Should You Opt for Composite or Timber Decking? Know the Difference and Decide

09 March 2022

Imagine how wonderful it would be to walk outside and sit on a beautiful deck? When the time comes to install your deck, the one critical factor that will affect its durability and price is whether it is made of composite or timber materials. These materials are commonly used for decking, and they each have their benefits. Choosing the right option depends on your budget and maintenance effort.

Let’s compare these three factors to help you decide which is the best material for your new project:


When thinking about the timber option, your cost will vary because it depends on the type of wood and whether you want a softwood or hardwood deck. Softwood is generally less expensive than either hardwood or composite decking solutions.

Keep in mind, though, that if you opt to buy timber decking, you will also need to use special stains and sometimes oils to maintain it and keep it looking nice for longer. You will have to spend more money over the long run on maintenance during the decking’s lifetime.

Life Span

Timber decking that is well-maintained may last a lifetime. You can always sand it down, and you can always rebuild parts of the deck if you do have rot or fungus. You can fix a particular location rather than replace the whole thing. However, when it comes to wood, you will always need to maintain your decking to have a longer lifespan.

On the other hand, composite decking materials have a 20-30 year lifespan and require less care. Most composite decking materials only need cleaning and do not require any treatment or staining. They don’t need to be protected from moisture damage. Composite decks only need minimal maintenance, but because of their plastic composition, it is prone to scratches, and these can be difficult to fix, at least a lot more difficult than scratching on wood. You cannot sand down composite materials and restain them.

Environmental Impact

Timber is one of the most environmentally friendly building materials available. All of our wooden products are carefully sourced to help reduce your environmental impact, whereas composite decking is a mix of plastic and wood. The material is usually recycled, but the initial production procedure is more harmful to the environment because, at some point, cellulose and natural gas need to be used to make it.


One of the major drawbacks of composite decking is the strength, or rather the fact that composite decking is not a structural material and requires more support than timber decking. You can easily overcome this deficiency by placing joists closer together to support your decking and prevent sagging or breakages. Still, the additional requirements can double the cost of your deck structure.

Bottom Line

One of the biggest disadvantages of composite decking is its lack of strength. More specifically, we would say that composite decking is not a structural material and requires more building support than wood decking. Builders can compensate by spacing the joists closer together and giving the decking more support. In doing this, the builder avoids drooping or breaking, but the additional requirements might increase the project’s cost.

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