What Are The Best Materials For Decking In The UK

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What Are The Best Materials For Decking In The UK

So, you’re looking to build a deck in the UK. To select the best material for decking in the UK, you need to consider a few factors. The material you select should be durable and low-maintenance so that your deck can last for years to come.

It’s also important to think about the style of your property so that you choose a decking material that complements it.

With all these considerations in mind, let us explore some of the popular materials used for decking in the UK and how you can make an informed decision when selecting one.

  1. Importance of choosing the right decking material
  2. Factors to consider when choosing decking materials
  3. Popular decking materials in the UK
    1. Pressure-treated softwood
    2. Hardwood
    3. Composite decking
    4. PVC (plastic) decking
    5. Aluminium decking
  4. Tips for selecting the best decking material for your needs
  5. Conclusion: How to make a well-informed decision

Importance of choosing the right decking material

Choosing the right deck material is crucial. To pick the perfect decking material, you need to consider several factors including environmental impact, safety concerns, installation process, colour options, and design flexibility. 

Each type of deck board material has its unique advantages and disadvantages. For instance, natural wood is considered one of the most eco-friendly decking materials when looking at environmental impact. 

Also, wood has excellent aesthetic appeal – its warm tones can add a touch of charm to any outdoor space. However, wood does require regular maintenance to protect it from weather damage or rot.

Safety concerns are also paramount when choosing the right decking material. If you opt for composite boards, they can provide greater stability than timber due to their stronger structure and increased weight capacity. 

Composite boards are also designed with anti-slip features that give extra peace of mind when walking across wet surfaces or uneven terrain. 

Factors to consider when choosing decking materials

Here are some considerations that will simplify your decision-making process: 

Climate and weather conditions in the UK

The UK’s climate can significantly impact the longevity of outdoor structures, making it essential to consider them when selecting suitable decking materials. So, focus on key elements like UV protection, moisture resistance, natural beauty, stain resistance, and eco-friendly qualities.

These features will be integral in protecting your deck from the harsh elements of British weather, such as the high levels of rainfall and strong winds. 

By choosing material that has these properties, your deck will be able to withstand all types of weather conditions while maintaining its natural beauty and eco-friendly credentials.

Maintenance requirements

No matter the weather, you need to keep your outdoor space looking its best – so make sure you choose a decking solution that requires minimal maintenance. 

It’s important to factor in installation costs alongside any environmental impact when selecting a material.

If you’re looking for low-maintenance decking options, consider materials such as composite boards or hardwood.

Composite boards are easy to install and offer excellent moisture resistance with minimal cleaning required. Likewise, hardwoods also require little upkeep but may be more expensive and have a higher environmental impact.

Regardless of what material you choose, consider safety measures such as slip resistance and reinforcement for weight-bearing areas.

With a little research and homework, you can find the perfect material for your outdoor area that will last for years with minimal decking maintenance

Durability and lifespan

You want your decking to have a long-lasting lifespan. Don’t you? So, make sure you choose something that won’t need replacing too soon. 

Consider things like warranty coverage and the durability of the material. If your deck is well-maintained, most materials should last up to 20 years or more. 

However, some materials require additional protection from weather elements or regular treatment to keep them looking their best. 

Aesthetic preferences

The deck board material you pick must fit your aesthetic preferences and will make your outdoor space look its best. 

If we talk about texture selection, decking comes in a range of textures from smooth to rough, so you can choose the perfect finish for your outdoor area. 

Natural wood has more diverse styles than composite options; however, composite materials may offer unique textures depending on their construction.

You can find a variety of fashionable colours and patterns of both natural wood and composite decks. This means you can easily find something which fits your style perfectly – whether it’s modern or traditional designs you’re after. 

Budget considerations

Your budget plays a key role here. You have to analyze the pros and cons of natural wood versus composite materials and decide which one fits the bill without breaking the bank.

To give you an overview, composite decking often comes with a higher initial cost than natural wood. But it offers more colour choices and is better for your eco-friendly options. 

If you’re looking for something that won’t require too much maintenance or installation costs, natural wood could be a more affordable choice.

1. Pressure-treated softwood

Pressure-treated softwood can provide a durable and cost-effective solution to your outdoor needs, so you’ll be sure to get years of enjoyment out of it. When looking for decking materials in the UK, pressure-treated softwood is an attractive option due to its many advantages.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the pros and cons of softwood:

  • Softwood has a natural look that gives it an appealing aesthetic, making it great for homeowners who want an organic look for their decks.
  • It’s easy to maintain with regular cleaning and staining every few years.
  • Installation is relatively straightforward, with pre-cut boards designed for DIYers or professional installation teams available on the market.
  • Softwood is also sustainable; responsibly sourced wood can last decades while still having a minimal environmental impact.

Important note: If you’re looking for decking installation in London, be sure to hire a reputable landscaping company. 

2. Hardwood

Boasting a classic look and superior durability, hardwood is a timeless choice for creating decks that will last through the years. 

Remember that hardwood may have environmental impacts due to the chemicals used in the pressure-treatment process, so it’s worth considering how you can minimise your carbon footprint when installing.

Hardwood also comes with an installation cost which might deter some people looking for decking materials on a budget. 

However, it has great longevity benefits and offers more staining options than pressure-treated softwood. In terms of colour choices, hardwoods range from light honey tones to deep brown hues – perfect for adding warmth and style to any outdoor space in the UK.


decking material

3. Composite decking

You’ll love the low-maintenance composite decking – it’s an ideal way to upgrade your outdoor space without compromising on style or durability.

Composite decking is made from a combination of plastic and wood fibres and comes in a range of colours, shapes and sizes. It’s worth noting that installation costs can be higher than other types of deck board materials, but the long-term benefits may outweigh this initial cost.

Also, composite decking doesn’t suffer from some of the safety hazards associated with hardwood decks because it’s slip-resistant and splinter-free. 

From an environmental standpoint, composite decking has less impact than traditional hardwood as it uses recycled plastic, which otherwise would have gone to landfill.

4. PVC (plastic) decking

Let’s take a look at PVC (plastic) decking. Simply put, it is a great option for UK homeowners looking for an alternative to wood. Here are some of the advantages of choosing PVC decking:

  • Environmental Impact: PVC doesn’t require any cutting down of trees, making it an environmentally friendly choice.
  • Safety Features: PVC is highly resistant to warping or splintering and is much less likely to cause injury than traditional wooden decks.
  • Installation Process: Installing a PVC deck can be done quickly and easily with minimal effort due to its lightweight nature.
  • Colour Options: A wide variety of colour options are available and you can customize your outdoor space in any way you desire.
  • Slip Resistance: The textured surface of most types of PVC makes them slip-resistant, which is important in terms of comfort and safety.

5. Aluminium decking

Aliminum is popular for its lightweight properties. It’s estimated to last up to 25 years. But it does come with some safety concerns that you need to pay attention to. 

Aluminium can get quite hot in the sun, so it may not be suitable for areas where bare feet are common. Also, installation methods can vary from traditional screws or nails to hidden fasteners which require specialized tools.

Despite these potential drawbacks, aluminium has several advantages that make it attractive. Cost efficiency is one of them, as aluminium decking can be relatively inexpensive compared to other materials. Besides, it comes in a variety of colour options and requires minimal maintenance over its lifespan.

Check out some decking ideas to simplify your research process! 

Tips for selecting the best decking material for your needs

If you’re looking to build a deck, choosing the right decking can make all the difference. 

Firstly, consider what type of surface types would be suitable for your deck: wood, composite, plastic, or aluminium. 

Make sure you also take into consideration colour options and different deck styles depending on your preference. Research installation methods carefully as this will impact how long-lasting your deck will be.

When selecting a material for your decking project, consider both aesthetic and practical factors such as durability and cost-effectiveness. 

Look at which materials are available in terms of colour options and textures, as well as know what maintenance requirements they may have so that you can choose something with longevity that suits both the style of your home and budget restrictions.

Pro tip: Make sure to use qualified installers who are experienced in working with different types of materials to ensure quality workmanship throughout the entire project.

Take the time to explore each option available on the market before making any decisions – it pays off. 

Decking materials come in various shapes, sizes, and designs so there is always something out there that meets everyone’s taste while still providing a long-lasting solution for an outdoor living area.

Don’t forget to ask professionals for advice if needed; they know best about which products would suit different applications most effectively.

Related: 5 Best Wood Deck Board Materials

Conclusion: How to make a well-informed decision

Making the right decision for your decking project can be time-consuming, but taking the time to research and compare different options can help you make an informed, confident choice.

When selecting a material for a deck in the UK, it’s essential to consider factors such as fire resistance, safety features, installation process, style options, your budget, and environmental impact. 

For example, if safety is your top priority, composite materials could be an ideal option due to their non-slip surface and resistance against extreme weather conditions.

If you are concerned about environmental impact, wood is one of the most sustainable materials.

Finally, read reviews or seek guidance from family and friends. Do your research so that you feel comfortable with your purchase.