be tempting to go for the cheaper option, make the smart choice in the beginning for the longevity of your product, and for the sustainability of the environment.
Good quality timber decking is comparable in price to good quality composite decking. However, if you do need to save some money in the beginning, there are many cheaper grades of timber available which will be almost indistinguishable from the more expensive timbers when they are new. You’ll also have greater flexibility with a wood deck vs a composite deck. You’ll be able to sand back the stain and choose a different colour when you want a fresh look. You’ll even be able to paint it for a completely different look. A timber deck will also be easy to cut, move and change if you need to reconfigure your outdoor area.
To keep your timber deck looking good will require yearly maintenance. You will either need to re-oil the deck, or sand it back and re-stain or re-paint it. Even if you keep up a regular maintenance cycle, your timber deck will still look weathered over time. It can also be susceptible to cracking, warping, and splintering and moisture damage. Also, you’ll need to do your research about sustainably sourced timber, as you are directly using natural resources in your building.
Your outdoor area is an extension of your home, so you want it to reflect your style and décor. Timber decking does have the ability to offer you that versatility at the outset, and if you want to update your colour scheme. However, your decking area is where you go to relax. You want to entertain your friends and family on the deck, and you want to enjoy the outdoors and the beautiful climate we’re lucky enough to live in. Therefore, do you really want to be sitting on your timber deck thinking about how much longer it is before you have to pull on the work gloves and re-stain it? Do you want to worry about storm damage or a spilt drink? Or would you rather be sitting on your composite decking, thinking about how it looks as good as the day it was installed, 5, 10, 15 and even 25 years into the future?
So, if you’ve decided a composite deck is the best one for you, call us now for more information.