Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through our links, at no cost to you. Please read our disclosure for more info.
Composite decking is becoming increasingly popular and it has started to appear just about everywhere. So why is it such a good choice for your garden as opposed to using wood decking?
We’re going to take a look at this now:
In This Post:
What Exactly is Composite Decking?
Also known as ‘WPC’ and ‘Plastic Decking,’ composite decking is made out of recycled wood and recycled plastic. Plastic gives this type of decking a long life without the owner having to seal or treat the decking at any time. With just one percent water absorption rate, composite decking will not swell when it gets wet, unlike wood decking that can swell as soon as water hits it.
Is Composite Decking Better Than Wood Decking?
The quick answer to this question is “Yes”. The not-so-quick answer is that it’s more environmentally friendly as it’s made from recycled materials. Softwood and hardwood decking needs to come from trees that have to be felled, and it’s not always easy to determine whether the wood has come from a sustainable forest. Wood decking also needs to be treated at least once a year, and often with some nasty chemicals too.
Using composite decking that has been made from recycled plastic and recycled wood is the way forward. Many manufacturers use reclaimed sawdust and plastic waste along with offcuts of wood, helping to reduce their impact on the environment. The mixture is ground down and pressure and heat are used to form the decking. While energy is required to produce decking a lot less waste is sent to landfill.
Is Composite Decking Slippery?
Every single piece of decking board is moulded into a certain shape and texture. Most decking boards have a non-slip grain that’s been added to the surface of the boards. This non-slip surface makes the boards safe to walk on even in wet weather. Some wood decking can potentially be quite slippery, especially when it’s wet outside. You may, therefore, wish to refrain from using any type of wood decking if you have mobility issues, young children or simply wish to walk on decking without having to worry.
Is Composite Decking Easy to Install?
Composite decking has been manufactured to be easy to install. In fact, you can use normal woodworking tools to install it. Some boards come with grooves in their edges and a clip that allows the board to be held down firmly. This means that all of the boards can be lined up perfectly and is much easier to install. Wood decking usually contains a lot of screws collect dirt and begin to degrade over time, it’s also less easy to install and once it’s down, it’s down for life.
Is Composite Decking Attractive?
Whatever type of decking you install in your garden it needs to be attractive. The good news is that composite decking is attractive, it comes in a range of colours. You can also create a variety of designs using different colours if you so wish. For example, you may choose one colour for your deck and other colours for your steps and edges to make them stand out. The only limit is your imagination. Wood decking comes in many different colours too, however, they may not be so immediately obvious. The colour of wood decking tends to fade a little over time whereas composite decking retains its colour for many years.
The Cost of Composite Decking
Composite decking tends to be cheaper over its lifetime than wood decking. This is because it never needs to be treated with any chemicals and it’s unlikely to need repairing too. Some wood decking may appear to be cheaper than composite decking but when you add up the costs over a few years, it’s much more expensive.
What is Better? Composite or Wood Decking?
That is a very good question, and the answer will depend on what you are looking for. If you’re looking for some decking that is easy to install and easy to look after you may want to opt for composite decking. If you’re looking for decking that is very strong and has a more natural look to it, you may want to opt for wood decking. However, you should be aware that wood decking is by no means environmentally friendly and can degrade over time.
When it Comes to the Crunch
When it comes to the crunch, composite decking is the better option. It’s made from recycled materials and comes with a non-slip surface. It’s available in many different colours and has quite a natural finish. What's more is composite decking can add something very special to your garden and be enjoyed for many years without needing to be treated. So, when it comes to comparing composite decking and wood decking it’s fair to say that the winner by a mile is composite decking!