Understanding the Differences between Composite and Timber Decking

28 April 2020

If you have ample space beyond your internal living quarters, investing in outdoor improvements can make your home feel more welcoming. Having a backyard might be a good start towards living space expansion. Aside from your backyard, one of its great companions is a deck. A deck may be used as part of a garden landscaping, an extension of your living areas, and as an alternative to patios and other similar structures. 

To date, there are two popular material options for decking: composite and timber. Composite and timber are two known materials in the construction industry. They have certain features and properties that make them recommendable for decking and other projects. To know their key differences, here are some deck properties that you must consider. 


Both timber and composite material can be associated with woody appearance. Timber decking has a traditional wood appearance that makes the whole structure more natural and elegant to look at. It even has a large variety of grains, colours, textures, and finishes. However, one disadvantage of this type of decking is that it fades and gets damaged over time. Composite decking, on the other hand, can give you multi-coloured wood beauty that is matched with durable performance. Even after a few decades, fading, splinters, or insect damage will not be a problem with composite decking. Just expect some plasticky appearance in the long run. 


Both timber and composite material can be ripped and routed easily by using common tools. One advantage of composite over timber material, though, is that it can be easily bent through heating to fit any type of space or shape. One concern about composite material is the number of chemicals used in its manufacturing process. 


One natural property of timber is that it absorbs liquid very quickly. Once timber decking is exposed to a huge amount of liquid, you may find it warping, splintering, cracking, and rotting in the long run. Alternatively, composite decking can resist moisture since it is made of recycled plastic and wood. Any cases of decay are mostly non-existent with this type of material.


Timber decking may be a hassle for some homeowners as it requires constant cleaning. Its cleaning period must be done every 16 to 32 hours. Moreover, it must be painted, stained, sealed every year if you want to protect it against moisture. Composite decking does not need this type of cleaning schedule. In fact, this type of decking only requires 2 to 4 hours of cleaning in a year. Just remember to get it cleaned, even just by sweeping or washing it as it can host for mould and grime if they are not cleaned for at least around 3 to 4 years.  


Undoubtedly, most types of timber decking will be cheaper compared to composite decking. But the price you are paying for your composite decking can be beneficial for you in the long run, especially with its accompanying properties and overall value. You do not have to maintain your composite decking in a regular interval as opposed to timber decking. Moreover, since it cannot be damaged that easily, you can expect your composite decking to last for a very long time, which refrains you from spending a lot just for another round of installation or repairs.

Both timber and composite materials are great options for your deck plans. It still comes down to your preference given the enumerated qualities. For your decking needs, just contact us at Prestige Construction and Design Sydney. We specialise in deck building whether single or multi-level, depending on your preferences and needs.