With summer right around the corner, it is time to get your outdoor living space in check. One of our favourite additions to any backyard is an outdoor deck which provides the perfect flooring for all, especially those who love to hold an outdoor dinner party, or those who seek something with limited maintenance.
Not only is an outdoor decking project a fun DIY challenge, but it also adds real value to your property when you come round to putting it on the market.
There are a range of different decking materials on the market but it is important to know type is best for you and your circumstances. For example, are you after a material that needs limited repair and maintenance? Or are you after a decking material that is able to withstand different weather elements? No matter what your needs are, there is likely to be a material to match.
Natural woods such as timber are perfect for an outdoor living space. Whilst they are pleasing to the eye, they are also very durable if maintained well, making them worth the investment. Natural woods maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the hotter summer months, perfect for walking on with bare feet. Natural woods are also appropriate for wet climates and around pools as they provide a safe, non-slip surface.
Whilst natural woods are durable when well maintained, they can weather over time if they are exposed to different environments. To minimise rotting, cracks and splits you will need to stain and seal the timber on a regular basis. There are a variety of different stains and sealants available to match your requirements with UV protection and water repellent also accessible.
If you are interested in a natural wood look but have a long and narrow area, bamboo is perfect for you. With its natural longer length, this wood is highly sustainable due to the fast growing nature of bamboo and its ability to be harvest easily.
Bamboo requires a similar amount of maintenance as other natural woods, however, ensure you choose your bamboo material carefully as it may need to be treated differently depending on its strength.
This option is popular amongst those interested in an eco-friendly option with a make-up of mostly wood fibres and recycled plastics. It is weather resistant, stain resistant and light weight which makes it perfect for those with limited DIY experience.
Composite requires limited maintenance as it doesn’t need staining or sealing, just a good wash every now and then to keep it in perfect condition. The material won’t rot or splinter like timber does, and will maintain its wood-grain look, texture and colour for the majority of its lifetime.
Also known as PVC, wood plastic, and polymer vinyls, these materials are perfect for high traffic areas such as around pools or to floor an alfresco area. They are a tighter material, making them less stressful for DIY projects (especially for the newbies out there). They can also be found in eco-friendly options, pleasing the environmentally conscious people out there!
The materials are very low maintenance as they are scratch, mildew and stain resistant. They are cost effective materials that are easy to clean and sustain, however don’t always last as long as other material options due to their synthetic nature.
Consider a metal material such as aluminium if you live near dense bushland or shrubbery as it won’t act as an accelerate in the event of a fire. It is an all-round good choice of material due to its affordability, weather resistancy, and limited required maintenance. The only downfall of the material is it can be slippery when wet, making it inappropriate for pool areas, or hot in direct sunlight, making it difficult to walk on during summer months. Therefore, it is best used in low traffic areas.