Building a new deck, patio, or unique outdoor living space is an investment that delivers an excellent return on investment and years of quality of life benefits. But the rise of composite decking and differences between natural wood materials tasks property owners with an abundance of choices. At Steel Improvements WA, our staff of experienced professionals understand that sometimes home and business owners have too many choices. We hope the following information about the similarities and differences between timber and composite decking help you make an informed decision.
What is Timber Decking?
This type of construction material is manufactured from a wide range of hardwood and softwood tree species. The outdoor decking Perth residents typically select is used for outdoor patios and elevated areas on residential or commercial properties.
These usually long plank boards include designs such as tongue-and-groove that allow for seamlessly interlocking. Other decking Perth home and business owners utilize are boards that position small gaps between each that allow rain to flow through and prevent puddling. Although wide-reaching types of timber are used, these rank among the preferred hardwoods:
- Spotted Gum
Treated pine tends to be the most prevalent softwood timber decking Perth residents choose. Although it may not deliver the high-quality lustre of hardwood decking, treated pine is often considered a cost-effective option that enjoys longevity.
What is Composite Decking?
When considering composite decking material, it’s essential to keep in mind that products can greatly differ. The composite decking Perth residents have available can be made from a wide range of materials. They can be more different, in terms of composition, than alike in many cases. That being said, as a home or business owner, it’s important to have baseline information to make an informed decision. These are common materials used to make the composite decking supplies Perth residents can access.
- Polyethylene Plastics
- Wood Fibers such as Sawdust
- Recycled Materials
The manufacturing process combines the various raw materials in machinery that mixes and melts them down. This material is then forced through a “die” to form a plank’s dimensions that often mirrors the timber decking supplies Perth construction crews use. The decking materials are typically pre-coloured, and a wide range of options are available.
How are the Composite & Timber Decking Perth Residents Select Different?
The inherent differences between the two materials stem from their material base. Solid wood products look and feel distinctly different from composite deck materials. Natural wood enjoys classic lines and enjoys staining flexibility. The timber decking Perth home and business owners select can be enhanced and preserved with niche stains that match other landscape or home elements. This allows people to tie everything together aesthetically.
By contrast, composite decking generally comes in set colour options. Manufacturers do provide expansive colour choices, as well as sizes and textures that natural wood may not effectively emulate. Composite decking does enjoy a look and feel of its own.
Beyond aesthetic values, it’s important to note that these materials function differently. Timber deck boards can absorb water and be prone to swelling. Seasonal changes and exposure task home and business owners with ongoing maintenance. Even hardwood materials require weather treatments.
Over time, it may also be necessary to sand and stain decking due to wear, weather, and direct sunlight. Although treated pine is designed to stave off rot and deterioration, it can be prone to cracking and chipping. Composite materials generally withstand the test of time without maintenance.
How are Timber & Composite Decking Perth Residents Select Similar?
When a deck is erected, treated timber is generally used for the underlying structure. The decking materials are then glued and screwed into that lumber. Because this is how most decks and outdoor patios are created, both types of materials must conform structurally. That’s why composite and timber deck boards can be purchased in many of the same lengths and widths.
The possible design options are also generally equal because experienced construction professionals carry saw blades and other tools that work seamlessly with both types. Manufacturers also offer decking that interlocks or includes space between each length. In essence, the composite and timber decking Perth residents can access are remarkably similar.
What Perth Residents Like About Timber Decking
Composite alternatives have only challenged natural wood decking during the past few decades. Wood materials were the go-to material for so long it was something of a culture shift for people to trend toward composites. Even though preferences are becoming more evenly split, these are reasons people like timber decking.
- Character: Homeowners often believe that the look and feel of natural wood enhance the quality of their property more than other decking options.
- Cost: Treated pine ranks among the most cost-effective options to build a deck or patio. When property owners consider its longevity, the fact it is a natural wood material, and relatively low upfront cost, the math equals good value.
- Durability: When properly maintained, wood decking can last for decades.
- Colour Options: Because timber decking can be installed as a blank canvas, home and business owners can choose wide-reaching outdoor stains or paints to complete it.
What Perth Property Owners Like About Composite Decking
There are good reasons that composite decking has earned a place on Perth residents’ decks and patios. Like its timber counterpart, it delivers a range of desirable benefits. These rank among the common reasons community members like composite decking.
- Zero Maintenance: Composite decking material does not require ongoing maintenance. Unless they sustain a hard impact or are exposed to flame, property owners gain peaceful enjoyment without upkeep.
- Pest Resistant: Ants and other bugs can bore into pure wood materials and damage their structural integrity. This is considered a non-issue for composite materials.
- Design Options: The companies making composite decking continue to expand their product options. More mixed colours and textures are coming to market. Property owners are seeing more choices.
Who Should Choose Timber Decking?
Property owners who own homes or commercial buildings erected from traditional wood materials may find that timber decking makes sense. Composite materials can look slightly different from other building materials such as clapboard, shiplap, and old-style posts, among others. Treated wood decking may also present a cost-effective way to expand outdoor living space within certain budget parameters.
Who Should Choose Composite Decking?
If you are not a handy homeowner or prefer not to add workhours to property maintenance chores, composite decking offers a practical solution. The material is durable, attractive, and takes deck repair off your to-do list. Composite decking materials can be equally cost-effective when decision-makers factor in longevity and eliminating the cost of upkeep, among others.
Types of Decking Steel Improvements Offers Perth Residents
At Steel Improvements WA, our team of experienced construction professionals is committed to delivering quality decks, patios, and outdoor living spaces for our community members. We offer leading brands that include Azek, Trex, Eva-Last, Hardiedeck, Modwood, and Timber Deck. In terms of timber decking Perth residents can select, Merbau, Blackbutt, Spotted Gum, and Jarrah, among other popular hardwoods. We are also able to source treated pine and other natural wood decking choices to meet your needs.