Composite Decking vs Timber Decking

Timber Decking
Image Credit: | Composite Decking vs Timber Decking | Looking through your window at your backyard, you may realise that your old worn decking or fencing is in dire need of an upgrade or renovation. If you do not have one currently, you possibly could be considering adding decking to your home. Whether you want to upgrade, renovate or install, one of the biggest decisions you need to make in the process is the type of decking material to use. Traditionally, timber decking has been a timeless classic but as technology and innovation progresses, choosing other materials has become more of an option, in particular composite decking.

Do you stick with tradition and choose timber for your decking or is composite decking an enticing choice? We weigh up the pros and cons to help you decide what is best for your deck.

Timber: The Pros and Cons

Iconic and traditional, there is not much more Australian than standing out on your timber deck. Whether it is watching the kids play, having your morning coffee or just relaxing, a timber deck is as Australian as Vegemite. The pros of using timber are definitely in abundance; in the short term, timber decking is quite inexpensive, it is versatile in the way that not only is it easy to work and easy to renovate and switch up down the track with but through staining and painting you can create the best look to match your home and being a natural resource, it ticks the boxes of being renewable.

While there are some great advantages of timber decking, there are some disadvantages too. Despite being a renewable resource, it is still acquired by cutting down trees. As not all timber is made equally, not all producers follow sustainable protocol so by picking a cost-effective material, you could be contributing to unsustainable practices.

Also, while it may be cost-effective in the beginning, the upkeep and consistent maintenance can cause it to be more expensive in the long run. Constantly staining and repairing damage caused by weathering, such as water damage from rain and damage from UV rays, what was once a cheaper option becomes an expensive investment, not to mention an exhausting one too. You may have your dream deck, but if you want it to stay that way, you will be putting in the dollars and the work to maintain it.

Composite Decking: The Pros and Cons

Composite decking may not be as iconic as timber, but it can replicate it with its appearance. Just like you can achieve a range of looks with timber, there is also a wide range of looks and styles with composite decking. It is made with waste wood and recycled plastics, so while it may be as natural as timber, it is considered environmentally sustainable. 

Not only does it reuse wasted products, it does not waste time and money either. Its initial costs can be a lot more expensive, but it will quickly pay you back by not needing as much tender love and care as timber. Often UV and water-resistant, what you purchase is how it will stay- only requiring the occasional hose down. 

Durable, weatherproof and not needing much maintenance, you will find that even without regular attention, you can have a great looking deck without the time and effort that timber requires.

The issues with composite decking though are similar timber, as not all decking is made equal. Investing in more expensive materials will ensure you do the best quality composite decking, so it can be more expensive at the start. It also cannot be stripped back and changed as easily as timber, so if you are prone to changing your mind then maybe this is not the choice for you but if you want a sustainable look, then consider choosing composite decking.

The Verdict

We all love a classic, but when it comes to the debate whether to go with timber and composite decking, by weighing up the options, we have to side with composite decking. 

Ultimately, it does come down to a matter of preference but when it comes to the maintenance and ease of composite decking, investing in a material for your deck that holds up over time is just more enticing. Also, the use of recycled materials, especially as the world is leaning towards a more sustainable focus, helps build the case for composite decking. 

As technology improves, the quality and look of composite decking will evolve and change. Materials may become more affordable and start to even mimic the look of timber even more, with composite decking possibly becoming the new normal in building the great Australian deck. 

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