A Guide to Decking - Choose the right material for you

A Guide to Decking - Choose the right material for you

Picking the right type of decking isn’t as simple as laying down some wood in the back garden. Each garden might require a different style of decking, and every family may need something different for their outdoor space. Here’s a rundown of the different types of decking with expert tips from the team at UK Timber.


The three most common types of decking

The first question posed to you on your hunt to find decking is which of three main types is the best for you? These are softwood, composite, and hardwood. Each has its pros and cons.



Hardwood decking is most commonly made out of oak, a slow-growing tree with extremely durable properties and a lot of styles. It’s typically the most expensive type of decking because oak takes a lot longer to cultivate. Despite that extra cost, hardwood decking is the most durable and requires less long-term maintenance. It’s also a bit more difficult to work with. You might need some expert advice to install hardwood decking on your own, but with a lifespan of up to 50 years, at least you only need to install it once. You likely won’t require any repairs or maintenance on the decking in that time – great if you’re looking for a long-term feature.



Softwood is made of fast-growing trees, most commonly pine. This means it is quite easy to replace if it’s damaged, and that might happen more often than with hardwood. Softwood is more susceptible to damage and is generally weaker. It will require more maintenance over the years; however, it is significantly cheaper than hardwood. Softwood is also comparatively easy to install. The wood is more malleable and easier to shape to the right specifications. You will need to maintain the deck over its lifespan of roughly 25 years. We recommend a regular oil treatment and cleaning to make sure the deck stands the test of time.



Composite decking, in some ways, combines the benefits of softwood and hardwood into one material. Made of wood and plastic, this decking is extremely durable, pretty much waterproof, and is available in a wide range of different styles. It will easily last over 50 years, and with the more expensive price tag, it’s the durability and longevity that you’re paying for. Composite decking is available as both decking boards and tiles, and it is easy to maintain them both.


Other types of decking to keep in mind

There’s one major problem when it comes to installing decking in your garden – the British weather. That’s why you might consider an anti-slip decking that is designed to keep everyone on their feet. Anti-slip decking is available as insert boards or built directly into the decking.

If you’d like to learn more about the different types of decking on offer, or wish to tell us about your needs, please call our friendly team today on 01536 267107.