BalustradesDecks & PatiosExternal stairsPool DecksPrivacy Screens

How to choose decking materials

By February 15, 2019 No Comments
hardwood and composite decking materials

What’s the best decking material to use? Let’s have a look at the contenders. Hardwood, Pine or composite decking materials.

We’ll be straight up and tell you that pine decking rarely ends well. It might be cheap to begin with, but it simply doesn’t stack up to conditions on the Sunshine Coast. A deck in this part of the world needs to be tough. Pine decking easily bends, shrinks, warps, rots and has the shortest lifespan.

The best material choices for decks are hardwood decking and composite decking. Both of which we have access to, in a wide variety.

Hardwood decking

Hardwood is a great option for Sunshine Coast Decks because it’s naturally durable and dense, hardwood is resilient to Sunshine Coast weather conditions…and it looks good. Hardwood decks don’t shrink and expand too much and the warping is minimal. The popular hardwoods are Merbau, Jarrah and Spotted Gum.

Hardwood is the most popular choice and we recommend hardwood for all decks, pool decks, patios, external stairs, balustrades, privacy screening… it really has a wide variety of applications. Merbau is a warm red-brown tone, Jarrah is a rich brown, and Spotted Gum is a mix if light and rich brown wood colours.

Maintained properly, a hardwood deck will last a good 15 years on average.

Hardwood maintenance

Regular maintenance of your hardwood will extend its lifespan. What this means is an annual coat or two, of decking oil, protecting it from hot direct sunlight and rain. Depending on how much direct sunlight and rain it endures, unmaintained hardwood can weather and in some cases, hardwood can rot.

Composite decking

Composite decking, is made from a blend of recycled plastic (polyethylene, polypropylene, or PVC) and wood chips or sawdust. It’s resistant from warping, rotting and white ants. Best of all it has zero maintenance.

We tend to use Trex, it’s made from 95% recycled materials, including reclaimed wood and sawdust as well as recycled plastic from many household items, such as the plastic wrap on packaging for paper towels and toilet paper, dry cleaner bags, newspaper bags, grocery and shopping bags.

With most composite decking brands, water blasting can damage the decking surface and will void the warranty.  Trex high-performance decking can be power washed.

A composite deck should last 25 – 30 years.

We recommend composite decking for all decks, especially pool decks; patios, external stairs, balustrades, privacy screening… like hardwood it really has a wide variety of applications.

Although there is no maintenance and won’t rot, the biggest complaint about composite decking is the heat, it can get very hot to walk on.

While composite decks are more durable than hardwood, the cheaper composites aren’t safe from damage. Patio furniture may and often does, scratch the surface. Unlike wood, which you can sand and refinish, composite decking can’t be refinished. Once damaged it stays damaged. Scratches and marks don’t come out and the board or boards, need to be replaced.

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