With so many different types of decking on the market, would-be deck owners can often find it difficult to distinguish one product from the next. Not everyone is aware, for example, of the difference between hardwood and softwood boards, or of the fact that plastic decking and composite decking are two different things.
Today, we're going to cut through the jargon and explain the key differences between two of the most popular decking materials on the market: hardwood decking and composite decking.
Hardwood decking is made of solid timber, whereas composite decking - as the name suggests - is made from a composite of natural and synthetic materials. TimberTech's composite boards, for example, are made of polyethylene, hardwood flour, and cellulose materials.
This difference in composition leads to numerous other differences, such as...
Hardwood decks must be cleaned and oiled regularly to preserve the boards. Composite deck boards are far less maintenance-intensive, requiring only the occasional wash to keep everything looking good.
Solid timber boards can grow quite slippery when wet; composite decking is less absorbent than hardwood, which means that it dries quicker and greatly reduces the user's risk of slipping and falling. Furthermore, composite boards are far less prone to splintering and cracking due to the difference in composition.
Composite decking was once considered an inferior alternative to wooden decking, at least in terms of its appearance. However, manufacturing techniques have now progressed to the point that composite boards can look just as authentic as their hardwood counterparts, with attractive wood-grain surfaces that are practically indistinguishable from solid timber.
In many ways, hardwood decking is a very environmentally-unfriendly choice for one's garden. The wood from which the boards are made is typically harvested from tropical rainforests, and the oils that are used to seal hardwood decks can introduce undesirable chemicals into the ecosystem at large. Composite boards, as mentioned above, require no chemical maintenance, and the wood flour that's used to manufacture composite decking is made using waste wood that would otherwise be sent to a landfill.
Click here to learn more about the difference between hardwood and composite decking products. Alternatively, order a free sample of TimberTech's composite decking to take a closer look at what composite decking has to offer.