Are you planning to install a deck to expand your outdoor living space? There are many options available in the market right now. The bottomline is, we would want it to look great and last a long time. Two of the most popular materials to build a deck with are composite and timber. To find out which material suits your home and lifestyle, keep in mind the pros and cons of each. Read on as we compare both composite decking and timber decking to help you decide.

 

 

Composite Decking 

Until a few decades ago, timber has been the primary material used for decking. However, composite decking has been manufactured and designed to mimic the grains and colours of natural timber. Composite decks are mainly composed of wood fibres and recycled plastic to give off the natural look that timber has.

 

Pros

  • Composite decks are low maintenance and can last for many years without the need for staining, treating, sanding, or painting.
  • Some types of composite decking are wind, water, and UV resistant.
  • Easy to install compared to timber decking.
  • Resistant to rot, mould, stain, and insects.
  • Has a wide variety of colours to choose from.
  • Environmentally friendly as some composite companies use recycled materials.
  • The technology to produce composite decks is improving. Some manufacturing companies improve the material’s durability by bonding it with a hard plastic shell. Some composite decks even have anti-slip properties.
  • The decking boards themselves will usually come with a warranty compared to timber decking.

 

Cons

  • Composite decks are more expensive than most timber options. This is due to the cost of manufacturing and labour to produce the product.
  • Decking helps increase the property value of your home when you decide to sell. However, the material used for the deck usually makes no difference and has no overall impact on the property price.
  • You cannot easily change the colour of your composite deck compared to timber which just needs repainting. You may alter the colour by sun bleaching or by using chemicals although this is not recommended.
  • Composite decks are designed to mimic the wood look however, like most synthetic options, this cannot be done perfectly and may depend on the cost.

 

 

Timber Decking

There’s a reason why timber has been a popular and traditional choice as a decking material for so long. Timber has a warm and solid aesthetic appeal that attracts homeowners plus it blends well with most home designs. A well-maintained timber deck in all its natural glory will definitely elevate your home’s outdoor space. 

 

Pros

  • Timber decks are usually more budget-friendly compared to composite ones. This depends on the type of wood you choose. The lowest material cost for timber decking is pressure treated pine. 
  • Timber has a more natural appearance that composite decks are trying to achieve.
  • There’s a wide selection of stains and polishes that you can choose depending on the texture and pattern that you prefer.
  • Installation and labour costs can be cheap when using certain species. Redwood and Cedar are common choices since it’s easy to cut, sculpt, and sand. These types of wood are also less prone to breaking and can be insect resistant.
  • Hardwood such as Jarrah, Spotted Gum, and Merbau are common timber decking options in Australia. These types can have a life expectancy of 40+ years if well-maintained compared to cheaper alternatives.

 

Cons

  • You get what you pay for. If you opt for cheaper timber options, it usually can only last for 10-15 years and that’s if it is well-maintained. There has been a significant increase in timber prices in the last two years. This has caused the gap in pricing between timber and composite to tighten considerably. Especially with your higher end timber options.
  • Lower quality timber types are prone to cracking and splintering.
  • Timber decks need to be maintained more often compared to composite decks. The upkeep cost can add up with regular cleaning, resealing, and more at least annually. Weather damaged boards may also need to be replaced.
  • Although timber is considered a renewable source, we need to be more environmentally conscious to help our planet. However, sourcing good eco-friendly timber may be costly and needs a fair amount of time to research.

 

 

Personal Preference

The decision is completely up to you when it comes to choosing the most suitable material for your deck. Both composite and timber decking certainly has its pros and cons to consider. You just have to consider which suits you and your home better. Here at MyLiving Outdoors, we pride ourselves on our customer service and high-quality standards so you are definitely in good hands. For more information and advice about which material to choose for decking, please get in touch with our highly experienced team. Start living your outdoor dream with us TODAY.