Garden decking has become more popular in recent years, as people discover just how useful it can be around the home and garden.
Not only does it provide an attractive surface to walk on, but it also creates a nice spot to take in the sun and enjoy your garden views from a higher vantage point – all of which can help improve the value of your home.
Garden decking isn’t just limited to being used as an aesthetic addition to your property though. It has functional value too, especially if you install extras such as decking for a hot tub.
Budget, maintenance level, and material durability are all important factors to consider when deciding what kind of garden decking materials you want to build your home with.
The most common materials include wood, composite, and stone and the differences between them can seem insignificant at first glance, but it’s important to remember that each material has its own unique benefits that make it ideal for certain situations and owners.
In this guide, we will discuss the best garden decking materials as well as how to choose the right one based on your needs.
- Wooden Garden Decks
Wood may not be as fashionable as modern composites, but there’s no denying its classic appeal.
And in terms of design, wood is much more customizable than other materials—it can be stained or painted to match any color scheme. The downside is that wood deteriorates over time and requires regular maintenance.
Wood decks also come with a hefty price tag, but wooden decking boards are relatively cheap compared to other composite alternatives.
If you plan on going down a DIY route, remember to invest in quality decking screws and pre-treated timber—both of which help protect against rot and insect damage.
2. Plastic Garden Decks
Plastic decking is a great option if you're on a budget. It's also easy to install and maintain, which is ideal if you're a novice DIYer.
If your property has a pool or spa, plastic might be your best bet because it doesn't have hollow spaces that will trap water (moisture leads to mold).
Plastic decks are available in various thicknesses and come in different shapes. A thick, solid platform is tough enough to withstand heavy loads but soft enough to feel comfortable on bare feet.
Composite plastic material will likely last at least 10 years, probably longer if well maintained, and it won't crack like wood can when subjected to extreme temperatures over time.
3. Composite Garden Decks
The easiest way to ensure you'll have a deck that lasts for many years to come is to purchase an all-wood product, such as high-quality composite.
It’s not just about how it looks, but also how it performs. Picket and other wood decks can rot and deteriorate over time, whereas composites are virtually maintenance-free and will last much longer than wood.
Wood may be cheaper upfront, but if your deck needs constant replacement or repair - and in turn a constant outlay of cash - it becomes more expensive in the long run.
If you're looking for reliable garden decking materials to bring style and comfort into your home year after year, invest in composite decking.
If you’re building a deck, it’s best to think about what material will hold up well in your climate. The highest-quality decking material will keep its stain and not grow mold or mildew after years of weather exposure.
Maintenance-free material is hard to find, so you might have to be content with simply being able to enjoy your outdoor space without constant upkeep.
If you want a wood look but don’t want to worry about rot, consider composite wood products that are made from recycled materials and plastics.
These do require maintenance every few years; however, they won’t warp or crack like real wood will over time.