What Is Composite Decking?


Today’s increasingly discerning homeowners are continually seeking robust, sustainable, and aesthetic solutions for their outdoor spaces. As the search for ideal garden decking materials continues, one product has rapidly risen in popularity — composite decking.

But what exactly is composite decking, and why has it become such a prevalent choice in both residential and commercial outdoor settings in the UK and worldwide?

Composite decking is an innovative outdoor flooring solution that offers a balance of beauty, durability, and sustainability often unattainable with traditional wood decking. It’s an amalgamation of function and aesthetics, designed to elevate the visual appeal of your garden while significantly reducing maintenance needs.

In this blog post, we will dig deep and talk about the different types, sizes, shapes, and advantages of composite decking.  If you’re looking for a garden or deck revamp,  this blog will provide crucial insights.

What is Composite Decking? 

What is this composite decking we’re nattering about? Well, imagine if you could have the look of real wood decking but with none of the hassle. No warping, no rotting, no sudden splinters to ruin your sunny afternoon. That, in a nutshell, is composite decking.

Here’s how it works. It’s made by combining wood fibres and plastics, held together with special binders. The result is a strong, sturdy material that looks just like wood but acts like a superhero, resisting weather, wear and tear, and even the occasional dropped barbecue sauce!

The beauty of composite decking goes beyond its looks and strength. It’s also an outdoor surface that doesn’t ask for much. There’s no need for constant painting, staining, or sealing. It keeps its good looks year after year with just a simple clean now and then.

On top of this, composite decking is kind to our planet. Because it’s made from recycled materials, choosing composite decking means you’re doing your bit for Mother Earth.

So, when you think of composite decking, think of style, durability, and eco-friendliness. It’s not just a decking material; it’s a lifestyle choice.

Types of Composite Decking 

Now let’s talk about some of the popular types of composite decking. This will help you understand what kind of composite decking would be ideal for your deck-building project. 

  • Wood-Plastic Composite (WPC)

Wood-Plastic Composite, known in the trade as WPC, is a winning combo. Mixing the rustic charm of real wood with the durability of plastic, WPC provides a top-notch choice for decking.

It’s made from a blend of recycled wood fibres and plastics, creating a material that boasts resistance to moisture, rot, and insect damage. Plus, its installation is a breeze, and once it’s laid, maintenance is minimal. Ideal if you want the timber look, but can’t be bothered with the fuss.

  • Bamboo-Plastic Composite

The Bamboo-Plastic Composite is a splendid innovation in the composite decking world. Utilizing the strength and versatility of bamboo – one of the fastest-growing plants, by the way – and coupling it with plastic, you get a top-quality deck.

The bamboo gives the deck excellent resilience to scratches, UV damage, and moisture. In short, you get an eye-catching deck that stays fresh-looking all year round, with an eco-friendly edge.

  • PVC, Rice Husk, Chalk or Filling Agents Mixed with Plastic

This might sound like a bit of an odd combo, but PVC combined with rice husk, chalk, or other fillers, and plastic delivers a robust decking material. It shrugs off rot, pests, and mould with ease and offers durability in spades. Plus, the deck surface can be quickly wiped clean, letting you enjoy your outdoor space with minimal fuss.

Remember, the main draw with composite decking is that you’re getting the best of both worlds – the traditional look of wood without all the maintenance chores. Each type offers its own unique perks, so it’s worth taking a little time to decide which one is right for you and your garden.

  • Resin and Mineral-Based Composites

Resin and Mineral-Based Composites are another feather in the cap of decking materials. Born from a blend of resin, minerals, and sometimes fibres, they yield a solid and steadfast deck.

With resistance to mould, fading, and staining, this type offers an attractive, natural-looking deck that stands up to the test of time. Not to mention, its slip-resistant finish provides a safe space for you and your family to enjoy.

  • Metal Decking

Metal decking is a real, though unconventional choice for outdoor spaces. Crafted from aluminium or steel, this decking has a tough, nearly invincible character. Also, it doesn’t crack, warp, or splinter. While it might not provide the natural look of timber, it adds an industrial, modern twist to your outdoor space that can be quite stunning.

  • PVC Decking with WPC Skin

PVC Decking with WPC Skin is a fantastic meeting of strength and beauty. This composite uses a PVC core, known for its durability, and wraps it in a WPC (Wood-Plastic Composite) skin.

The result? A deck that combines the steadfastness of PVC with the aesthetic appeal of WPC. It’s weather-resistant, low maintenance, and comes in a variety of colours and styles.

  • Recycled Plastic Lumber

For the eco-conscious among us, there’s Recycled Plastic Lumber. This decking material is manufactured entirely from recycled plastic, making it a sustainable choice.

It’s also supremely durable, requiring little to no maintenance, and its resistance to rot and insects is top-notch. Even better, its colour doesn’t fade, leaving you with a vibrant, eye-catching deck year after year.

Composite Decking Sizes and Shapes

Let’s break down the jigsaw of selecting the right size and shape for your composite decking project. Understanding these aspects can help you create an outdoor space that truly stands out.

Standard Sizes

Your typical composite decking comes in a variety of sizes. The most common dimensions are boards that are 1”x 6” (2.5 cm x 15 cm), but other sizes are also available, including 2”x 6” (5 cm x 15 cm). The lengths of the boards vary, too.

They can range from 8 feet (2.4 metres) right up to 20 feet (6.1 metres). The size you choose should be based on the layout and size of your space, and how you envision your final deck design.

Standard Shapes

In terms of shape, composite decking boards are traditionally rectangular. However, there is an increasing trend towards innovative shapes, including grooved decking boards.

These allow for hidden fasteners to be used, which can result in a cleaner and more seamless appearance. There are also tongue-and-groove boards designed for a snug fit and even boards with rounded edges for a softer look.


composite decking sizes and shapes

Advantages of Composite Decking

1. Durability and Maintenance

One of the greatest selling points for composite decking is its exceptional durability. Unlike traditional wood, it doesn’t warp, splinter, or crack, meaning it’ll keep its looks and functionality for longer.

It’s also low maintenance – no annual sanding or staining is needed here. Just give it a good scrub now and then, and it’ll look as fresh as the day it was installed.

2. Moisture and Insect Resistance

If there’s one thing that gives traditional timber decking a headache, it’s moisture and pesky insects. Composite decking, however, is designed to resist both, meaning you won’t be grappling with rot or insect damage.

Read our blog post if you’re not sure whether the composite deck can be slippery or not,

3. Aesthetics and Variety

Composite decking offer a range of colours, textures, and styles – from the traditional wood look to more modern and sleek designs. This variety means you can choose the right decking to complement your home and garden design.

4. Safety Features (Non-Slip, Splinter-Free)

Safety is key when it comes to decking, especially in our often damp climate. Thankfully, composite decking has excellent non-slip properties. Also, it’s splinter-free, so it’s ideal for families with young kids or pets.

Choosing the Right Size and Shape for Your Project

Choosing the right size and shape for your composite decking can make or break your project. The key is to consider your space, the layout of your garden, and how you plan to use the decking.

For instance, a large deck area might require longer, wider boards to minimise the number of joins. Similarly, if you’re planning to install a dining set or hot tub, you’ll need to account for the additional weight and space needed.

If you’re looking to create a modern, minimalist space, you might prefer decking with hidden fasteners or rounded edges.

Be sure to check the local building codes in your area. They may have guidelines on decking size and installation that you’ll need to follow. Besides, it’s critical to find one of the best decking services in London to get the installation job done in a satisfactory manner.


choosing the right composite decking

Choosing the Right Composite Decking

When choosing your composite decking, you’ll need to consider the cost, durability, aesthetics, and installation process. It’s also a good idea to think about how much maintenance you’re willing to put in and what kind of lifespan you’re looking for. One thing is for sure: no matter what type of deck you choose – it increases your home value

Tips for Making the Right Choice

  • Do your research thoroughly.
  • Compare different brands.
  • Read reviews and testimonials.
  • Seek recommendations from other homeowners.
  • Consider ordering samples to visualise how they’d look in your garden.
  • Always remember, your personal needs and preferences should drive your decision. What works for others might not work for you.

The Future of Decking

Composite decking, with its benefits of durability, low maintenance, and a wide variety of designs, seems to be the future of decking. It’s environmentally friendly and can stand up to the harshest of weather conditions. It might be a bigger investment up front, but the payoff, in the long run, seems to make it a wise choice.

As we move forward, we can only expect composite decking to become an increasingly popular option for homeowners and builders alike in London and across the world.