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Activity Feed Forums Garden ideas & inspiration Q&A Composite decking – yes or no?

  • Composite decking – yes or no?

    Posted by John Humphreys on April 21, 2023 at 9:42 pm

    I’ve been looking at hard landscaping recently and my wife mentioned composite decking.

     

    I’ve looked into it and the companies who sell it push it as being environmentally friendly as it uses recycled materials, albeit a mixture of wood and plastic, especially black plastic which is otherwise hard to recycle.

    So is using composite good as it uses otherwise wasted materials, or is it not a good thing as it’s adding plastic to a garden which would not be there if a pure wood alternative was used?

    I guess it doesn’t need treatment to keep it in shape, so there’s less need to put wood preservative on it, with unknown chemicals in.

    Anyone have any views?

    Juju replied 5 months, 3 weeks ago 5 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies
  • Craig A

    Administrator
    April 22, 2023 at 10:09 am

    Great question, I’ve often thought about this too. I’ve not had any experience with composite so it would be great to hear other peoples opinions 👍

  • frankmurphy50

    Member
    April 22, 2023 at 4:43 pm

    We’ve had wooden decking in a couple of places and it looks great for a few years but only if you really take care of it. We found that it tends to look less and less attractive year on year even when it’s treated regularly. We’ve also tried composite boards and found them ideal. Easy to clean with a jet washer, no maintenance to talk of and no splinters. Hope that helps

  • Rick

    Member
    October 5, 2023 at 3:10 am

    Hi John,

    Our deck was replaced with composite decking planks 18 years ago. They are still in wonderful shape and have had no trouble coping with our climate (hot humid summers and cold snowy winters). They haven’t warped. You can walk on the deck in bare feet without any fear of slivers. There is zero maintenance. The original brown colour has darkened a bit. It might be tempting to use a power washer but this isn’t recommended as it might damage the surface. The only damage we have is a few spots where the squirrels have decided to gnaw on some edges–the damage is very minor. I hate using stain so this product has been great. You can use the extra offcuts as edging in the garden as it will not rot. If you are building a raised deck the wooden support structure needs to be able to handle the extra weight of the planks. I would never consider building any other kind of deck.






















  • Juju

    Member
    November 2, 2023 at 2:16 pm

    Hi John,

    I’m new to the forum so this reply is probably too late, but we had to make the decision a few years ago and decided to go with Kebony which is a chemically engineered softwood that is practically maintenance-free if you just let it weather. It has the properties of hardwood yet it comes from FSC certified woods and it can be recycled just as ordinary wood. If you want to preserve the nice tropical-style dark colour it requires oiling but the silvery colour that comes with age is also very nice. And it’s so nice to walk barefoot! Never gets too hot in the summer. Due to a special way of installation there are no screws/nails through the wood (just in the gaps between the boards).

    Judith

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