If you are in the process of choosing new or replacement decking for your outdoor living space then you will have, no doubt, been swamped with the various products and offerings on that ‘quick’ Internet search. The market has a lot to offer and as such here are some things to bear in mind when making your choice, who knows, you might even save some time and money.
Wood-plastic composite – A mixture of wood fiber, wood flour, plastic, and various thermoplastics, reasonably priced and offers the best of both worlds in terms of using a mixture of materials.
PVC Decking – Has a zero-wood content and is made solely of polyvinyl chloride or (plastic) for those of us that are non-technical. It tends to be more expensive due to its durability, low maintenance characteristics and manufacturing processes.
Composite lumber – Contains a mixture of wood fiber, plastic and a bonding agent, together they make a denser, heavier and stronger product than lumber alone.
Modwood – An Australian made and owned product, a mixture of wood and recycled plastic milk bottles. A reasonably new product to the market, modwood Brisbane is causing a bit of a stir with its eco-friendly mixture of materials.
Wood – As the name might suggest, it is quite simply, wood. If you want a 100% natural product then this would be the one to go for. Although the wood will be treated to ensure protection and waterproofing, it does not last forever and will require maintenance if you want your decking to last.
Concrete – Is what is says on the tin, tried and tested, long lasting but doesn’t offer anything by way of aesthetics and can be prone to cracking.
Metal – There are various materials available for metal decking but the most practical, being aluminum, which is probably the most expensive option you will come across. There is a reason for the price tag, durability and almost zero maintenance is needed.
None the wiser?
Still a hard choice to make isn’t however it can become a whole lot easier if you prioritise what is important to you in terms of materials, maintenance and cost. Everybody wants good value for money, but unfortunately it really is a tossup between cost and quality. If you want the cheapest then expect to maintain it regularly and replace it sooner that you would like.
If you want the easiest maintenance then you either have plastic, or aluminum, but with those you have ‘plastic’ and probably the most expensive option on the market. Compromise normally works best, get the most for your money in all areas, ecofriendly, fairly priced, local manufacturing and maintenance that isn’t over demanding.