Composite Decking verses Timber Decking

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • #246

    Composite Decking is better than Timber Decking……….well is it?


    If you had to choose a preference between Timber Decking and Composite Decking what would your choice be.


    A pure timber, hardwood decking, perfectly smoothed and finished with a high quality decking oil, is this you? Exterpark, Woodtrend, Deck Supply Company


    or HDPE, cheap plastic from China, some better than others….maybe so or perhaps not


    Millboard,Trex perhaps, Timbertech, Ecodeck, Maine,


    let us know..


    My view on this having work in the world of WPC for some 12 years is this…..

    There is no other product that is as versatile as wood. Harwood when treated correctly is without doubt the best looking product. That said the new generations of WPC (with capping) offers some added value that cannot be ignored in this short term world we live in. Warrantees are now available from the likes of Trex covering colour fade and stain of 25 years.

    WPc still does not have the best image as the quality of products mainly from China have held back Europe,s uptake significantly. The USA, Asia and other areas have a larger uptake of WPc but this is still only a modest percentage of the overall market volume/value.

    Usage of WPC products is increasing significantly faster than either soft or hardwood variants and this trend will continue for at least the next 5 years.


    softwood deck or millboard for me ,I dont feel comfortable with hardwood deck im just not sure about its sustainability tropical hardwoods should stay in the tropics as far as i can see, I know it looks wonderful when installed,but im just not sure about it


    Composite decking encompases a broad range of products and ‘base polymers’. HDPE is by no means the only polymer used for this application. Many decks are made of recycled polymers that may be 100% HDPE of varying grades to blends of HDPE, MDPE and LLDPE. Recent stastics show that Virgin PVC based WPC is growing in market share. PVC based WPC offers a further range of performance properties – low water absorption after 14 days immersion (not the 24 hour test frequently quoted), higher flexural modulus than most composites resulting in greater distance between supports with less deformation, high limiting oxygen index giving a reduction in burning behaviour, excellent colour stability, high impact strength passing the quoted drop test of 100kg from 1.5 metres with supports at 600mm centres and high wear/slip resistance. From these comments, it is clear that Duraflex has chosen to follow the PVC route for our UK manufacture. However, the growing market has a place for all quality decks spanning a range of materials, finishes and properties. To state one quality deck type is better than another is dependant on the application, the end user requirements, customer perceptions, fixing methods and numerous other variables and attributes. However, what is clear is that responsible deck manufacturers should be promoting quality decking, high standards of design and installation backed by factual performance data. The label cheap from China implies all Chinese products are inferior. This is not the case, neither is it true that all European/US products are of good quality. I have read inaccurate articles highlighting the negatives of one deck type over another. this only results in a tit for tat approach and results in confusion in the customer base which ultimately drives custom elsewhere. A growing number of quality installers are now offering good timber decks alongside good WPC decks. Is hardwood the best looking deck – only if the customer believes this to be so.


    Do we then need a standard to differentiate between the very many composites.

    Some say they are from recycled materials, last for ever, colour stable etc etc, the consumer can only read this information and only disbelieve this information if it transpires that the product doesn’t stand up to the sales pitch.

    BREEAM would be a deciding factor for many when considering a “green” decking product.
    BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method) is the leading and most widely used environmental assessment method for buildings. It sets the standard for best practice in sustainable design and has become the de facto measure used to describe a building’s environmental performance. This accounts for the materials used on an individul basis.

    Also CE marking would benefit the purchaser and make products stand out from the crowd in terms of quality and credibly back up the product information sales pitch. This will be a mandatory requirement for all construction materials used commercialy from 2013 onwards.

    Standards are a great leveller when many similar products are brought to the table for selection.

    This would also seperate the hype from companies purporting incorrect information when writing a sales pitch.


    A weather question! Do you have to ‘go with the grain’ whilst removing snow from hardwood decking  and refrain from metal shovels? And what is the best way on composites-a large broom?


    One can assume that the least damage to the boards would be if you were to clean in the direction of the grain, by having a smooth finsh rather than a grooved finish makes all maintenace easier as there are no grooves for debris to get stuck into.


    With regard to composite, there are so many and they probably differ according to the manufacturers instructions, for the better part refrain from using rock salt as the damage to the surface sometimes can’t be repaired, other than that I guess yu are right, a stiff broom it is…



    Claudia de Yong said:

    A weather question! Do you have to ‘go with the grain’ whilst removing snow from hardwood decking  and refrain from metal shovels? And what is the best way on composites-a large broom?

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.