What is Composite Decking and What are its Benefits Over Wood?

Garden Decking

Your garden should be a perfect outdoor space for you to relax in and enjoy. Well-designed and creative landscapes can feature a combination of colourful garden furniture, secure and bright fence panels, stunning plants, flowers and much more. 

As opposed to traditional wood decking for a garden patio, one popular alternative is to use composite decking. Many design options, features and benefits come with using this type of decking. Here, we will outline why this timber alternative can be valuable assets to garden landscape designs.

What is Composite Decking?

Composite decking is a product consisting of a mixture of wood fibres, bonding agents and plastic materials. The compound is heated, formed into board-shaped panels, and then cooled. By using composite materials in garden decking, homeowners can recreate the look of traditional wood for a patio, and enjoy many other practical advantages.

Benefits of Composite Decking

  1. They require far less maintenance than standard wood decking.
  2. The plastic inside makes composite boards more durable and resistant to damp, insects and rotting.
  3. There is no painting, staining or sealing required with these boards.
  4. Composite wood won’t succumb to warping or cracking, even when exposed to direct sunlight.
  5. The colours won’t fade over time.
  6. Composite wood boards are slip-resistant, making them suitable for surrounding wet areas like ponds and pools.
  7. On average, they last a great deal longer than traditional timber.

Alternatives to timber decking have come a long way over the years, and now there is a greater choice of specific products, designs and finishes available to choose from. Although composites are slightly more costly compared to traditional wood, the lack of maintenance that’s needed makes them arguably more cost-effective. This means you can spend more time enjoying your garden, as opposed to tending to it.

Types of Composite Decking

There are various composite decking choices, and you should take your budget, space and colour into consideration. Ultimately, the possibilities that exist with using these wood alternatives are almost endless. When you’re brainstorming garden landscape ideas or rethinking your current landscape architecture, consider the following composite decking types. All of them, in some way, can be valuable additions to your garden, and help to make it a unique, beautiful place.

  • PVC Composite – this decking consists of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and is made using recycled plastic materials, making it arguably the most environmentally-friendly option. This is arguably the most expensive product.
  • Wood-Plastic Composite (WPC) – these boards are arguably the most frequently-used, offering a natural wooden finish without you having to pay through the nose. It consists of wood fibre and thermoplastics.
  • Capped Composite – this type of decking is particularly durable; the boards are protected by a layer of polymer, meaning they are protected by stain and spillage damage.

There are enormous possibilities with composite decking materials, and no matter which one you choose, you’ll end up with something that will benefit your garden in the long run. You won’t have to worry about maintenance, repairs or upkeep, and you can really take advantage of your garden’s beautiful scenery.

Garden Decking Ideas

In recent years, composite garden decking has been adopted by more landscape gardeners due to how versatile it is as a product. It can be used to create a visually stunning garden, given that it creates a very ‘natural’ look, which can suit traditional or contemporary garden designs.

As decking is often seen as an ‘extension’ of a living area, it’s often said that it helps to make properties appear bigger. So there’s good reason to suggest it can add value to an existing property.

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