Looking to refresh your outdoor area at home? Installing a new deck could be just the thing to revive the space and it can be a hassle-free task with great benefits! Traditional timber decking has been a popular option however composite decking is quickly gaining traction as a viable decking alternative. In this blog we look at composite decking, it’s features, benefits and important factors to consider so you can make an informed decision on the best decking option for you – timber decking or composite decking.
Composite decking is an innovative outdoor flooring solution, made from over 90 percent reclaimed timber, bamboo and recycled plastic1. Popular brands in Australia include Trex, Ekodeck and Ultra Deck. This type of decking is specifically engineered to resist the effects of weathering, so a great alternative for the Australian environment and the harsh weather conditions often experienced.
There are a number of benefits of choosing composite decking over timber decking. Let’s take a look at some of the key benefits below:
By choosing composite decking you are choosing an environmentally friendly and sustainable option. Trex2 pioneered eco-friendly composite decking is made of 95% recycled materials including reclaimed timber and plastic, contributing to a healthier environment. Ekodeck3 composite deck boards are engineered to look and feel like natural timber, without the adverse environmental impact, by saving a substantial amount of waste plastic and timber from entering landfill.
Composite decking can be a much cheaper alternative meaning more money in your pocket! Composite decking is estimated to cost around $22-$165 AUD per sqm including installation costs, with timber decking priced at approximately $80-90 per sqm2. Timber decking may seem like a budget friendly option upfront, however given the ongoing maintenance required, can definitely add up.
Many composite decking options available on the market offer extensive warranties, such as Trex’s industry-leading 25 year limited residential warranty, so you can rest assured that your deck investment is well protected.
Once composite decking has been installed its quite low maintenance. Traditional timer decking generally involves regular sanding, sealing, staining, painting and cleaning to maintain its longevity. Composite decking is often scratch resistant and without the need to oil and paint, can save you both time and money. Building a beautiful deck without the time-consuming maintenance means more time for you to enjoy the things you love!
Unlike traditional timber decking which can often have splinters and protruding nails, composite decking is an excellent option for your home to keep your family and pets safe. To clean composite decking boards, you simply need to use a bucket of warm soapy water and a high-pressured hose.
I’m sure we all agree that timber decks look great however they don’t age as well as their composite counterparts. Unlike timber, Trex2 composite decking won’t warp or rot, fade or stain, need seasonal painting, sealing or staining and importantly won’t become food for termites. Similarly, Ultra Deck’s4 composite material is equipped with anti-UV inhibitors to ensure that your deck doesn’t fade from exposure to sunlight. Over time, timber decking can rot and erode due to the harsh weather conditions and general wear and tear. Composite decking however is less susceptible to this damage. Ekodeck’s state of the art flooring is specially designed to stand up to the tough Aussie climate, with a Janka rating of 10.5 (meaning it is harder than Merbau or Jarrah, with a similar hardness to Spotted Gum). 3 Composite decking can therefore provide a long-life alternative to timber materials.
Whether you choose Trex, Ekodeck or Ultra Deck composite decking, the product is ready to use, meaning no need to stain, sand or paint the material before you commence building your deck. And with no special tools required, this decking is easy to install as a DIY project.
Timber decks require constant care and upkeep. With composite decking you can achieve the natural look and feel of timber without the work! Everyone has different tastes, so when it comes to outdoor decking its good to know that there are also a range of variable grain and natural timber tones to choose from, such as the Ekodeck + Designer Series. 3
It’s important to note that installing composite decking requires more of an initial investment up front, however given its longevity can end up being a worthwhile investment. If opting for a cheap, low grade composite option however you may not also achieve the natural timber look you are seeking. Additionally, once composite decking has been installed, unlike timber which can be stripped back, painted and resealed, it cannot be modified. Composite decks are also not completely maintenance free, and you will still be required to wash down your deck periodically and sweep as required to remove any debris. Composite materials can also slightly expand in heat so this needs to be taken into consideration in measuring and installing composite decking boards.
We all love to entertain outdoors, and a deck is an investment that can add value to your property and your lifestyle. Whether you decide to use timber or composite decking is entirely dependent on your needs and budget. Composite decking may be right for you if you are seeking a highly durable, option that is low maintenance. Alternatively, if a natural timber appearance is high on your priority list, timber decking may be the best option for you.
Love where you live? So, let’s improve it! Need help with your renovations, contact Campbell Construction Co. today.