Who knew choosing decking could be so complicated? Decking is a fantastic upgrade for any garden, not to mention it helps you avoid the upkeep of mowing the lawn. But with so many options out there it can be hard to choose the right one for your garden. To help you make the right choice, we’ve laid out this complete decking guide, including types of decking, their pros and cons plus some extra tips so you can ensure you get the perfect deck for your home.
Types of Decking Materials
The main types of decking materials that you will be faced with in any store will be softwood, hardwood and composite (although there is also anti-slip decking which we’ll cover later). In this section, we’ll cover what each of these materials are, when they are best used and when you may want to avoid them.
Softwood decking comes from fast growing trees, like pine, which is quickly replaceable. This makes this decking material the cheapest option, but it does have some drawbacks. Softwood is weaker than hardwood and composite decking, and won’t last as long. It also requires the most maintenance.
Top things to know about softwood decking:
- The cheapest decking material
- Easy to install
- Requires 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
You can find more information on softwood decking here.
Hardwood decking comes from slower growing trees like Oak, which can be far rarer and therefore are usually the most expensive decking option. Hardwoods can pay off though; not only are they very aesthetically pleasing but they usually last longer than softwood and require much less maintenance.
Top things to know about hardwood decking:
- The most expensive material
- Harder to work with (but eDecks provides plenty of guidance and support if you’re up for the challenge!)
- Requires much less maintenance than softwood
- Can last for over 50 years
- Can look the most impressive
You can find more information on hardwood decking here.
Composite decking is a modern material made from both wood and plastic, and because of this unique mix, it can look incredible while carrying features that pure wood can’t. It’s very waterproof, requires very little maintenance and can easily last for over 50 years.
Tops things to know about composite decking:
- Can be quite expensive
- Comes as both decking tiles or boards
- Least likely material to get mould or algae growth
- Easy to maintain
- You can’t stain or change the colour
- Some tiles come with LED lights built in
You can find more information on composite decking here.
Extra Tips For Getting The Perfect Deck
Getting the perfect deck doesn’t simply require choosing the right material (unfortunately). So we’ve added some of our top tips here to help you get the best deck possible.
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, like a hot tub, you may want to consider how you’ll make your deck safe to use. There are plenty of options on offer, from anti-slip decking boards to inserts you can place into a different decking material.
It’s important to consider which might be best for you before rushing into buying the wrong thing!
You can find more information on anti-slip decking here.
One huge advantage of eDecks, other than the great prices, is that we offer ready to build decking kits. We can even put together made to measure kits, just to fit your garden. It’s a great way to tackle building your deck yourself, without the stress of getting enough wood and the right cuts.
You can even have them delivered with pergolas and handrails if you like!
Find out more about decking kits here.
If you’re looking for ways to ensure your decking is the envy of all of your neighbours, you may want to check out our decking ideas article; full of tips and tricks to ensure your deck looks great and functions perfectly.
You can easily add storage, seating and even a drinks cooler to your deck – your imagination is the only limit!
Our last tip is, of course, to check out the deals on eDecks. Not only do we often run incredible offers on decking, but we also offer plenty of support and expert advice for anyone who’s looking to build their own deck. At eDecks you can not only expect a good deal but also:
Super fast FREE delivery on orders over £100*
48 Hour delivery on many products
Handy FREE installation guides (and even instructional videos!)
Incredible prices on all of our decking materials
*Free delivery applies to most of the UK, but some areas may incur a charge, unfortunately – please check the eDecks website for more details.