Understanding the Difference Between Timber & Composite Decking
Building or replacing a deck is no longer the daunting prospect it used to be. With the latest advances in composite deckboards, selecting a material should be as easy as picking where it needs to go.
In this article, we will discuss the differences between traditional timber decking and composite decking to help you in your task.
What is Composite Decking?
Composite decking is made of wood fibres, plastics and bonding agents. As most of the materials used in the fabrication process are recycled, it is a fantastic environmental option. Compared to timberdecking, composite decking has little to no maintenance needed, making it a better choice for the long run.
Points to Consider Before Choosing Composite Decking
There are some considerations to review before choosing between timber or composite decking. Each project is unique, and the more custom your job is, the more materials are needed and the more expensive it could get.
Installation and Maintenance
Composite decking employs the same installation methods as timber decking. Composite decking boards, however, are designed to accommodate hidden fasteners so you do not have exposed hardware like you do on a timber deck. Some brands, like Trex, use their patented composite decking boards and will determine the materials you need for the complete project.
Trex composite decking boards are resistant to rot, water damage and insect infestations. Trex decking will not warp or crack in the harsh Australian weather. Composite decking comes splinter-free and fade-resistant, but it will require a regular sweep to remove dirt and leaves, which can be done with an occasional spray from the hose.
Longevity and Durability
Composite decking boards are water-resistant and ideal to use around pools and similar water features. Due to the plastic element in composite decking, their durability is unmatched. They will far outlive timber decking, and some brands, like Trex decking, come with a life expectancy guarantee of 25 years. Trex deck boards are available in various colours and textures, with a natural wood look being very popular.
Cost and Environmental Impact
Timber decking is the cheaper option for deck installation. However, timber requires a lot of maintenance, such as regular sanding and staining. There are also insect treatments, replacement of broken planks or posts, and wood rot to contend with.
Trex decking costs might be more for the initial deck and instalment, but the added benefit of less maintenance far outweighs the initial investment. Trex decking pricing starts at $215 per square metre, but this does not include custom design or installation.
Basic composite decking costs include substructure, decking and hardware. Add-ons include deck benches, embedded lighting, drainage and staircases. These extras will influence the price. An experienced contractor should be able to advise you, and with correct installation, your composite decking will outlive its initial life expectancy.
Also, composite decking is very environmentally friendly, uses recycled materials, and is sustainable. No paints or harsh chemicals are used to maintain the composite decking that can leach back into nature.