When building a deck, we want it to be as safe as possible. We don’t want any accidents to happen, not only to ourselves but also to the people visiting our homes. So when choosing the materials, we want it to be slip-free. But what are the best non-slip garden decking materials? 

Comparison of Decking Materials

We can group decking boards into three; wood, composites, and plastic. Each one of these has advantages over the other. But when it comes to a non-slip property, which one is the best? To answer that question, we must compare the three whether they’re non-slip or not. 

Plastic Decking

First on the list is plastic decking, which includes PVC and polyethene. They are the most lightweight material for decking. These materials are incredibly durable and very resistant to weather damage. They are also not prone to warping and staining. But what about slipping?

Unfortunately, most plastic decking can be slippery, especially when wet. Most of these materials have a smooth coating, making it prone to accidents. The good thing about plastic is they’re not susceptible to mould and fungi. This means any slip due to this won’t be a problem with plastic decking. But other than that, plastic decking is generally the most slippery.

Wood Decking

Another decking option is wood. It’s the most used material type due to its affordable price. Many people also like the feel and aesthetic of wood, making it a top choice for homeowners and business owners. However, when it comes to maintenance, it’s the hardest to maintain. Why does it matter?

When it comes to slipping, wood is among the most reliable garden decking options, but only if it’s maintained properly. Why? Wood is naturally slip-free, especially high-quality ones. However, when algae and mould start to grow, it can make the deck slippery. And the worst thing about wood is that among all the types of decking, they are the most susceptible. Which means no matter how high quality the wood is, it will become slippery when not given care and attention.

Composite Decking

Composite decking materials are one of the most popular alternatives for decking materials other than wood boards. It’s the best of both worlds, having the durability of plastic and the aesthetic of wood. As for the price, it’s cheaper than plastic but more expensive than wood. But what about the degree of slipperiness?

Since composites are part-plastic, they inherit some of the smoothness of plastic. They are slippery but to a lesser degree, making them a little bit more smooth than wood. However, composites have an advantage over wood. Like PVC and plastic decking, composites are also resistant to moulds and fungi. Any smoothness caused by these factors is not a problem by using composite decking materials. However, you still need to clean and maintain composites. 

Best Non-Slip Decking

So which of the three is the best non-slip decking? It’s clear that plastic is the smoothest among the options. Meanwhile, wood is an excellent option, as long as you remember to clean and maintain them. As for composites, it may not be as non-slip as wood, but it’s easier to maintain.

Does this mean that you should always pick wood? Is there no other alternative? Not quite. 

Non-Slip Decking Innovations

Aside from the material itself, there are many innovations and inventions that can make decks and patios safer. For instance, plastic and composite decking are naturally smooth. That’s why manufacturers invented ribbed or grooved decking, which is useful even for wood decking materials. Wood decks, stains and coatings that prevent slipping are also available in the market. Aside from these applications, homeowners and builders can also opt to use decking strips as an alternative. Others also use slip-free mats. These are non-slip materials placed over the decks to minimise slipping. 

Safety is a priority when choosing the right deck material. The best non-slip garden decking materials are usually either wood or composites. You can also use plastic as long as they have features that minimise slipping.