As you plan the deck of your dreams, one of the key decisions you have to make is choosing the type of decking to use. Two of the most common options are timber and composite decking. Since your deck is a long-term investment that you’ll be enjoying for decades to come, it’s crucial to understand your chosen materials before starting on your building project.
Both timber and composite materials come in varying degrees of quality, so cost and quality aren’t the only factors you need to consider. Let’s take a look at the different advantages and disadvantages that come with each decking material.
Many people prefer wood for their decks due to its warm and natural appearance. It offers a timeless charm that goes well with any design elements.
The type of timber you choose for a wooden deck is critical to the durability and maintenance level of your deck. Many choose hardwood as their timber decking material due to their strength and reliability. Hardwood also improves the aesthetics of a deck because of their unique textures, colours and grains. They’re relatively easy to maintain as they’re less likely to sustain stains, scratches and other marks. If necessary, they can be sanded down and resealed but they don’t need to be stained to provide a beautiful natural appearance. Merbau is the most popular and common in hardwood decking ethically harvested from Pacific Ocean islands and Southeast Asia and has a its natural resistance to decay. Other species available are Iron Bark, Grey Gum, Forest Red, Cypress, Blue Gum, Jarrah, Red gum, Stringy Bark, Silverbark, Spotted Gum and Wormy Chestnut.
A common and inexpensive option for timber decking is softwood treated pine, often called PT or pressure-treated. PT wood is made of sustainable harvested Radiata Pine soaked in insecticide and anti-rot agents. Its natural colour is a balance between brown and green but it can be stained if you want a more attractive colour. However, it’s susceptible to warping, cracking and splitting.
If you want the natural route in a softwood , opt for weather-resistant cypress. This type of decking material hase an attractive look and can resist cracking, warping and other types of weather damage.
Composite decks are primarily composed of wood fibers and recycled plastic. While a deck made with these materials is not all-natural and won’t have the potential beauty or charm of a real-wood deck, you can choose from an extensive range of colours to mimic a natural look.
Composite decking is rising in popularity due to its low-maintenance requirements. It doesn’t require staining, sanding, or refinishing. It also typically comes with lifetime guarantee or at least a 20-year warranty. The downside is that it costs more than timber decking. Depending on the warranty and quality, the cost can run twice that of natural wood decks. The other bonus is the product is manufactured with grooved sides so you can utilize decking clips to give a blemish free and hidden fixing system. The most common of these is Modwood.
All decks, even composite, require maintenance every now and then. Natural wood decks tend to be more demanding as they require annual refinishing. This means sanding, removing last year’s finish and applying a new coat. But if you prefer the aesthetics of natural wood and you’re up for the upkeep, it’s more than worth it.
For composite decks, you don’t need to refinish them. However, the decks can become hosts for mould if they’re not cleaned every two to three years.
Flooring and Timber Decking from Tile Importer
Whether you’re reviving an old deck or building a new one, Tile Importer’s range of decking solutions offers style and durability. We have an extensive selection of options from hardwood and softwood to composites. Our diverse range includes decking boards from industry leading brands such as Mod Wood and Merbau Deckstar. They feature beautiful and durable designs that create stylish and functional residential projects.
For more information and enquiries, contact us today.