A timber decking is a perfect choice when you’re looking to add a touch of grandeur and sophistication to your home.
Not only does it bring an eye-catching look with its classic, warm, natural wood tones and smooth finish, but it also makes your outdoor space more functional, giving you extra space to host parties or just chill.
However, while timber decking is an incredible option for elevating your home and lifestyle, timber decking is not for everyone.
It has some limitations and disadvantages which can be a deal-breaker for some homeowners.
In this piece, we’re going to explore the different use cases of timber decking, its benefits, and some reasons to avoid so you’ll know whether timber decking is the right decking type for you.
Also, read until the end to know a great alternative to timber decking!
Different use cases for timber decking
Us Australians like throwing parties or spending the warm afternoon with friends, which is why a deck is a must in an Australian home.
A proper deck setup makes your outdoor space more functional and comfortable and is good for lunch arrangements, cosy meetings, and other fun activities.
Below are different ways you can set up your timber decking.
Patio and porch
Enhance your home’s curb appeal by adding a timber deck to your front porch. This can be a welcoming space to sit and enjoy your neighbourhood, and watch the kids running around the garden.
You may also create a timber deck in your backyard as a base for your patio area. It’s perfect for outdoor dining, barbecues, or just relaxing.
Outdoor Kitchen Area
If you enjoy cooking outdoors, a timber deck can provide the foundation for an outdoor kitchen, complete with a grill and seating area.
Swimming pool area
A deck is widely used near the pool area because of its heat-resistant, making the surface of the deck cool and comforting even in the daytime.
With timber decking installed around your pool, you can have an amazing pool swim and rest with your family on the pool deck.
Not to mention, the deck is also a great space where you can keep your swimming essentials near you. You can easily come out of the pool and grab your things.
If you have the opportunity, transforming a flat roof into a rooftop timber deck can provide a private, elevated outdoor space with potentially great views.
Who wouldn’t love a nice little campfire on chilly winter evenings?
If you miss having a proper setup around the pit where friends and family can all sit together, installing a timber decking around your fire pit is the way to go. Just add nice outdoor furniture and now you can have memorable weekend parties at home filled with wine, songs, and fun!
Kids usually look for a bigger area to play with their school friends. While a garden is a great option, it can be a little unsafe because of the stones, dirt, and thorns that might hurt the children.
If you’re looking for a safer option, a deck is a great one. A good decking gives kids enough space to run, jump or sit with their friends while you are busy with your everyday work. A timber decking is built to tolerate heavy traffic so you can completely rely on it.
Other timber decking ideas
- Garden pathways
- Raised garden beds
- Outdoor workspace
- Balcony decking
- Steps and staircases
Why timber decking?
If you’re kind of on the fence about getting a timber decking installed for your outdoor space, below are only some of the reasons why timber decking is a great choice.
Timber has a timeless, natural beauty that adds warmth and character to any outdoor space. The unique grain patterns and colour variations in wood are visually pleasing and often, if maintained correctly, become more attractive over time.
Versatility in design
Wood can be cut easily, making your timber decking customisable in terms of size and shape. You can also stain and sand the timber to achieve the colour, and finish you desire.
This makes timber decking suitable for a wide range of architectural styles, from modern to traditional.
Quality timber decking, especially when made from hardwoods, is incredibly durable. It can withstand heavy foot traffic and if cured and maintained correctly, it can endure harsh weather conditions and will last a good number of years.
If you are looking for a budget-friendly material for your backyard, timber is the right choice. Timber is a relatively cheap material that looks very elegant when transformed into a beautiful deck.
However, depending on the type of hardwood you’re going to buy, prices may vary and there are costs associated with maintaining it too. That’s why we highly recommend that you compare your timber options so you can properly set your budget and expectations.
Wood has natural insulating properties. That’s why timber decking can keep its surface temperature better than other materials.
Unlike metal or plastic, timber does not heat up excessively in the sun, nor does it become too cold in the winter, providing a comfortable outdoor space year-round.
Increases property value
A well-designed and maintained timber deck can increase not just the aesthetic appeal but also the value of your property. It simply makes your home more attractive to potential buyers if you decide to sell in the future.
Reasons to avoid timber decking
While timber decking is already a great choice for your outdoor space, it’s still not a perfect one because it has its fair share of disadvantages. Some homeowners have learned about these the hard way by installing one on their patio, only to find out about its flaws a couple years later.
To avoid that, we’re listing some of the reasons why you must avoid timber decking for your outdoor space so you’d know right away whether you can live with these drawbacks or not.
Timber decking requires treatments such as staining, sealing, and possibly sanding every year or every other year to protect against weathering, fading, and wear. This ongoing maintenance can be time-consuming and costly over the lifespan of the deck.
If you do not have the budget or you’re not willing to commit to this kind of maintenance, timber decking might not be for you.
Timbers can last long, but not forever. After all, natural wood is vulnerable to environmental factors. It can rot, warp, and fade due to moisture, temperature fluctuations, and UV exposure.
Wood is notorious for being prone to mould and mildew, especially in damp, shaded environments. This not only affects the deck’s appearance but can also lead to deterioration and the need for more frequent cleaning and maintenance.
Wood is also susceptible to termite and other insect attacks, which can compromise its structural integrity. Regular inspections and treatments are necessary to prevent infestation
Certain woods may also crack over time, especially if not adequately maintained. The keyword here is maintain. If you give your timber decking some TLC regularly, you may be able to extend its lifetime. But if not, it will deteriorate sooner than you think.
If you care about nature, as we all should, timber decking might not be the best choice. Or at least some of it.
That’s because sourcing timber decking can have environmental implications. Over-harvesting can lead to deforestation, especially if the company making your decking materials is not committed to sustainability.
And even with sustainably sourced timber, there’s a carbon footprint associated with transportation and processing still. Not to mention, treatments and finishes used on wood can also contain harmful chemicals.
Timber decks can show significant variation in colour and grain between boards. Over time, wood naturally weathers and changes colour, which might not be desirable for those seeking a consistent look.
As timber ages, it can dry out and produce splinters, which are a safety concern, especially in spaces used by children and pets. Regular sanding and sealing can solve this, but it’s not a guarantee that new splinters will come out of the decking boards.
Below average fire resistance
In areas prone to wildfires, timber decking might not be the best option due to its flammability. If you live in those kinds or areas, timber decking might not be the best choice.
These are only some of the reasons why you should avoid timber as your decking material. If you don’t have the time and budget for regular maintenance, getting timber decking is not recommended.
But if you’re willing to splurge on highest quality hardwoods and the high maintenance cost to achieve the most natural look for your decking, timber is the way to go.
Composite decking, a way better alternative
Composite decking is a modern alternative to traditional timber decking. It’s typically made from a mix of wood fibres and plastics.
WoodEvo composite decking, for example, is made out of 60% recycled harwood fibres, 35% recycled plastics and 5% binding agent.
This combination makes our composite decking boards look and feel exactly like timber, but without its drawbacks.
Below are more reasons why composite decking is better than timber decking and why you’ll love WoodEvo.
Durability and longevity
Composite decking is highly resistant to rot, decay, and insect infestation, thanks to its synthetic composition. It’s designed to withstand harsh weather conditions without warping, cracking, or splintering.
Timber decking typically doesn’t last as long as composite decking. While the lifespan of a timber deck varies based on wood type and maintenance, most can’t match the 25-30 year (or longer) lifespan of WoodEvo composite decking.
And just to rub it in, WoodEvo boasts up to 30 years of warranty.
Unlike timber decking, it doesn’t require staining, sealing, or sanding. A simple cleaning with soap and water is usually enough to maintain its appearance.
Unmatched aesthetic appeal
Our composite decking comes in a variety of colours and textures, many of which mimic the look of natural wood. This makes it the perfect choice, whether you love darker or warmer wood tones for your decking.
WoodEvo’s composite decking also has anti-fade properties. Even with direct exposure to sunlight, our composite decking will maintain its colour better than natural wood.
Initially, composite decking can be more expensive than timber, but its long-term costs are often lower due to reduced maintenance needs. Not to mention, you won’t need to replace your WoodEvo composite decking for up to 30 years.
Unless you decide to change the colour and layout of course.
Comfort and safety
WoodEvo composite decking doesn’t splinter, making it comfortable and safe for bare feet. Also, it’s less likely to become extremely hot in the sun compared to some other materials.
It’s also designed with a high-rated slip-resistant surface, making them a safe choice for areas near pools or in rainy climates.
Not convinced yet? Read our deeper dive on the composite decking vs timber decking topic and why WoodEvo is the clear winner.
Timber decking is no doubt a great choice for any type of outdoor decking, especially if you don’t mind breaking the bank for quality hardwoods and costly maintenance.
But if you’re on the hunt for a decking material that looks and feels just like timber but is more durable, lasts longer, and virtually maintenance-free, WoodEvo composite decking is the best choice.
Explore our composite decking ranges and see it for yourself.