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Timber vs Composite Decking

The most popular choices for residential decking is composite and timber. Both offer many pros and cons but the decision depends on your garden, your budget and importantly your family. You may need to factor things in like maintenance, how it looks and ages, along with safety features. All of which, are things we can help you with along the way.

If you’re not sure whether timber or composite would best suit you and you’re your garden, we have composed a few things you may want to consider when comparing timber to composite. Take a look at these points mentioned below and hopefully they may help you make the right decision to create your very own unique, luxury outdoor space.

Millboard decking

Decking Costs

The cost of timber deck boards depends on the type of decking you’re going for. Softwood is a lot cheaper than hardwood and similarly priced to composite decking. Timber decking will need to be stained and/or treated with oils to keep it looking great and lasting for many years to come.

The lower end of composite decking boards are the ‘548 Prestige Boards’ which we supply through Deck Direct; they’re roughly the price of a hardwood timber but they are very low maintenance and they come in an array of colours and dual sided so you get 2 colours on 1 board.

At the top end of the composite board range is the ‘Millboard’ decking range. They have 2 popular styles of decking boards which have the look and feel of real wood without the drawbacks of timber.

Lifespan and Maintenance

The lifetime of a timber deck can range from 15-30 years depending on how well maintained it is, although if not maintained, it will only last 10-15 years.

Timber decking can suffer from fungus and rot. Preventative measures can be taken by properly treating your decking, but if not, it is easy to replace a board here and there. Surface scratches aren’t such a problem for timber decking due to being able to sand it down & re-treating to make it look fresh again.

Composite decking will last between 20-30 years with very low maintenance as it just needs to be kept clean regularly. However, due to the plastic content in the lower end composite there is a possibility of getting surface scratches, which unfortunately cannot be sanded out.


Timber decking excels when it comes to strength. It’s naturally a strong material which has gained it’s strength from many years of growing.

Composite on the other hand has been fabricated, which means it doesn’t have the same strength. Problems can occur if you don’t have the correct subframe installed, providing the subframe has been built correctly, you’ll have all the integrity you get from timber.

Designs, styles & texture

Both timber and composite come in different ranges but when it comes to longevity and timeless finish, composite is the most popular choice. When you choose a colour and style it lasts, with little maintenance, for many years whereas timber needs to be treated and re-treated throughout its life to keep it looking great.

Composite is not only available in wood grain styles but modern reed effect finishes too. Both of which are a lot less slippery than timber. So if you’re looking for low maintenance and lasting style composite could be what you’re looking for. If you like traditional then nothing beats a timber.


Composite is a long lasting, low maintenance decking board which comes in an array of colours, styles and designs. It has high anti-slip properties, but remember to install correctly & be careful of heavy objects to avoid scratches.

Timber on the other hand is strong, naturally beautiful material. It can be stained upon your personal preference but it will need to be maintained regularly, which if maintained with love, it can remain looking spotless for its entire lifetime.

This really comes down to personal preference, both of which time & cost are key things to keep in mind.

If you would like to know more in depth information about the products mentioned, or any of the products we offer, then please do not hesitate to contact us through any of our websites listed below, or call our showroom and speak to one of our designers directly. We can’t wait to hear your plans for you garden and to help you achieve your very own unique luxury outdoor living space.

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