Exterior Solutions Ltd loves timber. This natural construction material has a place in our history and, when sustainably sourced, is highly desirable on many modern build projects. Hardwood is durable and aesthetically-pleasing, with unique grain patterns and colours. It insulates and has a timeless appeal.
In the past, decking products that attempted to emulate hardwood decking fell short of the mark. The finish looked artificial and the quality was inferior to the real deal. In recent years, this has changed. Advanced technology has created high-quality composite decking which looks the part and offers exceptional performance.
Now when we are asked if hardwood or composite decking is best, the answer isn’t simple. Our recommendation is based on several elements in the project brief. Let us explain more.
Superior Quality Composite Decking UK
To provide architects, property developers and builders with choice, we scoured the composite decking market to find product ranges that match our quality standards. We looked for brands that combined innovation, performance, longevity and aesthetic appeal.
Exterior Solutions Ltd is proud to be UK distributors of:
- Exterpark™ Tech Composite Decking – a convincing wood-effect finish and a patented fastening system that locks decking boards in place without gaps or visible fixings.
- Millboard Composite Decking – the range includes a carbonated-effect deck, which emulates our charred timber cladding and the Millboard decking is an effective insulator.
We’d like to share the benefits of quality composite decking to help you make an informed choice about your exterior supplies.
What are the Benefits of Composite Decking?
High-quality composite decking can cost more than many hardwood decking ranges, so this isn’t a cheap alternative. We answer five frequently asked questions to explain the benefits of premium composite decking and why it offers long term value.
Is Composite Decking Low Maintenance?
The major benefit of composite decking is that it requires minimum maintenance. An annual brush to clear debris and scrub (with soapy water or Owatrol Compo clean) will keep it looking good as new for years to come. In contrast, reinvigorating hardwood decking takes a bit more care and attention.
Is Composite Decking as Durable as Hardwood?
We promote solid boards, as they are stronger and have an appearance and feel underfoot that is closer to hardwood. Solid composite boards are very durable. They can hold the weight of heavy items including hot tubs and outdoor kitchens, as well as withstanding high footfall.
Premium quality composite decking comes can be expected to last for decades and this is reflected in the warranties that are issued.
A point to note is that the longevity of decking is often compromised by the substructure. The area beneath the decking boards needs to have drainage and provide adequate support. Aluminium supports or manufacturers-own products are recommended, as is following their installation guides.
Is Composite Decking Eco-friendly?
In many cases, a sustainably sourced, natural material such as hardwood outranks plastic-based products for environmental impact and recyclability. This isn’t always the case. Advanced composite decking is made from recycled plastic, cleverly combined with timber offcuts; in manufacturing the boards, waste materials are transformed into a highly desirable product.
At the end of life, we know that hardwood decking can be recycled for use in other products. Again, this was not always the case for composite boards, but things have changed. Systems are now available to enable the recycling of composite boards. The eco-credentials are, therefore, strong.
Does Composite Decking Scratch and Stain?
One of the disadvantages of composite decking is that it can’t be sanded and recoated to remove marks. This is an issue for cheap ranges which can be prone to scratches and stains. We only supply moisture and scratch-resistant decking.
The patented system used for fixing Exterpark™ boards is a bonus. In the unlikely situation that a board was damaged, it can be removed and replaced with ease.
Does Composite Decking Split or Splinter?
Natural wood can split or splinter, but this is not the case for quality composite boards. This makes it an ideal base for children’s play areas. If you love being barefoot, composite is a good option.
Our Decking Recommendation
As hardwood and composite decking suppliers, we recommend that you consider what the decked area will be used for. Be realistic about the maintenance requirements and project budget when weighing up the options.
For large decked areas with high footfall, such as commercial developments, schools, park landscaping and visitor attractions, composite decking offers a practical solution. If professionally installed, it offers long-lasting performance and looks with minimal maintenance.
Contact us on 01494 711800 to discuss your project requirements and request a quote. Exterior Solutions Ltd is happy to supply samples to help you make an informed choice.