Category: Decking Advice

Decking: Your Ultimate Guide to Design, Types, and Maintenance


Adding decking to your outdoor area transforms it into a welcoming haven for relaxation, entertainment, and immersing yourself in the beauty of nature. If you’re contemplating constructing a new deck or refurbishing an existing one, our thorough guide is here to walk you through every aspect of decking. It aims to arm you with all the necessary information, ensuring you’re well-equipped to make knowledgeable choices for your decking project.

Chapter 1: Decking 101

Welcome to the exciting realm of decking! In this section, we’re setting off on an adventure to uncover the essentials of decking. We’ll provide you with a comprehensive overview of what decking entails, its function, and the reasons it stands out as an exceptional option for elevating your outdoor living area. Whether you are an experienced homeowner aiming to refine your current deck or a newcomer eager to develop a backyard retreat, this chapter serves as your indispensable introduction.

What is Decking?

Decking is essentially an outdoor platform or structure, often elevated and commonly affixed to the rear or side of a home. It acts as a seamless extension of your indoor living area, offering a perfect spot for relaxation, entertainment, and engaging with the natural world. Constructed from a variety of materials, including popular options like wood and composite, decking is available in an array of styles and designs to match your personal taste and enhance your home’s aesthetic.

The Purpose of Decking

Having introduced what decking is, it’s time to explore its myriad purposes:

  1. Outdoor Entertainment: Decking offers a versatile space for hosting gatherings, barbecues, and parties. It’s the ideal setting for enjoying quality time with friends and family, all while savouring the beauty of the outdoors.
  2. Relaxation: Imagine sipping your morning coffee on a serene deck, or unwinding with a book in the gentle breeze. Decking provides a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
  3. Aesthetic Appeal: Decking can enhance the curb appeal and overall aesthetic of your home. It’s like a canvas for your outdoor décor, allowing you to express your style through furnishings, lighting, and landscaping.
  4. Value Addition: Well-designed and maintained decking can increase the resale value of your home. It’s an attractive feature for potential buyers who appreciate the allure of outdoor living spaces.

Why Decking Enhances Your Outdoor Living Space

Why consider decking as a prime upgrade for your outdoor living area? Here are some persuasive reasons:

  • Flexibility: Decking stands out for its flexibility, easily accommodating various terrains, including slopes and irregular landscapes. It can transform these challenging areas into extended, usable living spaces where conventional construction methods may falter.
  • Low Upkeep: The maintenance required for decking varies with the material selected, but many options are designed for ease of care. This means less effort to maintain than traditional outdoor surfaces such as lawn or paving stones.
  • All-Season Enjoyment: Properly designed decking can be a year-round destination in your garden. Incorporating elements like a cosy fire pit for the winter months or protective pergolas for summer can make your deck a comfortable space regardless of the season.
  • Personalization: The potential for customizing your decking is boundless. It can be designed to fit your specific needs and preferences, from integrated benches and outdoor kitchens to indulgent additions like a spa.

In essence, decking transcends being merely an add-on to your property. It becomes a vibrant scene for creating lasting memories, a serene spot to admire nature’s beauty, and a canvas for expressing your unique style.

Moving forward in this guide, we’ll explore deeper into the materials available for decking, the array of design options, and crucial factors to consider, ensuring your decking endeavour turns into a captivating highlight of your home. Whether you’re dreaming of a tranquil retreat or a functional extension of your living space, decking offers the groundwork to bring those visions to life.

Chapter 2: Types of Decking Materials

Welcome to Chapter 2 in our comprehensive guide to decking, where we’re set to traverse the expansive terrain of decking materials. Selecting the appropriate material is a pivotal step in your decking venture, one that influences durability, visual appeal, and practicality. This chapter promises an in-depth examination of the three main contenders in decking materials: wood, composite, and other decking options. By the culmination of this discussion, you’ll possess the knowledge needed to choose wisely, aligning your selection with your unique desires and requirements.

Wooden Decking


  • Timeless Beauty: Wood decking boasts a classic, natural charm that appeals to many homeowners. It seamlessly blends with various architectural designs, from traditional elegance to rustic vibes.
  • Cost-Efficiency: Generally, wood decking comes with a more affordable initial cost in comparison to other decking materials.
  • DIY Compatibility: For the handy individual with carpentry skills, installing a wood deck can be a fulfilling do-it-yourself project.


  • High Maintenance Needs: Wooden decks demand consistent upkeep, including staining, sealing, and the occasional refinishing, to avoid problems like splintering and rot.
  • Weather Vulnerability: Exposed to the elements, wooden decks can suffer from moisture damage, UV degradation, and pest infestations, potentially leading to warping, cracking, or decay.
  • Environmental Impacts: Certain wood varieties used in decking may come from non-sustainable sources, raising concerns about deforestation. Nonetheless, environmentally friendlier choices such as pressure-treated wood are accessible.

Composite Decking Materials


  • Ease of Care: Composite decking stands out for its low-maintenance nature. Unlike wood, it doesn’t require staining, sealing, or regular cleaning.
  • Long-lasting: Known for its robustness, composite materials resist rotting, splintering, and damage from insects, offering a lifespan that often surpasses that of wood.
  • Design Flexibility: With its vast selection of colours and finishes, composite decking offers ample opportunity for personalization to suit your aesthetic preferences.


  • Increased Upfront Investment: The initial expense for composite decking materials tends to be higher than that of wood. Yet, the reduction in ongoing maintenance costs can balance out this initial financial outlay over time.
  • Potential for Heat Absorption: In direct sunlight, composite decking may absorb more heat, possibly making it uncomfortably warm for barefoot strolls during peak summer temperatures.

Chapter 3: Decking Design Ideas

This chapter is dedicated to unveiling the vast spectrum of decking design options, ranging from timeless and traditional aesthetics to contemporary and minimalist styles.

Classic Elegance

  1. Wraparound Porch Deck: Capture the eternal allure of a wraparound porch with this decking style that encircles your house, providing various cozy nooks for admiring both the dawn and dusk.
  2. Victorian Elegance: Adopt a design filled with lavish details by adding ornate balusters, detailed railings, and decorative elements, all reminiscent of Victorian sophistication. Opt for gentle pastels or timeless white to achieve that iconic look.
  3. Wood-Stone Fusion: Blend the warmth of wooden decking with the enduring beauty of stone features, such as an integrated fireplace or stone columns. This combination brings rustic elegance to your outdoor living space.

Modern Minimalism

  1. Modern Minimalism: Elevate your outdoor space with a modern, minimalist deck featuring sleek, clean lines. Choose a monochromatic palette and slender railings for subtle sophistication.
  2. Tiered Design: Add dimension and intrigue to your deck with multi-level structures. Each tier can offer a unique function, from a dining area to a lounge space or a recessed hot tub, enriching your outdoor living experience.
  3. Transparent Barriers: Opt for glass railings to maintain uninterrupted views while ensuring safety. This contemporary choice enhances the sense of openness and brings a modern edge to your deck design.

Nature-inspired Retreat

  1. Nature-Fused Design: Harmonize your decking area with the surrounding environment by integrating natural elements such as container gardens, floral arrangements, and miniature trees. This approach fosters a peaceful, garden-esque ambiance.
  2. Tranquillity Deck: Design a peaceful refuge with inspiration from Zen gardens. Include soothing features such as a petite water fountain, bamboo decorations, and soft floor pillows for moments of meditation or rest.
  3. Arboreal Haven: Utilize the trees in your yard by constructing your deck to encompass them. This concept not only conserves the existing greenery but also offers a distinctive, elevated outdoor experience.

Coastal and Beachy

  1. Seaside Elegance: Capture the essence of the sea with a deck styled in a nautical theme. Use a palette of navy and white, add railings reminiscent of ship ropes, and decorate with maritime accessories for that oceanic allure.
  2. Coastal Retreat: Transform your outdoor space into a slice of beach paradise with comfortable seating like hammocks and Adirondack chairs set on a sand-toned deck. Enhance the beach vibe with outdoor showers or a coastal-inspired fire pit.
  3. Dock-Inspired Deck: Design your deck to emulate the quaint charm of a dock extending along your garden or over a water feature. Decorate with elements such as fishnets, pieces of driftwood, and pebbles to complete the maritime ambiance.

Design Tips

Match Your Home’s Design: Ensure your deck design is in harmony with the architectural style of your home, be it colonial, contemporary, or cottage.

Innovate with Deck Patterns: Incorporate distinctive decking patterns like herringbone, diagonal, or chevron to introduce an element of visual intrigue.

Incorporate Lighting: Remember to add outdoor lighting to make your deck welcoming after dusk. Options include fairy lights, integrated LED lighting, or elegant outdoor lanterns.

Choose Appropriate Furniture and Décor: Pick outdoor furniture and decorative items that complement your deck’s design theme, enhancing its overall feel and aesthetics.

By considering these suggestions and weaving in your personal flair, you can craft a deck that not only elevates your outdoor area but also mirrors your individual taste and lifestyle. Embark on this creative endeavour and bring your dream deck to life!

Chapter 4: Decking Installation Tips

Congratulations on your journey to creating the perfect outdoor space with decking! In this chapter, we’ll guide you through the essential steps for planning and executing a successful decking project. Whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or hiring a professional, these practical tips will ensure a smooth and satisfying installation. Let’s get started on your deck installation journey.

Planning Your Deck

  1. Verify Local Guidelines: Prior to initiating your project, consult your local government to understand the necessary permits or building regulations related to deck construction. Adhering to these rules is essential to prevent future legal complications.
  2. Planning Your Deck: Carefully consider the dimensions, form, and arrangement of your deck. Take into account aspects such as exposure to sunlight, movement patterns, and how the deck will blend with your home’s architecture and garden layout.
  3. Selecting Materials Within Your Budget: Decide on a decking material that meets both your functional needs and financial plan. Remember, various materials come with different price points and upkeep demands.

Site Preparation

  1. Prepare the Site: Clear the site of any obstructions, rubbish, or plant life. Make certain that the surface is even and devoid of any impediments that could hinder installation.
  2. Establishing a Strong Foundation: The type of foundation required—be it concrete footings, piers, or a wooden base—will vary based on your geographical location and the nature of the soil. It’s critical to secure a robust base to ensure the deck’s durability.
  3. Managing Water Flow: Ensuring effective water runoff is crucial to avoid accumulation beneath your deck. Implement a gradient or a drainage solution to channel water away from your property’s foundation.

Installation Techniques

  1. Building the Frame: Use pressure-treated wood or your selected material to build the deck’s framework. Pay attention to ensuring even spacing and levelness, and firmly attach the frame to your home’s foundation for stability.
  2. Installing Deck Boards: Position the deck boards across the joists with adequate spacing between them to accommodate expansion and shrinkage. Secure the boards in place using screws or concealed fasteners as advised by the manufacturer.
  3. Adding Railings: For decks that feature railings, attach them firmly in place, making sure they comply with local building standards. Besides improving safety, railings contribute to the overall visual appeal of your deck.
  4. Applying the Final Coats: Protect and beautify your deck with a stain or sealer to shield it against weather conditions. For areas frequently exposed to water, consider applying a non-slip finish to enhance safety.

Safety Considerations

  1. Prioritize Safety: During the deck installation process, make safety your top concern. Wear the right personal protective gear, adhere to safety protocols, and enlist the assistance of a partner for certain tasks.
  2. Routine Inspections: Consistently examine your deck for indications of deterioration, damage, or loosening parts after it has been installed. Quickly rectify any problems to ensure the deck remains safe and durable.

Decking Construction Tips

  • Invest in Quality Tools: Acquiring high-quality tools and equipment is essential for a smooth and efficient deck installation process.
  • Adhere to Manufacturer’s Instructions: It’s crucial to follow the guidelines provided by the manufacturer of your decking material to ensure correct installation and preserve warranty eligibility.
  • Consult Experts When Necessary: Should you encounter any uncertainties during the deck building process, seeking advice from professionals is advisable. Expert input is invaluable for maintaining both safety and structural integrity.

By adhering to these key tips for decking installation, you’ll be well-equipped to craft an attractive, secure, and enduring outdoor area. Whether your project is a modest deck or a large-scale outdoor retreat, meticulous planning and careful implementation will culminate in a delightful space for years of enjoyment.

Chapter 5: Deck Maintenance and Care

Your deck serves as more than just an additional outdoor area; it represents a significant contribution to both the market value of your home and the quality of life for you and your loved ones. To safeguard this investment and extend its lifespan, consistent upkeep is crucial. In this section, we’ll highlight the importance of diligent maintenance and provide practical advice and methods for cleaning, staining, and fixing different types of decking materials. Join us as we explore deck maintenance, aiming to keep your outdoor haven a place of enjoyment and pride.

Why Deck Maintenance Matters

Your deck endures the harshness of weather throughout the year, and lacking proper upkeep, it can quickly fall into disrepair. This underscores the necessity of consistent maintenance:

Durability: Regular care prolongs your deck’s service life, ultimately sparing you from expensive repairs or the need for early replacement.

Security: Ensuring your deck is regularly maintained contributes to its safety. Routine checks and fixes help avert potential hazards due to compromised structure.

Appearance: Keeping up with maintenance not only preserves but enhances your deck’s aesthetic, boosting the attractiveness and pleasure of your outdoor living space.

Deck Cleaning

  • 1. Routine Sweeping: Keep your deck free from debris to fend off mould and mildew by regularly sweeping it. A broom or a leaf blower is effective for this task.
  • 2. Thorough Cleaning: Once a year or whenever necessary, give your deck a thorough wash using a power washer or a specialized deck cleaning product. Adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines for the appropriate cleaner and the correct pressure level.
  • 3. Combatting Mould and Mildew: Should mould or mildew appear, tackle these areas with a mix of water and a mildewcide. Be sure to scrub gently to prevent damage to your deck’s finish.
  • 4. Removing Stains: Act quickly to eliminate stains. Use a commercial deck stain remover for oil-based spots. For stains from rust or tannins, consider a rust-specific remover or a homemade mix of vinegar and water.

Staining and Sealing

  • 1. Optimal Timing: The frequency of staining or sealing your deck varies based on the material used. Generally, it’s recommended every 1-3 years, but always check the manufacturer’s guidelines and consider your local weather conditions.
  • 2. Preparing the Surface: Before staining or sealing, ensure your deck is thoroughly clean and completely dry. Sand down any rough patches or peeling paint to create a smooth surface.
  • 3. Choosing the Right Stain: Select a stain or sealer that not only suits your deck’s material but also meets your expectations for protection. Clear finishes will highlight the natural grain of the wood, whereas solid stains provide extensive colour and the highest level of protection.
  • 4. Even Application: For a uniform finish, apply your chosen product smoothly with a brush, roller, or sprayer, paying close attention to the directions provided with the product for optimal outcomes.

Repair and Restoration

  • 1. Routine Checks: Make it a habit to check your deck for any signs of loose boards, nails, or screws, and resolve such issues quickly to avoid more extensive damage.
  • 2. Dealing with Rot: Upon noticing any rot or decay, it’s crucial to replace the impacted boards or parts of the structure without delay. Be particularly vigilant about areas that are either in direct contact with the soil or tend to retain moisture.
  • 3. Deck Refinishing: To keep your deck looking its best and to prolong its lifespan, plan to refinish it every few years. This process involves either sanding or power washing the surface before applying a fresh layer of stain or sealer.

Deck Maintenance Tips

  • Protection First: Always don protective gear such as safety glasses and gloves while performing maintenance tasks on your deck.
  • Protect the Deck’s Surface: Place mats, use planters, or select furniture equipped with soft pads underneath to minimize scratches and other damage to your deck.
  • Seek Expertise When Needed: For complex maintenance issues or significant repairs, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional deck contractor for skilled guidance.

In conclusion, maintaining your deck meticulously is essential for its longevity, safety, and your continued enjoyment. By adhering to these maintenance recommendations and being diligent in your care, you’ll help ensure that your outdoor space remains an invaluable extension of your home for many years.

Chapter 6: Decking Safety

Safety must always be at the forefront of your considerations for your deck. It’s crucial whether you’re entertaining guests, spending quality time with family, or savouring moments of solitude outside. Recognizing your deck as a secure haven is essential. In this section, we will explore the importance of implementing safety precautions on your deck. This includes applying anti-slip solutions and considering various railing choices to make sure your outdoor retreat is not only pleasurable but also safe.

The Importance of Deck Safety

A beautifully designed and meticulously kept deck elevates your outdoor living area, yet it’s the underlying safety measures that truly enable this enjoyment. Here’s the importance of prioritizing safety for your deck:

  • Avoid Mishaps: Ensuring your deck is safe helps avoid accidents like slipping, tripping, and falling, particularly under wet or slick conditions. This reduces the chance of injuries for everyone who uses it, including family and guests.
  • Extend Deck Life: Conducting regular safety inspections and upkeep extends the lifespan of your deck, preventing expensive repairs or replacements down the line.
  • Meet Legal Requirements: Adhering to local building codes, which often mandate safety elements like railings, not only keeps your deck safe but also prevents potential legal complications.

Anti-Slip Decking Solutions

  • 1. Textured Decking: Opt for decking materials that have a textured finish. This added texture provides better grip, minimizing the risk of slipping and falling. Composite decking often includes this feature.
  • 2. Slip-Resistant Coatings: Enhance the grip of your deck by applying slip-resistant paint or coatings. These products offer a textured surface that improves traction and come in a variety of colors to complement your deck’s design.
  • 3. Traction Strips: For additional safety, especially in areas with high foot traffic or on steps, consider using adhesive anti-slip strips on your deck’s surface.
  • 4. Slip-Prevention Mats: Incorporate anti-slip mats or rugs in critical locations prone to slipperiness, like entrances or frequently walked paths.
  • 5. Regular Cleaning: Maintain a routine cleaning schedule for your deck to eliminate debris, mould, or algae accumulation, all of which can lead to a slippery surface. Clean with gentle soap and water, and rinse well. For persistent stains, consider a specialized deck cleaner or professional pressure washing, but steer clear of strong chemicals or bleach that could harm the wood.

Railing Options

  • 1. Classic Railings: Opt for the timeless appeal of wooden or metal railings to ensure stability and define the perimeter of your deck visually.
  • 2. Transparent Glass Railings: If you desire a clear view of your surroundings, glass railings are an excellent choice, offering protection without sacrificing the landscape’s visibility.
  • 3. Modern Cable Railings: With their minimalistic and contemporary design, cable railings enhance both the safety and aesthetic of your deck, making them ideal for modern outdoor spaces.
  • 4. Unified Composite Railings: For a seamless and unified outdoor area, consider composite railings that match your decking material. These railings are both sturdy and easy to maintain.

Deck Safety Guidelines

  • Routine Checks: Make it a habit to check your deck regularly for any loose planks, nails, or screws. Be vigilant for signs of wear like rot or decay, particularly in damp areas.
  • Stabilize Railings: Verify that all railings are tightly secured and comply with the local standards for height and distance between posts. A solid railing is vital for overall safety.
  • Adequate Lighting: Ensure your deck is well-lit by installing sufficient outdoor lighting. This not only improves visibility during the evening but also minimizes the chances of accidental trips and falls.
  • Safety Measures for Children and Pets: If your household includes young children or pets, think about adding safety gates or taking extra safety steps to keep them safe from harm.
  • Access to Safety Equipment: Always have emergency supplies such as a fire extinguisher and a first-aid kit within easy reach on your deck.

In summary, the significance of deck safety cannot be overstated. Through the adoption of anti-slip measures, selecting suitable railing choices, and adhering to safety protocols, you can make your deck a safe and delightful area for everyone. Remember, a deck that prioritises safety is a deck that brings happiness!

Chapter 7: Sustainable Decking

In our eco-aware society, making sustainable decisions is becoming more critical, extending to the realm of outdoor living areas. Choosing eco-friendly decking materials not only contributes to environmental preservation but also offers you a long-lasting and aesthetically pleasing retreat. This chapter will cover green alternatives for decking materials, such as responsibly sourced wood and recyclable composite options, allowing you to benefit your home and the planet simultaneously.

The Importance of Sustainable Decking

Sustainable decking materials come with a range of significant benefits:

  • Eco-friendliness: Opting for green decking options decreases the reliance on untouched resources, aiding in the conservation of ecosystems.
  • Durability: A lot of eco-friendly decking solutions boast durability and longevity, lessening the necessity for regular replacements and thus diminishing your environmental impact over time.
  • Well-being and Safety: Environmentally sustainable materials typically contain fewer toxic chemicals, fostering a safer and healthier outdoor setting for your loved ones.

Sustainable Decking Materials

  • 1. Eco-conscious Pressure-Treated Wood: When obtained from forests managed with environmental responsibility, pressure-treated timber is a green option. Seek out certifications such as the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) to ensure the wood meets sustainable standards.
  • 2. Long-lived Redwood and Cedar: The natural durability of redwood and cedar makes them sustainable choices by virtue of their longer life due to resistance against rot and decay.
  • 3. Sustainable Bamboo Decking: Bamboo, a fast-growing resource, offers a sustainable and durable choice for decking, thanks to its ability to be harvested in an eco-friendly manner.
  • 4. Composite Decking from Recycled Materials: Composite decking made from recycled components, including reclaimed wood and plastic, helps reduce landfill waste while minimizing the demand for new raw materials.
  • 5. Thermally Modified Timber: An environmentally friendly choice, thermally modified wood undergoes a heating process to enhance its durability and decay resistance. This method not only ensures sustainability but also provides distinctive aesthetics.

Sustainable Deck Design

Beyond selecting green materials, you can also integrate principles of sustainability into the design of your deck:

  • Reduce Waste: Design your deck to limit the need for cuts, which reduces waste. Whenever feasible, opt for salvaged or reclaimed materials.
  • Opt for Energy-Saving Lighting: Choose energy-saving lighting options for your deck, like solar-powered LED lights, to cut down on electricity use.
  • Harvest Rainwater: Implement a system for collecting rainwater, using barrels or a dedicated collection mechanism, which can then be used for watering your garden, thus conserving water.
  • Use Native Plantings: Incorporate plants native to your area in your landscaping to minimize the need for water and support local wildlife and plant diversity.
  • Choose Long-lasting Materials: By selecting materials that are both durable and require minimal upkeep, you’ll decrease the frequency of replacements, conserving resources over the longer term.

Eco-Friendly Deck Care

Maintaining sustainability doesn’t stop at installation. Sustainable deck care is equally important:

  • Green Cleaning Solutions: Opt for deck cleaners and stains that are gentle on the environment to reduce ecological damage.
  • Consistent Upkeep: Regularly maintaining your deck ensures it remains in prime condition, extending its life and lessening the necessity for future replacements.

In summary, making sustainable choices for your decking can significantly contribute to the conservation of our planet’s resources. Choosing materials that are kind to the environment, incorporating principles of sustainability into your deck’s design, and adopting eco-friendly maintenance practices allow you to develop a stunning outdoor area that is both beneficial for you and gentle on the Earth.

The decking industry is constantly advancing, introducing new trends that merge beauty, practicality, and innovation. Keeping abreast of these developments can enhance your outdoor living area, making it contemporary and visually striking. In this chapter, we will examine the most recent trends in decking, from colour schemes and surface finishes to the incorporation of cutting-edge technologies, enabling you to craft a deck that is not only fashionable but also a true representation of your personal taste.

1. Earthy Colour Palettes

Lately, there’s been a significant trend towards adopting earthy and natural hues for decking materials. Gentle and subdued shades such as cosy greys, desert beiges, and lush greens are becoming favoured choices. These tones foster a seamless blend with the natural surroundings, transforming your deck into a natural extension of the outdoors.

2. Matte Finishes

Matte textures are now preferred over glossy and shiny deck surfaces. These matte finishes deliver a refined, non-glossy look and create a gentle contrast with the outdoor environment. Additionally, they are often more resilient to marks and scratches, ensuring a consistently sleek and polished appearance.

3. Multi-Level Decks

The trend of multi-level decks introduces depth and complexity to outdoor living areas. By incorporating various levels, your deck can accommodate distinct functions like dining, relaxation, and entertainment. This architectural approach not only enhances the visual appeal but also optimally utilizes the available space on your deck.

4. Sustainable Materials

Eco-friendliness continues to be a central theme in decking trends, with homeowners gravitating towards materials that come from recycled and sustainable sources. Decking options such as recycled composites, eco-sustainable timber, and reclaimed resources are sought after for their environmentally friendly qualities.

5. Smart Deck Technology

The integration of technology into decking is gaining popularity. Features like intelligent lighting, motorized awnings, and built-in sound systems enable the construction of decks that are not just aesthetically pleasing but also practical and user-friendly. The convenience of controlling different deck features through remote or app-based systems enhances the functionality and enjoyment of your outdoor space.

6. Cosy Outdoor Furniture

Current decking trends focus on transforming your outdoor area into a warm and welcoming extension of your home. Soft, plush outdoor furnishings featuring deep seats, decorative cushions, and snug blankets invite leisure and comfort, making your deck a seamless continuation of your indoor living space.

7. Low-Maintenance Materials

Homeowners with hectic schedules are drawn to decking materials that demand little maintenance. Composite decking, known for its low upkeep needs, is rising in popularity due to its resistance to stains, fading, and splintering, making it an appealing option for those who prefer to enjoy their deck rather than constantly care for it.

Adopting these decking trends can elevate your outdoor area into a modern and welcoming space perfect for relaxation and entertainment. From choosing the right colour schemes and finishes to integrating technological advancements, keeping up with the latest trends enables you to craft a deck that is both fashionable and practical the years to come.


Congratulations! You’ve embarked on a comprehensive exploration of decking, covering every facet of this vital outdoor living area. To wrap up our guide, we’ll summarize the main insights and emphasize the importance of making knowledgeable choices regarding your decking endeavours.

Informed Decision-Making Matters

Decking transcends the notion of being merely a wooden or composite structure; it becomes an extension of your lifestyle and a backdrop for realizing your outdoor aspirations. Making informed choices is paramount, and we have equipped you with the necessary information to make those choices judiciously.

Your Deck, Your Style

Keep in mind that your deck mirrors your individual style and preferences. Whether you’re drawn to timeless sophistication, contemporary minimalism, or a retreat inspired by nature, your deck ought to be a manifestation of your personal flair.

Decking Is an Investment

Consider your decking project an investment in both your property’s value and your family’s pleasure. Thorough planning, selecting high-quality materials, and committing to regular upkeep will guarantee that this investment yields returns for many years ahead.

Safety First

Safety should always be a priority. Make certain that your deck complies with local construction regulations, includes measures to prevent slipping, and is properly maintained. A secure deck provides a place for relaxation and the creation of precious memories.

Sustainability Matters

When choosing materials for your deck, keep the environment in mind. Opting for sustainable materials minimizes your ecological footprint while still providing durability and aesthetic appeal.

Embrace the Trends

Keep up with the latest in decking trends, including colour schemes and the integration of smart technology. Adopting these trends can enhance your outdoor area, ensuring it remains contemporary and welcoming.

This Guide as Your Resource

As you set out on your decking adventure, consider this guide your essential companion. From planning and constructing to upkeep of your deck, the insights offered here will assist you at every juncture.

Decking opens up a realm of limitless possibilities. Whether it’s crafting a snug retreat for unwinding, a lively spot for entertainment, or a blend of both, your deck offers a blank slate ready for your unique imprint.

We invite you to dive into the various topics discussed in this guide, including choices of materials, design inspirations, maintenance tips, and eco-friendly practices. With this information at your disposal, you’re well-equipped to elevate your outdoor area into a picturesque blend of beauty, practicality, and unforgettable moments.

Thank you for allowing us to accompany you on your decking endeavour. May your deck emerge as a treasured extension of your home and a backdrop to many cherished experiences.

What Thickness of Decking is Best?

When it comes to creating the perfect outdoor oasis, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is choosing the right decking material; but have you ever considered the thickness of your deck boards? The thickness of your decking plays a crucial role in its overall strength, durability, and performance. In this guide, we’ll explore the different factors that influence the best thickness for your decking. Whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or someone considering their first deck project, join us as we dive into the world of decking thickness.

Understanding Wood Decking Thickness

Wood has long been a popular choice for decking due to its natural beauty and versatility. The standard thickness for all types of wood is typically 1 inch (25mm). However, depending on the type of wood you choose, opting for a thicker board can provide added sturdiness. Let’s take a closer look at some key considerations:

1. Type of Wood

Different types of wood have varying levels of strength and durability. For softer woods like pine or cedar, opting for a thicker board can help compensate for their lower density and provide better stability over time. Thicker boards are less likely to warp or sag under heavy foot traffic or adverse weather conditions.

2. Span Length

The distance between joists or supports underneath your deck plays a significant role in determining the appropriate thickness for your decking boards. Longer spans require thicker boards to ensure structural integrity and prevent excessive flexing or bouncing when walked upon.

3. Load-Bearing Capacity

Consider how much weight your deck will need to support regularly. If you anticipate hosting large gatherings or placing heavy furniture on your deck, choosing thicker boards can help distribute weight more evenly and prevent sagging or damage over time.

4. Aesthetic Preferences

Thicker decking boards can create a bolder visual statement and provide a more substantial feel underfoot. If you’re looking for a deck with a strong and robust appearance, opting for thicker boards can contribute to the overall aesthetic appeal of your outdoor space.

Exploring Non-Wood Decking Options

While wood decking has its charm, it does require regular maintenance and may not be the best option for everyone. If you prefer a low-maintenance and highly durable decking material, non-wood alternatives like RealGroove™ polymer deck boards are an excellent choice. Here’s why:

1. Superior Durability

RealGroove™ polymer deck boards are engineered to withstand the harshest elements without fading, scratching, or staining. With their advanced polymer core and protective cap, these boards offer exceptional resistance to moisture, insects, and UV rays.

2. Variety of Thicknesses

Unlike traditional wood decking, RealGroove™ offers multiple thickness options to suit your specific needs. Whether you prefer a standard 1-inch board or a beefier 1.5-inch board for added strength, there’s a thickness that caters to your preferences.

3. Enhanced Performance

The innovative technology behind RealGroove™ ensures long-lasting performance that surpasses traditional wood decking. These boards are designed to resist cupping, warping, or splitting over time while maintaining their structural integrity and beauty.

4. Sustainability

Choosing non-wood decking options contributes to sustainable practices by reducing the demand for logging and preserving natural forests worldwide. With RealGroove™, you can enjoy the benefits of a stunning deck while minimizing your environmental impact.

Weighing Your Options: Wood vs Non-Wood Decking Thickness

As you consider which thickness is best for your decking project, it’s essential to evaluate the pros and cons of each material type. While wood offers a classic look and feel with the option of thicker boards for added strength, non-wood decking materials like RealGroove™ provide superior durability, low maintenance, and a variety of thickness options to suit your needs.

Making Your Decision

Choosing the right thickness for your decking ultimately depends on your specific requirements, preferences, and the material you select. Consider factors such as wood type, span length, load-bearing capacity, and desired aesthetic appeal. If you opt for non-wood decking like RealGroove™, take advantage of their range of thicknesses to tailor your deck’s strength and appearance to perfection.

In conclusion, selecting the best thickness for your decking is a crucial decision that impacts both aesthetics and functionality. Whether you choose wood or non-wood decking materials, make sure to consider the unique characteristics of each option and how they align with your priorities. By understanding the factors at play and weighing your options carefully, you’ll be well on your way to creating a beautiful and long-lasting deck that enhances your outdoor living experience.

What’s Better, Composite or Timber Decking?

When it comes to creating a stunning outdoor space, one of the biggest decisions you’ll face is choosing between composite and timber decking. Both options have their merits, but which one is truly superior? Traditionalists may argue that nothing beats the timeless beauty of real timber, while others are drawn to the low-maintenance and durability of composite decking. In this post, we will explore the pros and cons of each material to help you make an informed decision for your decking project. So, let’s dive in and compare composite and timber decking!

Natural Charm: Timber Decking

For many people, the allure of timber decking lies in its natural charm and character. The warmth and richness of real wood can lend a sense of authenticity to any outdoor space. Here are some key points to consider when it comes to timber decking:

  • Versatility: Timber can be easily customized to suit your style preferences. Whether you prefer a stained finish or want to experiment with different paint colors, timber allows for greater flexibility in terms of aesthetics.
  • Ageless Beauty: While composite materials attempt to mimic the look of wood, there’s simply no substitute for the real thing. Timber has a unique grain pattern and texture that exudes timeless appeal.
  • Renewable Resource: If eco-friendliness is important to you, timber may be the way to go. Sustainably sourced timber decking ensures that you’re making a responsible choice for the environment.

However, it’s important to note that timber decking does come with some drawbacks. It requires regular maintenance such as varnishing or painting every few years to keep its appearance intact. Additionally, natural wood can be prone to warping or cracking over time if not properly cared for.

Low-Maintenance Durability: Composite Decking

If you’re looking for a decking material that requires minimal upkeep without compromising on durability, composite decking may be the answer. Here’s why it has gained popularity in recent years:

  • Longevity: Composite decking is renowned for its exceptional durability. Unlike timber, it doesn’t rot, warp, or splinter, making it an ideal choice for high-traffic areas or regions with harsh weather conditions.
  • Easy Maintenance: Unlike timber decking that requires regular staining or painting, composite decking only needs occasional cleaning with soap and water to keep it looking its best. This low-maintenance aspect is a major advantage for those who prefer to spend their time enjoying their outdoor space rather than maintaining it.
  • Safety: One of the significant advantages of composite decking is its slip-resistant surface. This feature is especially important if you have children or elderly individuals using the deck.

While composite decking offers numerous benefits, some purists argue that it lacks the natural charm and authenticity of timber. However, modern composite materials have come a long way in terms of replicating the look and feel of real wood, often featuring realistic grain patterns and textures.

Weather Resistance: Composite Decking Shines

When it comes to weather resistance, composite decking has a clear advantage over timber. Here’s why:

  • Moisture Resistance: Timber decking can absorb moisture over time, causing warping or rotting. In contrast, composite materials are engineered to be highly resistant to moisture damage.
  • UV Protection: Constant exposure to sunlight can cause timber decking to fade and lose its color over time. Composite materials are designed with UV protection, ensuring that your deck retains its vibrant appearance for years to come.
  • Insect and Pest Resistance: Timber can attract insects and pests such as termites or carpenter ants that can wreak havoc on your deck. Composite materials are impervious to these unwanted guests.

It’s worth noting that while timber requires regular maintenance to combat these issues, composite decking maintains its integrity without the need for constant upkeep.

Aesthetics and Customization Options

Both composite and timber decking offer a variety of aesthetic options to suit your personal style. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Composite Decking: In recent years, manufacturers have made tremendous strides in creating composite materials that closely resemble the look of real wood. Whether you prefer the appearance of tropical hardwoods or rustic timber, there’s a composite deck option that can mimic your desired aesthetic.
  • Timber Decking: The natural beauty and warmth of timber cannot be replicated perfectly by any other material. From classic hardwoods like cedar or redwood to exotic choices like tigerwood or teak, timber decking offers an extensive range of colours, grains, and finishes.

Ultimately, the choice between composite and timber decking boils down to personal preference. If you prioritize low maintenance, durability, and weather resistance, composite decking may be the best fit for your needs. However, if you appreciate the unique beauty and character of real wood and are willing to invest time in its maintenance, timber decking can create a timeless outdoor space.

Environmental Considerations

As our society becomes increasingly conscious of environmental impact, it is essential to consider sustainability when choosing materials for our projects. Here’s how each option fares:

  • Composite Decking: Composite materials are typically made from recycled plastics and reclaimed wood fibers. By opting for composite decking, you contribute to reducing waste while enjoying a long-lasting product.
  • Timber Decking: Sustainably sourced timber ensures that forests are managed responsibly and trees are replanted. Choosing certified timber products supports sustainable forestry practices.

When it comes to environmental considerations, both options have their merits. Ultimately, it’s important to choose a supplier with transparent sourcing practices for either composite or timber decking.

Conclusion: Making Your Choice

Choosing between composite and timber decking ultimately comes down to your priorities and preferences. If you value low maintenance, durability against harsh weather conditions, and a wide range of colors, composite decking may be the way to go. On the other hand, if you appreciate the natural beauty of real wood and are willing to invest time in its maintenance, timber decking can create a timeless outdoor space.

Consider factors such as aesthetics, durability, maintenance requirements, and environmental impact when making your decision. Whichever option you choose, investing in quality materials and professional installation will ensure that your deck becomes a beautiful extension of your home where cherished memories are made.

Why Are There Gaps Between Boards?

If you’re considering building or renovating a deck, you may have noticed something peculiar – gaps between the boards. At first glance, this might seem like an oversight or a design flaw, but in reality, those gaps serve a crucial purpose. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the reasons behind these gaps and why they are essential for the longevity and functionality of your decking project.

Understanding Swelling and Expansion

Before we dive into the specifics of decking gaps, it’s important to understand the concept of swelling and expansion. Wood is a natural material that responds to changes in temperature and moisture levels. When exposed to heat or humidity, wood tends to absorb moisture from its surroundings, causing it to expand. Conversely, during dry conditions or colder temperatures, wood loses moisture and contracts.

The Role of Gaps in Decking

  1. Accounting for Swelling: One primary reason for leaving gaps between deck boards is to account for swelling or expansion during condition changes. By leaving approximately 6-8mm gaps (dependent on the moisture content at installation), you allow room for the wood to naturally expand without causing damage or warping.
  2. Preventing Water Accumulation: Another vital function of decking gaps is facilitating water runoff. When it rains or when you use water to clean your deck, these spaces act as drainage channels, preventing water from pooling on your deck’s surface. This helps protect your deck from potential water damage and ensures its longevity.
  3. Aiding Air Circulation: Proper air circulation is crucial for maintaining healthy wood decking. The gaps between boards allow air to flow freely underneath the deck, helping to prevent moisture buildup that can lead to rotting or decay.
  4. Minimizing Dirt Accumulation: Without adequate spacing between boards, dirt, debris, leaves, and other particles can easily become trapped, leading to an unsightly accumulation. By maintaining gaps, you provide a clear pathway for debris to fall through, making it easier to clean and maintain your deck.

Considerations for Board Size

It’s important to note that the size of the boards used in your decking project also plays a role in the spacing decision. Wider boards tend to be more affected by weather changes than narrower ones. This means that if you choose wider boards for your deck, you may need to leave slightly larger gaps between them to accommodate their potential expansion or contraction.

Additional Benefits of Decking Gaps

Aside from their functional purposes, the gaps between deck boards offer some additional benefits:

  • Enhanced Aesthetics: Strategically placed gaps can add visual appeal and create a sense of proportion and balance in your deck’s design.
  • Improved Ventilation: Proper airflow beneath your deck helps prevent moisture buildup, reducing the risk of mold or mildew growth.
  • Easier Maintenance: With well-spaced decking, cleaning becomes more straightforward as dirt and debris can be easily swept or hosed away.

Wrapping Up

The presence of gaps between boards in decking projects is not accidental; it is a deliberate and essential aspect of installation. These spaces allow for natural wood expansion, prevent water accumulation and dirt buildup, aid in ventilation, and contribute to the overall aesthetics of your deck. So when planning your next decking project, remember to embrace these gaps as valuable contributors to the longevity and functionality of your outdoor oasis.

Is Composite Decking Cheaper Than Timber?

When it comes to creating a stunning outdoor space, decking is often the go-to choice. It not only adds aesthetic appeal but also provides a functional area for relaxation and entertainment. However, when considering decking options, cost is a crucial factor that cannot be ignored. Many people wonder whether composite decking or traditional timber decking is the more budget-friendly choice. In this article, we will explore the cost comparison between composite and timber decking, taking into account both initial expenses and long-term maintenance. By the end, you’ll have a clear understanding of which option offers better value for your hard-earned money.

The Initial Cost of Timber Decking

Timber decking has long been favoured for its natural beauty and affordability. When compared to composite decking, timber typically has a lower initial cost, especially if softwood varieties like pine or spruce are used. Softwood is readily available and less expensive than hardwood alternatives such as teak or cedar.

However, it’s essential to consider the additional expenses that can arise with timber decking in the long run. Without proper maintenance, timber can deteriorate over time due to exposure to the elements. Let’s dive deeper into what these maintenance requirements entail.

Regular Treatments: Sealant and Varnish

To keep timber decking watertight and protected from moisture damage, regular treatments of sealant or varnish are necessary. This ensures that water doesn’t seep into the wood and cause swelling or rotting. Typically, these treatments need to be applied annually or biannually depending on the climate you live in.

While sealants and varnishes aren’t overly expensive on their own, the costs can add up over time. Additionally, applying these treatments requires effort and time investment on your part or hiring professionals for the job.

Mold and Rot Prevention

Another concern with timber decking is its susceptibility to mold growth and rotting. To prevent these issues, regular treatments with anti-fungal solutions are required. These treatments help maintain the structural integrity of the deck and prolong its lifespan.

The cost of anti-fungal treatments, although not exorbitant, should be factored in when considering the total expense of timber decking. Moreover, the time and effort spent on applying these treatments periodically should also be taken into account.

The Long-Term Cost Effectiveness of Composite Decking

While composite decking may have a higher initial price tag than timber, it boasts significant long-term cost savings. This is primarily due to its low maintenance requirements and exceptional durability.

Minimal Maintenance Needs

One of the most appealing aspects of composite decking is its minimal maintenance needs. Unlike timber, composite boards don’t require regular sealing, varnishing, or anti-fungal treatments. They are designed to resist moisture, mold, rot, and insect infestations.

To keep your composite deck looking its best, all that’s usually required is occasional cleaning with soap and water or a gentle pressure wash. This simplicity saves you both time and money in the long run compared to the ongoing maintenance demands of timber decking.

Extended Lifespan

Composite decking materials are engineered to withstand harsh weather conditions while maintaining their structural integrity for many years. Unlike timber that can warp or splinter over time if not properly cared for, composite boards retain their shape and strength throughout their lifespan.

The extended lifespan of composite decking translates to reduced replacement costs in the future. While timber decks may need refurbishment or complete replacement after a certain number of years, composite decks can last significantly longer with proper care.

Environmental Considerations

Apart from financial factors, it’s important to consider environmental implications when choosing between composite and timber decking options.

Sustainability Concerns

Timber decking raises concerns about deforestation and sustainable sourcing practices. It’s crucial to ensure that any wood used for your deck comes from responsibly managed forests certified by organizations like the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

On the other hand, composite decking is often made from recycled materials and utilizes sustainable manufacturing processes. By opting for composite, you can contribute to reducing waste and promoting a greener future.

Energy and Water Usage

When it comes to maintenance, timber decking requires more energy and water resources due to the regular treatment processes involved. In comparison, cleaning composite decking is a relatively low-energy and water-efficient task.

Considering the environmental impact of your decking choice is essential for those who prioritize sustainability in their lifestyle.


While timber decking may have a lower initial cost, it’s important to weigh the long-term expenses associated with its maintenance. The need for regular treatments, such as sealant, varnish, and anti-fungal solutions, adds up both financially and in terms of effort required. Composite decking offers an attractive alternative with minimal maintenance needs and exceptional durability. Although it may require a higher upfront investment, its long-term cost-effectiveness makes it a worthy choice.

Additionally, by choosing composite decking made from recycled materials, you can contribute to a more sustainable future. So when considering your options for creating a stunning outdoor space, don’t overlook the value that composite decking brings to both your wallet and the environment.