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Is Wood Decking Worth It?

Wood decking is a natural material and the oldest form of decking. Homeowners on a low budget can use wood to build decks since it’s the most affordable decking material on the market. Despite being cheap, some homeowners still choose not to purchase wood decking.

What You Need to Know About Wood Decking

Is purchasing wood decking worth it? Before answering that question, you need to know all about wood decking. There are various types of wood decking such as softwood, hardwood and pressure-treated wood.

Hardwood decking is more durable and the most expensive. Decking made from hardwood generally lasts longer and is more resistant to insect damage. Pressure-treated woods, on the other hand, are not as durable.

Softwood decking is the cheapest and ideal for homeowners who want to build a deck on a budget. The key difference is that pressure-treated wood is infused with chemicals to prevent rot, decay and damage from insects.

Benefits of Using Wood Decking

Is Wood Decking Worth it

If you like natural decking material, then wood decking is the best choice for you. Unlike plastic or composite decking, wood is a natural outdoor flooring material. Most homeowners love wood decking because of its natural look and texture. If you lay wood decking in your garden, it will blend well with the area. 

Apart from that, wood decking is cheaper than plastic and even composite decking. Homeowners on a low budget can easily build a wood deck in their garden compared to other decking materials.

The disadvantage of Using Wood Decking

Durability

Wood or timber decking is not as durable as composite or plastic decking. Wood decking can break or crack leading to replacement. Using timber decking as an outdoor flooring material might not be a good option if your looking for durability. Wood is durable when installed in all honestly, the decrease of durability comes 5 years down the road due to moisture damage in which weakens timber, resulting in increase maintenance or structural fail. If long term durability is key for you then wood may not be your best option.

Short Lifespan

The lifespan of wood is something to consider when choosing your decking material. Although there are different types of wooden decking, their lifespan varies. Hardwood decking will last longer than softwood. For your wooden decking to last for years, you need to give the decking adequate maintenance. Treating the decking with sealant, stains or oils is also essential. A well maintained wooden deck can last for 10 to 15 years. 

Difficult to Maintain

Timber decking can be stressful and difficult to maintain. It also requires a lot of money to maintain a wooden decking area. You will need to budget for sanding, staining and sealing your wooden deck annually to make it last longer. All this will cost you a lot of money and can be stressful and time-consuming at the same time.

Low Resistance

Wood decking also has low resistance to insects, moisture and other natural elements. If you install timber decking without treating it, you should expect to experience rot, decay, splinters and breakages including damage caused by insects. 

The wood will readily absorb moisture from the atmosphere. When there is high humidity, wood will absorb moisture from the atmosphere and swell. The wood will also shrink when there is low humidity. When wood swells and shrinks, it can warp or twist. 

Can Leach Chemicals

Pressure-treated wood contains chemicals. If you use pressure-treated wood for decking, the wood can leach chemicals into the soil. The chemicals can affect soil as well as plants. Using pressure-treated wood is not the best decking material option if you want a green and eco-friendly outdoor flooring material that is kinder to the environment. 

Is installing wood decking worth it?

Considering both the benefits and disadvantages of wood, is installing wood decking worth it? Before installing wood decking, consider its durability, maintenance and lifespan. Timber decking requires a lot of maintenance with a lower lifespan than other decking materials.

Conclusion

If you want something cheaper, wood decking is a good option. However, if your looking for something that is long lasting, offers consistency of colour and is low maintenance, then you should consider other decking material options like composite decking or PVC decking.

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