Category Archives: Decking Advice

Anti-Slip Decking v Standard Decking

Decking is an attractive and useful upgrade to any garden, as well as helping you to avoid the upkeep of mowing the lawn. But with so many options out there, it can be difficult to choose the kind of decking which is best for yourself and your garden, so eDecks are here to help you decide between anti-slip decking and standard decking. The main types of decking materials that you will find will be softwood, hardwood, composite and anti-slip.

buff and brown

Softwood decking comes from fast growing trees such as pine, which is quickly replaceable. This then makes this decking material the cheapest option, but it is weaker than a hardwood or composite decking.

Things to know about Softwood Decking;

  • The cheapest decking material
  • Easy to install
  • Requires the most maintenance (cleaning and treating with oils is recommended for longevity)
  • Lasts up to 25 years when well maintained
  • Colour and finish is easily changed

Hardwood decking comes from slower growing trees such as oak, which can be far rarer and therefore are often the most expensive decking option. Hardwoods can pay off though – not only are they more aesthetically pleasing but they usually last longer than softwood and require much less maintenance.

Things to know about Hardwood Decking;

  • The most expensive material
  • Harder to work with (but eDecks provides plenty of guidance and support)
  • Requires much less maintenance than softwood
  • Can last for over 50 years
  • Can look the most impressive

If you live in a particularly wet part of the UK, or you’re planning on adding a high-risk slip area to your deck, such as a hot tub, you may want to consider how you will make your deck safer to use. Anti-slip decking is a perfect solution for this, or whether you have young children, or are simply unsteady on your feet.

charcoal and red

If you know your deck is likely to face a great deal of water and heavy foot traffic, getting full anti-slip boards may be your safest option. Full anti-slip boards feature large inserts that cover the majority of the board with a rubbery material that is not only waterproof but more importantly – slip resistant. This means that you will still be able to walk across your decking safely, even when covered in large puddles of water.

These are the best decking boards you can get to avoid accidents and will have the best grip, so if you are looking for a very safe deck or if you are decking an area near a pool or hot tub, we would highly recommend using these boards. Anti-slip strips aren’t always to everyone’s taste aesthetically, but you can get them in a variety of different colours to suit your deck – there are even grass look decking boards if that is something you feel would fit your garden.

grassedeck

If your decking isn’t used as a splash deck, but will still be exposed to water, you could invest in some anti-slip decking with built-in anti-slip strips. These decking boards look very chic and the anti-slip strips are probably the least noticeable of any option – so if you’re wanting a good looking wooden deck, but with the extra safety of anti-slip features, these are the boards for you.

anti slip strips

Made with thin anti-slip strips of material made of resin and aggregate, each line of anti-slip material can easily be mistaken for a shadowed groove instead of a safety feature. Because of the incredibly professional finish, these can be a popular but more expensive option, however, we would always recommend speaking to one of our friendly yet professional sales team before being put off by price as we always offer incredible decking on many types of decking. You can even buy samples of all decking options to ensure you pick the best product for you and your deck.

To conclude, anti-slip boards will last the same amount of time and need the same treatment as standard softwood decking boards and this goes for the hardwood option too. Hardwood decking and anti-slip hardwood decking will last the same amount of time as each other and will also require the same treatments. The only difference between Softwood, Hardwood and Anti-Slip Decking boards is the fact that they have the grit inserts running through the boards and will be a lot more comfortable under foot than your normal decking.

green and buff

eDecks offers some of the best deals on Anti-Slip and Standard Decking around, including all of the installation supplies and tools you may need. Not only do we provide plenty of unbeatable deals but also:

Super-fast FREE delivery on orders over £100*

48 Hour Delivery on many products

Handy FREE installation guides and instructional videos

*Free delivery applies to most of the UK, but some areas may incur a charge. Please check the eDecks website for more details.

Weed Membrane: Woven v Non-Woven

Creating your perfect garden landscape can be hard work, but there are products out there that work all by themselves to make your life so much easier! Weed membrane fabrics are making a huge difference to modern gardens by stabilising the ground, improving drainage and filtration, separating aggregates and spreading imposed loads. Ensuring you choose the right weed membrane fabric for your project means understanding the differences between them – a key one being whether they are woven or non-woven.

n_160341_31

Woven Weed Membrane fabric is made by weaving polypropylene tapes together. Using this crisscross pattern makes the fabric super-strong but limits its drainage capabilities compared with the non-woven variety. The strength and hard-wearing qualities of woven weed membrane give it a high tensile strength, making it suitable for use under patios, paths, parking areas and for other applications where a high strength but economical membrane is essential.

Although Non-Woven Weed Membrane has a lower tensile strength than the woven type, it still offers great strength, durability and excellent drainage properties. Non-woven weed membrane is a felt-like fabric made by thermally bonding polypropylene or a mixture of polypropylene and polyester fibres and then finishing using needle punching, calendaring and other methods. This type of fabric is easier to cut, has a high water permeability rate and does not lose strength over time, in the same way as the woven fabric does, when used below ground. This makes it ideal for use beneath driveways and roads and in land and storm water drainage systems, where long-term ground stabilisation and filtration is required.

Woven or non-woven weed membrane can be a gardener’s best friend and whether you are looking for ground stabilisation, separation of sub-base layers, aggregates and other materials, or drainage and filtration, there is now a fabric that is right for the job.

Weed Membrane

eDecks offers three different types of Woven Weed Membrane, including a Standard strength, Heavy Duty and Super Heavy Duty. Whether it is under your deck, paving, driveway or planting area, weed membrane will prevent nasty weeds coming through. As well as reducing garden maintenance, weed membrane allows water and nutrients to penetrate the soil.

eDecks offers some of the best deals on Weed Membrane around, including all of the installation supplies and tools you may need. Not only do we provide plenty of unbeatable deals but also:

Super-fast FREE delivery on orders over £100*

48 Hour Delivery on many products

Handy FREE installation guides and instructional videos

*Free delivery applies to most of the UK, but some areas may incur a charge. Please check the eDecks website for more details.

Decking: Comparing Hardwood Decking vs Softwood Decking

Decking is an excellent way to add a more aesthetically pleasing look to your garden; patio or low level decking can be the perfect solution to hide unattractive areas or to simply raise an area to be level with a conservatory or to add a patio-style area to your garden. The main two types available here at eDecks are Hardwood and Softwood Decking, and we have included some benefits of both, as well as a comparison so that you can discover which would work best for you.

hardwood 2
Hardwood

Generally speaking, timber is split into two main types; hardwood and softwood. Hardwood is sourced from slow growing trees, which are often referred to as broadleaved trees and Softwood comes from faster growing, evergreen or coniferous trees. Apart from taking a longer time to be produced, by nature, hardwood is more difficult to process than softwood, which is one of the reasons why softwood is lower in price than hardwood decking.

softwood
Softwood

Durability is super important when choosing your ideal timber, and because decking is laid outside, you need to opt for the variety that will stand up to outdoor conditions all year round. If you are looking for more of a quick fix, short term solution, it may be that a budget option works just fine for you, however, if you are wanting more of a long-term investment, then investing in a better quality of wood will pay dividends.

Hardwood Balau
Hardwood

As mentioned, hardwood decking is made from a number of different broadleaved trees, such as oak, ash and beech, and these trees are often grown in temperate climates where they tend to be deciduous, or tropical climates where they tend to be evergreen trees. The wood of these trees is slower in its growth, making it a harder, more durable timber.

softwood x
Softwood

Softwood decking is made from coniferous, evergreen trees such as pine and spruce, and about 80% of the world’s timber is softwood. To use softwood decking, it must be suitably pressure treated with preservatives, to protect it from fungal and insect decay in addition to deterioration from the environment. Due to availability, cost effectiveness and ease of installation, around 90% of decks are made from softwood decking. Hardwood decking tends to be more expensive and requires more care, but is available in a range of attractive colours.

softwood header

In a nutshell, softwood decking is;

  • Cheapest type of decking
  • Value for money
  • Has wood fibres which are tightly packed together and this structure gives the boards the strength and durability needed to last
  • Readily available
  • Pressure treated boards
  • Can be stained a different colour
  • Cut from coniferous trees which are quicker growing and therefore more economical
  • Come in a variety of designs

hardwood main

Whereas, hardwood decking;

  • Are FSC certified boards
  • Certain types have a unique invisible fastener system
  • Is the warmest, most natural material
  • Is like an indoor floor, outdoors
  • Tropical hardwoods are very durable
  • Needs a greater expertise in carpentry skills than softwood

hardwood x

eDecks offers some of the best deals on Hardwood and Softwood decking around, including all of the installation supplies and tools you may need. Our Hardwood starts at £6.02p per metre with Softwood starting at £2.52p per metre. Not only do we provide plenty of unbeatable deals but also:

Dusty hardwood balau from £4.51p metre and Softwood decking starting at £0.81p per metre!

Call for bulk deals and discount.

Super-fast FREE delivery on orders over £100*

*Free delivery applies to most of the UK, but some areas may incur a charge. Please check the eDecks website for more details.

Weed Membrane: Advantages of Use

Weed control fabrics also known as sheets, covers or weed membrane are an excellent organic and environmentally-sound option for a variety of areas of your garden. It is a practical, easy and clean method weed control and can be very helpful in various situations and is an aid not a remedy. The reason behind it is that any kind of fabric or cover that suppresses weeds by covering them, also keeps fallen leaves and debris from being decomposed and added to the soil.

Weed control fabrics are one of the environmentally friendly alternatives to commercial herbicides. With weed control fabrics, the time limit is the beneficial point, with some fabrics known to last up to ten years. When using weed membrane, remember to remove it after a few years in order to ensure the soil keeps getting nutrition.

Weed membrane is one of the least harmful and most effective measures of protecting your area from weed growth. They can be used to control weeds in areas such as gravel driveways, vegetable gardens, allotments, decking and artificial grass.

Pegs

Here at eDecks, we sell regular Weed Membrane, with two further options of Heavy Duty and Super Heavy Duty depending on your needs and requirements. It is fairly cheap to buy and simple to lay, and you can also order Weed Membrane Pegs and Pins from us to ensure your weed membrane is securely fitted.

Pins

When laying Weed Membrane, it is important to prepare the surface because once it is laid down, you won’t be able to get to it. If you are laying the fabric under decking or a pathway, then it is a matter of removing all plant life from the area and making sure that it is completely flat. A systematic weed-killer will do the job of killing off any existing weeds before you start.

weed killer

If you are creating a planting area where you will be using weed membrane, then you will need to dig the area over well, ensuring you remove all weeds and dig in plenty of organic matter that will release nutrients into the soil. Again, you could use a weed killer rather than weeding by hand, as long as you leave plenty of time for it to take full effect. When digging the area over, remove and sticks and stones that could rip or tear the membrane, firm down the earth and then rake over the area to leave a smooth finish.

Weed membrane comes on a roll, so you will need to finalise the shape and size of the area it is covering before take a pair of sharp scissors to give a neat edging. Roll out the fabric and allow for an inch of overlap where two pieces of fabric will meet. With regards to the edges, cut the membrane to fit the area you are covering and then secure it in place using either landscape staples to pin it in place or decorative rocks and stones.

If you are applying the membrane around existing plants, cut a slit into the fabric from the closest edge and slide it into place around the stem of the plant. If you are adding plants after laying the fabric, set out the plants where you want them positioned, and then for each plant take a sharp knife and cut an X into the fabric, making it just large enough to fit the plant into. Tuck back the flaps and dig a hole using a hand trowel. Put your plant in as normal adding compost as and when required. With weed membrane, you will still need to weed occasionally, but you will be able to pull the weeds easily by hand as they won’t have a chance to get their roots in beyond the top layer.

Weed Membrane

eDecks offers some of the best deals on Weed Membrane around, including all of the installation supplies and tools you may need. Not only do we provide plenty of unbeatable deals but also:

Super-fast FREE delivery on orders over £100*

Handy FREE installation guides.

*Free delivery applies to most of the UK, but some areas may incur a charge. Please check the eDecks website for more details.

Caring for Hardwood Decking

Hardwood decking can be costly, and you will have invested both time and money to deck a part of your garden to create your perfect haven. However, it is also important to maintain and clean your hardwood decking so you can enjoy it for many years to come, getting the most from your investment. As well as looking good, a clean deck is also much safer too, especially in the cold, wet winter months, as keeping your decking clean will prevent it from becoming slippery over time.

hardwood x

Balau decking is one of the most popular hardwood decking boards sold on the market to date. We currently offer yellow balau decking, which is very light in colour, kind of like a milky chocolate shade which fits in well with most gardens and colour schemes. Balau is a type 2 decking which means that it has a life span of between 20-30 years depending on the treatment of the decking.

hardwood 2

We recommend oiling your decking boards as soon as they are laid, and then once every 12 months going forward. Ronseal Ultimate Decking Oil is what we recommend you use, as it is a highly adhesive product which makes it more durable to protect the boards, but most other oil-based treatments will help to protect your decking boards as well as keeping them looking their best.

ronseal ultimate decking oil

Step by Step Guide on Caring for Hardwood Decking;

  • Clear the decked area. Ensure your decking surface is free of all obstacles so you can concentrate on cleaning rather than moving furniture around. Avoid dragging furniture along the boards.

hardwood

  • Always test your cleaning method on a small, unnoticeable area before applying it across the entire deck.
  • Brush the deck thoroughly twice a year. Use a stiff broom to give the timber a thorough brush twice a year, followed by a jet wash using a pressure washer if at all possible.

broom

  • To clean your decked surface on a budget, use warm water and soda crystals. Spray warm water over the decking and sprinkle with soda crystals; leave for a few hours and once dry brush using a stiff broom.
  • Clean using dedicated cleaners. There are a number of chemical cleaners available which will clean and rejuvenate your timber. Try and find a chemical specifically designed for your type of timber. Normally these chemicals are highly concentrated, so depending on the size of the area, you won’t have to replenish this very often at all.

decking cleaner

 

Another option when taking care of your hardwood decking is to upgrade to Anti-Slip Decking Strips, which will benefit both yourself, your family and your decking. The Anti-Slip process utilises a specially formulated and highly durable combination of resin and aggregate which is professionally inserted into the machined grooves of the timber decking. These are supplied to you, ready to lay with unbeatable anti-slip properties, giving you an excellent and safe finish without the hard work.

anti slip

When it comes to laying your boards, there are two options – Invisible eFix Hardwood Balau Plugs and SPAX. Balau Plugs are wooden plugs which are used when laying your decking boards to give a stunning and blemish free finish. They are perfect for hiding fixings or screw heads on all types of Balau Decking.

balau plug

SPAX are concealed connector sticks which ensures a flawless visual impression which is simple and reliable to assemble. The high mechanical strength of SPAX gives the decking board high stability and crushing of the structure is practically impossible due to the large contact surface of the SPAX sticks.

spax

eDecks offers some of the best deals on Hardwood Decking around, including all of the installation supplies and tools you may need. Not only do we provide plenty of unbeatable deals but also:

Super-fast FREE delivery on orders over £100*

Handy FREE installation guides.

*Free delivery applies to most of the UK, but some areas may incur a charge. Please check the eDecks website for more details.