Arbordeck blog

Decking Dilemma: Timber vs. Composite for Your Garden

As we embrace the decking season, the allure of garden decking continues to captivate homeowners and business proprietors. Garden decking not only bolsters property value but also extends living spaces into the great outdoors, offering an adaptable solution. From classic timber to innovative Trex composite decking, boasting a broad spectrum of hues and boundless design potential, the resplendent rise of garden decking appears unstoppable.

Yet, the wealth of options demands discerning contemplation. Material selection and quality are paramount, alongside a comprehensive grasp of the intricacies that compose a deck.


Timber vs composite

When orchestrating a garden deck, the initial quandary revolves around the choice between traditional timber and cutting-edge composite boards like Trex. While traditional softwood timber holds its appeal, composite decking, especially Trex, is gaining momentum thanks to its pledge of durability, minimal maintenance, and eco-conscious credentials.

Although the fundamental structures of timber and composite decking share similarities, the selection between the two has repercussions for the materials utilised beneath the deck’s surface. For optimal results, integrating complementary products throughout the deck is advised. While timber may appear budget-friendly, it responds divergently from composite. Timber can succumb to warping under fluctuating weather conditions, whereas Trex remains steadfast. This divergence can significantly influence the structural integrity of the deck.

The substructure

The substructure is the clandestine backbone of a garden deck, a pivotal composition for overall excellence.

Framing forms the bedrock in any decking endeavour, exemplifying a cornerstone of strength and durability. Meticulous installation is imperative. Always defer to the manufacturer’s guidelines regarding subframe layout and joist spacing.

Once the preparatory groundwork is complete, the foundation is cemented by affixing joists to the beams’ side and appending beams to a ledger. Various anchoring options, including bolts, landscape screws, and stainless steel decking screws, are deployed to secure the beams firmly.


The surface

With a robust foundation in place, it’s time to embellish the deck’s surface, commencing with the pivotal decking boards. Whether the deck showcases the timeless allure of timber or embraces the contemporary charm of composite, innovative products such as deck clips and concealed fasteners are on the ascent, designed to optimise aesthetics while minimising the visibility of fixating systems.

Trex composite decking flaunts an extensive spectrum of colours, rendering redundant the need for painting or staining to attain the desired visual aesthetic. From natural wood hues that evoke classic charm to modern shades of grey exuding a contemporary vibe, there’s a composite decking board suitable for any project.

When selecting composite decking, it’s paramount to unravel its performance, particularly when confronted with the UK’s fickle weather conditions. Trex solid deck boards stand tall, fortified by an industry-leading warranty, courtesy of a protective ‘shell’ layer that guarantees ‘No Fade, No Stain’ performance. In contrast, hollow boards are discouraged due to their diminished performance and warranties.


View our guide to composite decking profiles >

Elevating the Elegance

In conclusion, there exists a plethora of techniques to augment the deck’s surface, from an aesthetic and utilitarian perspective. For multi-tiered decks, custom-built steps are the answer. Railings, a popular augmentation for decks exceeding 600mm in elevation, extend a choice of selections, from stainless steel to glass. Trex Outdoor Lighting heightens safety while enhancing the visual appeal. The integration of built-in planters and supplementary seating areas metamorphoses the deck into a versatile space that augments property value and enriches outdoor living areas.



Follow Arbordeck

Get relevant content easily

To get the best content for you, please select the relevant option below: