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Can’t Decide Between Traditional Wood or Composite Timber for Your Deck? Here’s How Both Options Stack Up:

deciding wood or timber 1Hardwood has traditionally been the material of choice when it comes to building a decking area, but recent years have seen ‘manufactured’ wood plastic composite timber grow in popularity among DIYers and professional deck builders alike.

So how do you choose between materials that have higher initial costs and low ongoing maintenance requirements, and materials that are cheaper to purchase but require more onerous and costly maintenance?

Deciding which material is best for your new deck or deck renovation project will depend on several factors including colour, available board widths and lengths, your ongoing maintenance requirements, and of course, price.

Most of today’s wooden decks are made of cedar, redwood, pressure-treated pine or tropical hardwood. Once laid, all wooden decking areas will require staining to act as a barrier against the elements, and this process will need to be repeated annually, with the deck requiring stripping and sanding in between to help prolong its life. It’s a time consuming process which can prove costly, and which you may find needs to be done by a professional landscaper. And even with regular maintenance, a traditional wood deck is still prone to cracking and splintering.

The alternative is to opt for a composite timber deck which is made from a high tech combination of wood fibres and recycled plastic. Although the initial installation price for a composite will be more than wood, the actual cost over time is a good deal closer. That’s because composite timber has superb weather resistance, a long service life and the lowest possible maintenance requirements, so all you’ll need to worry about is washing down your deck with water occasionally to remove any debris that’s built up from falling leaves, moss or other organic material. So there’s no expensive treating, painting, sanding or staining required, and your composite deck will never splinter, rot or warp like traditional wood.

deciding wood or timber 2Dura Deck from Dura Composites is a popular choice for landscapers and homeowners who are looking for the low-maintenance advantages of composite timber, but in a wide range of colours, widths and surface finishes to suit even the most demanding of applications.

The narrower boards (Dura Deck Type 146, and Dura Deck Type 150) have a more traditional appearance and most closely resemble natural wood planks, so there’s no need to compromise on looks if you’re opting for composite timber over traditional wood.

If your priority is maximising the speed of installation or if you’re planning a particularly large or heavy duty deck then one the wider boards (Dura Deck Type 225, or Dura Deck 295) may be more suitable. All Dura Deck composite timber decking boards are reversible to allow the installer to choose from two attractive finishes, and for times when you need to cut boards to specific sizes whilst maintaining core strength, Dura Composites also offers solid section profiles.  With a 10 year warranty and 25 year service life, you’ll be safe in the knowledge that you’ve chosen a future proof solution for your decking needs.

As well as the low-maintenance, cost effective, durable and versatile benefits of Dura Deck, the products are also certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. This is an assurance that the wood fibres contained in the boards was grown and harvested in a legal, sustainable manner—and not illegally clear-cut from a rainforest, so you can have peace of mind that you’re also making an eco-friendly choice for your deck.

When weighing up the pros and cons of composite timber versus traditional wood, you may find you need some additional help to decide what best fits your home and situation. The best way to do that is to talk with an experienced deck building professional who can ask the right questions and help you make the right decision.

To help ensure that you select the best product for your needs, our knowledgeable team is available Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm, for pre-sales support and technical queries. You can also download our detailed technical manuals by clicking here

When you’ve decided on the product that’s right for you, Dura Park Deck is available to purchase through our carefully selected distribution partners:

For commercial customers, our distributor International Timber, has 4 major UK depots in Stirlingshire, Manchester, Gloucestershire and Essex, and stocks a wide range of Dura Park Deck boards to meet your project requirements.

The details of your nearest depot can be found below:

Manchester (Northern Sales Centre) – 01618 482 900

Parkend, (South West & Wales Sales Centre) – 01594 566 000

Purfleet (London & South East Sales Centre) – 01708 68 3333

Grangemouth (Scotland Sales Centre) – 01324 666 000

For small and medium building contractors, and the general public, Dura Park Deck is available at a wide range of Jewson stores. To find your nearest branch, click here.

Our products can also be purchased from other members of Saint-Gobain Building Distribution, including Gibbs & Dandy and Champion Timber.

For more information on Dura Deck, please visit

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