When you think about decking, you’re probably thinking about a local pub setting to socialise with friends or a time you went on holiday to a caravan with an outdoor space to relax. Well, you can replicate that space in your very own back garden.

We know it’s no use choosing a random decking material so we’re here to offer you help. Our buyer’s guide is here to inform you of what is available to ensure you can make an informed decision before going through with your purchase. Read on to learn more about the types of decking materials, decking layouts, average decking costs and other information about decking via this guide. Then head on over to our range of decking to find one suited to your design and budget needs.

Table of contents

What is decking?

Decking is defined as boards fixed to the ground in a garden or outdoor area for people to walk on. However, that term has likely changed because it no longer has to be fixed to the ground since raised decking is now an option for many property owners.

What is timber decking?

Timber decking, simply put, is wooden decking. It’s a traditional material for decking boards and is long desired for its appearance. With that said, there are alternatives nowadays offering what timber cannot. We’ll define these in more detail later in the guide.

What is composite decking?

Composite decking is very popular for the modern homeowner today. A plastic and wood combination, it has many designs which ensures a more varied design than timber decking. You can find out more about this material further and more as you read on.

What is aluminium decking?

Less common but continuously growing in popularity is aluminium decking – a new style of outdoor flooring. It’s made using lightweight aluminium and is considered a more durable and eco-friendly choice because it can also be recycled. More details about this type of material and others can be found below.

What decking material lasts the longest?

Decking can last 10-30 years, sometimes longer with suitable care and maintenance. Composite and timber decking are two of the sturdier contenders.

Unlike composite decking, however, timber decking can have parts of the deck replaced. Composite decking must be replaced entirely, which can be more expensive in the long run.

Another material that many are starting to consider is aluminium decking. This material has many valuable benefits and can even last 60 years with good maintenance.

We’ve broken down the pros and cons of each material to help you understand what makes them worth it.

Timber decking•Easy to install and clean.
•Environmentally friendly.
•Sustainable and long-lasting.
•Available in hardwood or softwood.
•Can be used in urban environments.
•Can prevent accumulation of; litter, dirt and food waste.
•Needs re-staining or oiling.
•Needs yearly maintenance.
•Can fade, crack, splinter or warp over time.
•Hardwood can be more expensive.
Composite decking (plastic and wood)•Easy to install.
•Slip resistance and splinter resistance.
•High resistance to insects and moisture.
•Available in a variety of colours and styles.
•Hard-wearing with low-maintenance requirements.
•Can fade over time.
•At risk of scratches.
•At the risk of mould and mildew.
•Can be weighty and sag over time.
•Can be toxic (depending on materials used).
Aluminium decking •Fixings can be hidden.
•Exceptionally long life.
•Can be recycled over and over.
•Highly durable with corrosion resistance.
•Incredibly versatile for simple or complex plans.
•Lightweight for easy transportation and handling.
•A hollow decking board that can disperse heat faster.
•Design choices can be limited.
•Can cost more with the initial purchase.
•A noise risk when walking across it or during heavy rainfall (check whether your decking is manufactured with noise-reducing features).

Want specifics about your ideal type of decking? Find out how long composite decking lasts, whether aluminium decking scratches easily and how to keep your decking clean in our handy guides.

Marley CitiDeck Non-Slip Timber Decking 2Millboard Composite Decking Bullnose Edging Strip 2

Decking board vs decking tiles

Whether you believe it or not, choosing decking tiles or decking boards does affect your decking. Below is a breakdown of the various pros and cons of each.

Types of deckingProsCons
Decking boards•Decking in its traditional form.
•Long lifespan.
•Can add value to a property.
•More consistent design.
•More suitable for projects with more complex or grand designs (e.g. raised decking).
•Less than favourable initial cost.
•At risk of rot and dampness if untreated.
•Will need treatment before laying and decorating.
Decking tiles•Easy to install and clean.
•Can be snapped in place for temporary or permanent fixtures.
•Used for smaller decking spaces.
•Can be put over existing surfaces.
•Can be easily removed/replaced because of snap technology.
•Commonly available with the anti-slip feature.
•Little design consistency.
•Limited lifetime so needs regular maintenance.

You can choose to have a decking kit if preferred. They typically have all the accessories needed to install a new deck. Some decking kits also have pergolas included if you want something extra fancy.

Allur Double-Sided Composite Decking Board 6Wallbarn Ipe Hardwood Timber Decking Tile 2

How much does decking cost?

Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast rule to the cost of decking. With that said, average decking prices can be around as little as £1000 to as high as £30,000. These varying costs are affected by:

  • The number of accessories your deck will have (i.e. stairs, balustrades, etc).
  • The material of your decking.
  • How large your deck will be.
  • The design of the decking (non-slip, smooth, textured, etc).
  • How complicated the installation will be.

In some cases, you will even find softwood cheaper than hardwood decking despite both being wood. The reasoning for this is hardwood is a bit denser and more durable than softwood.

Allur Double-Sided Composite Decking Board 7

So, you’re all ready to buy and install your new deck. You’ll need to plan it out first. Do you want raised decking too? We also have a guide to staining your decking if you want a surface that looks shiny and new.

The possibilities are endless. Explore our range of decking at Landscaping Superstore, then check out our other guides to help you through the process.

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