Everyone wants to have the best garden on the block, particularly during summer, so many people turn to composite decking for good reasoning. It is low maintenance, easily put together, and made to last.
But that doesn’t mean to say it’s all sunshine and rainbows. Like everything in life, there are highlights and lowlights to it. This guide will walk through all the pros and cons of composite decking that you should know about before buying. Read on to find out more!
What is Composite Decking?
For those who aren’t aware, composite decking is a decking material composed of wood fibres and plastic.
Wood fibres usually come from sawdust or other wood products, and the plastic used is usually a type of thermoplastic such as polyethylene or polyvinyl.
Put together; these materials create a durable, low-maintenance, secure material that reflects the appeal of natural wood. As it is not real wood, it comes in many different colours, textures, and finishes. A bonus is that it is eco-friendly and makes use of recycled materials.
It can come with a hefty price tag, but it usually makes up for its long-term durability – decks can last up to 25-30 years if looked after well.
With that being said, let’s jump into the pros and cons of composite decking and determine whether it is worth it for you.
Pros of Composite Decking:
- Low maintenance: Composite decking requires little to no maintenance compared to what you would get from traditional wood deckings. It doesn’t need to be stained, sealed, or painted. It is also resistant to rotting, fading and damage caused by insects or fungus.
- Durability: Composite decking is much more durable than traditional wood decking. Thanks to the materials used to make it, it can withstand heavy weight, abundant foot traffic, and harsh weather. It will not rot, warp, or splinter over time.
- Natural Looks: Composite decking looks natural, and although it may not completely reflect the appeal of real wood, it does a great job of mimicking it. The availability of colours, textures, and finishes makes it easy to match them with the outdoor aesthetic in any home.
- Environmentally friendly: The material used within the composite decking is completely recycled and sustainable, making it an eco-friendly option.
- Value for money: Although expensive, you pay for what you get, a long-lasting, visually appealing decking.
- Design variety: Composite decking comes in many different design options, such as hollow or solid, grooved, ridged, patterns, and so much more. If you want to make it a statement piece, you certainly can.
Cons of Composite Decking:
- Expensive: Regardless of how long-lasting it is, it doesn’t take away from the expensive price tag. Composite decking is an expensive investment and typically is more expensive than traditional wood.
- Slippery surface: Composite decking can be very slippery when wet, making it very difficult to move around during cold and wet weather.
- Not natural: Despite composite decking doing its best to look realistic, it will never capture the same appeal natural wood gets. The decking can also let off a chemical smell, particularly when new.
- Heavy load: Composite decking is easy to install but not easy to manoeuvre with. It is typically quite heavy, making it difficult to move around and can often increase transport and installation costs.
On the Fence?
If you are still on the fence about whether to invest your money into composite decking and perhaps aren’t sure it will look good in your garden, there are a few things you should think about that might help before buying:
- Match colours: Consider your garden landscape and the common colours that surround it. You want your decking to look like it has been there for years. Blend the colour of the decking in with its surroundings.
- Add lighting: Lighting greatly helps highlight the natural colours and highlights the material’s texture. It also helps create a contemporary look and allows the decking to pop during the night.
- Populate with furniture: Outdoor garden furniture will help bring a decking to life and give it meaning by creating something comfortable and stylish.
- Use greenery: Plants, shrubs, and small trees will help blend the decking with its surroundings. It also helps to bring it to life and give it a sense of organicness.
Overall, the pros certainly outweigh the cons of composite decking, but it still comes down to a deciding factor of both budget and personal preference.
If you particularly want to achieve a fully natural look, you may have better options.
If you want to keep costs down in a large project, consider looking at alternatives or scaling down the decking size.
Based on the above information, you can make an informed decision based on your personal preferences.
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