Whether you're gathering with friends and family, enhancing the visual appeal of your home or even looking to add value to your property, decking is a strong foundation for a wide range of attractive benefits. Decking home improvement projects have been surging in popularity since 2020 and show no signs of slowing down, especially as we move into the summer months.

As more and more homeowners look to transform their living areas into a strong and supremely stylish deck - putting the emphasis on socialising and utilising space in a more creative way - it's safe to say that the decking trend isn't going anywhere. However, when it comes to choosing the right decking material, many homeowners and installers are faced with a familiar dilemma: Do I choose real wood or composite decking?

Both have their own assets and advantages, price points and practicalities to consider. But one of the most vital things to think about when buying a new deck is longevity.

In our latest blog, Roof Giant will lay the decision-making groundwork for purchasing new decking boards, providing the answer to whether composite decking boards have the edge over wood decking in terms of lifespan.

What Is Composite Decking Made Of?

If you're unfamiliar, composite decking is typically made from a wood-fibre composite, consisting of a blend of wood fibres, plastics and a binding agent. In the case of Triton Composite Decking Boards, they're made from 60% wood fibre, 30% HDPE and 10% chemicals, whereas Cladco's Woodgrain Effect Capstock Decking Board is comprised of a PVC-ASA composition consisting of a durable PVC material coated in a weather-resistant ASA (acrylic-styrene-acrylonitrile) resin shell.

Does Composite Decking Last Longer Than Real Wood Timber?

Due to the WPC (Wood Plastic Composite) make-up of composite decking boards, they're extremely weatherproof and remarkably resilient to rot, warping, corrosion, UV damage and cosmetic fading. These benefits are all key factors in the longevity of composite decking - and although lifespans will vary depending on the individual claims made by the manufacturers - your composite boards could last for as long as 25 years or more if properly maintained. For example, Cladco's offerings are backed by a 20-year stain and fade warranty. By comparison, real wood timber has an average lifespan of around 10-15 years, but this can be extended with proper care and maintenance.

Is Real Wood Timber Decking Still Worth It?

Natural timber decking is more affordable than composite decking. It's also sustainable, and one of the most eco-friendly hard landscaping products you can buy, giving you the most desirable real wood finish out there with solid durability as well. Over the course of its lifespan, timber will typically show signs of wear more quickly than composite decking, but if properly treated and maintained it will prove to be incredibly hardwearing and long-lasting.

Should I Buy Composite Or Real Wood Decking?

When weighing up whether to opt for timber or composite decking, you need to consider:

  • Durability - which is usually determined by the type of environment your deck will be situated in, the weather it will be subjected to, the foot traffic it will receive and whether it will be installed in direct sunlight.
  • Cost - composite decking is usually more expensive to buy and install than real wood timber decking, so make sure you consider your budget and weigh up the surrounding pros and cons of each.
  • Safety - if your decking is going to be used by very young or elderly people, you'll need to consider factors such as slip resistance.
  • Lifespan - composite decking can last up to around 25+ years if maintained correctly whereas real wood decking has a 10-15 year expectancy, or potentially longer, if maintenance is undertaken or you're installing a high quality hardwood deck.
  • Upkeep - composite decking is a low maintenance option whereas timber decking will need to be cleaned, carefully treated and protected against rot, water damage, fading and the like.

What We Offer…

Triton Double Faced Composite Decking Board

This super strong, versatile and reversible WPC decking board will give you all the aesthetic qualities of real wood with a rot, splinter and warp-proof design and an anti-slip surface. One face features a rich and authentic woodgrain pattern and the other has a classic groove pattern that will suit both modern and traditional decking projects perfectly.

At Roof Giant you can also purchase Triton Decking Plastic Fixing Clips, Composite Decking Subframes and WPC Composite Decking Step Boards to install and finish your decking project to a high standard.

Cladco Woodgrain Effect Capstock Decking Board

A sleek, modern and high quality PVC decking board with an authentic wood-effect style, you won't have to worry about fading, staining or scratching with these composite boards. Made from a PVC-ASA composition that's suitable for use in harsh climates and even the wettest environments including areas around swimming pools and hot tubs.

Construct and complete your Cladco decking project with our WPC Composite Structural Hollow Joists and matching Cladco Woodgrain Effect Capstock Decking Fascia Boards in the colour of your choice.

Castlewood Ultra Guard Quick Deck Composite Tiles

Comprised of natural wood grains, these eco-friendly polymer capped deck tiles will not bend, warp, split or crack and are great for gardens, patios, balconies, terraces, conservatories and exhibitions. With a choice of Teak and Silver Grey colours to choose from, the smart interlocking system is also raised to allow for proper drainage of water and pools that could be created during heavy rain.

Designed to be used by anyone from DIY beginners to seasoned builders, this easy to install deck can be completed with our Castlewood 3mm Underlay for Decking Tiles, Ultra Guard Quick Deck Internal Ramp Corners and Ultra Guard Quick Deck Ramp Edges.

Marley CitiDeck Smooth C16 UC3 PEFC Timber Decking

This non-slip decking board for urban projects combines the naturally beautiful and robust qualities of timber with the modern inclusivity and accessibility benefits of non-slip safety surfaces. Ideal for schools, hospitals, housing developments and restaurants, you can install preserved timber the right way with Marley's 316 Stainless Steel Decking Screws and treat and seal CitiDeck with a tin of Marley's Water Based Endcoat.