Timber vs Composite Decking: Which One Is Best?Andrew Brandon
Decking has quickly become the popular and trendy choice for the focal point of any garden or outdoor area, but the trouble can start when it comes to choosing which material to use.
You could go for the traditional Timber Decking, with an authentic and rustic wood finish, or the up-and-coming Composite Decking, the durable and smooth plastic and wood hybrid.
Creating the highest quality and most aesthetically pleasing decking for your perfect outdoor space can be a tricky task, but here at Builders Marketplace, we have compiled a handy guide to help you decide which of our high-quality materials is best for you to create Decking that perfectly matches the look and feel you want for your space.
Timber Decking: The Pros
Geared more towards the DIY traditionalists, Timber Decking provides a natural and rustic finish to your project, and is more what comes to mind when we think of Decking.
The main benefits of Timber Decking come from its strength, environmental impact and natural aesthetic finish. Timber is one of the most eco-friendly materials available, due to all of our wood for our Timber being responsibly sourced and FSC Certified.
This high quality and responsibly sourced wood leads to maximum durability if the wood is treated and maintained properly. If these procedures are followed, Timber Decking is capable of lasting a lifetime.
Not only do you get a lifetime of durable and eco friendly Decking, you get a lifelong beautiful rustic feature of your outdoor space.
Timber Decking: The Cons
As beautiful and strong as Timber Decking is, its lifetime durability comes with the drawback of lifetime maintenance. Staining and/or oiling will be required to keep your Timber Decking looking its best for longer, this also comes at an extra cost that could end up cancelling out Softwood Decking as a more cost-effective option.
Timber Decking also comes with the additional risk of rot and decay over time if these maintenance procedures are not followed correctly and regularly.
This can lead to the decking boards breaking and/or splintering, causing a number of safety risks and concerns. Timber Decking can be a wonderful feature in your outdoor space, but it depends if you are willing to spend the extra money and time maintaining it to keep it as immaculate and when it was first installed.
Composite Decking: The Pros
Composite Decking is made by mixing plastic and wood fibres to create an innovative material to compete with traditional Timber Decking. The benefits of Composite Decking are endless, these low maintenance and aesthetically pleasing boards eliminate multiple issues that come with Timber Decking, including a number of safety concerns.
Composite Decking requires far less maintenance than Timber, with these boards only requiring regular cleaning to keep them as perfect as when you first installed them.
The lifespan of Composite Decking can also rival that of Timber Decking, with a lifespan of between 20 and 30 years. Considering there is far less maintenance involved, life span can be sacrificed slightly for the sake of less time and money spent on maintaining a material like Timber Decking.
As well as this, due to the nature of the material, Composite Decking completely eliminates the concern of insect attacks or decay, as well as the chance of any splintering that is somewhat inevitable with Timber.
Other damage such as the effects of moisture is not a concern with Composite Decking, again due to the nature of material. Due to these safety concerns being eliminated, Composite Decking becomes the ideal choice for family homes, with the properties of these boards making them more child-safe than traditional Timber.
When it comes to aesthetic purposes, these boards come in a variety of colours to match the existing features of your outdoor space, and is consistent in terms of its colour, texture and overall look, creating a sleeker and more consistent finish.
This consistency carries over in to the installation process of our Composite Decking, with all components designed to fit together easily for a fuss-free job.
Composite Decking: The Cons
Every material will have some sort of downside to it, and Composite Decking is no exception. However, many of the downsides that come with Composite Decking will have a similar downside in the Timber Decking option.
Composite Decking can be prone to scratches, but Timber Decking can also be susceptible to similar aesthetic damage. Another example being that Composite Decking can become slippery when wet, but so too can Timber Decking.
It can also be said that Composite Decking is not as strong as Timber, which is true in terms of the bare boards themselves, but as long as the Composite Decking is fitted properly with the support system recommended, these boards can hold up just as well as Timber.
All it takes to make Composite Decking just as strong as Timber is to place joists closer together to prevent sagging and or breakage, the only downside to this is that it can add additional costs to your project. The exception to this however, lays in the completely opposite environmental effects each of the materials have.
While Timber is a very environmentally friendly and sustainable material, the same cannot be said for Composite. As we all know, plastic is notorious for being not the most eco-friendly material to use due to the material itself, processes used in production and the by-products of plastic. However, our Composite Decking is made of recycled plastic, so this becomes less of a concern.
So Which One Is Best?
Both materials are excellent choices for Decking, it all depends on which benefits you need and which drawbacks you feel you can deal with.
If you want a modern, child friendly and low maintenance option, then Composite Decking is the one for you. On the other hand, if you want a more traditional, durable and natural option, then Timber Decking is best. Still undecided? Why not browse our website and take a look at the options available, or visit us at our depot and we can discuss your requirements and point you towards what we think is the most suitable choice for your perfect Decking.