Building, Plumbing and Heating Supplies

Decking Boards: Composite Decking Vs Timber Decking

Composite Decking from Trex - Trex Transcend in Island Mist

Which decking board is best for my project?

If you’re planning a garden decking project, things like budget, the look you want and the amount of maintenance you’re happy to do are important considerations.

Below we set out the pros and cons of composite and timber decking boards to help you decide which is best for you.

Composite decking board vs timber decking board: maintenance

Composite decking vs timber decking board: cost 


Composite decking costs more than timber decking per square metre, including installation costs.


Timber decking costs less up front, but you’ll need to factor in time for maintenance, treatment and repairs when making a comparison.

timber decking board
composite decking board

Composite decking vs timber decking board: looks 


Composite decking doesn’t fade and maintains its fresh, ‘just laid’ looks for its lifetime. Boards are more uniform in colour and finish than natural timber.


Natural timber decking has attractive warm wood tones and silvers as it gets older. And of course, you can refresh it or give it completely new look with paints and stains in a range of colours .

Composite decking board vs timber decking board: lifespan 


With proper care and installation, composite decking can last up to 20 years. Composite decking does not splinter or scratch and is much more resistant to staining or fading.


Timber decks can be warped by weather, develop splinters due to wear and tear or suffer from rot and insect damage if not looked after. However, with annual maintenance, a timber deck has a life expectancy of between 10-15 years at least!

composite decking

Composite decking vs timber decking board: installation 


Composite decking requires specialist fixings and clips available from composite decking board suppliers. Find a flat, dry place to store them  and use a circular saw with a fine 40 tooth blade for cutting.  You’ll also need hidden fasteners for a smooth, uninterrupted finish for your deck.


Timber decking boards need to be stored in a moisture-free environment until you are ready to install them. Timber boards should be fixed with exterior timber decking screws designed to clamp boards to joists easily. Decking screws have double countersunk heads to penetrate the timber efficiently and a corrosion-resistant coating.

Composite decking vs timber decking board: sustainability 

Composite decking:

Composite decking is made from 95% reclaimed timber and plastic film, using earth-friendly manufacturing processes, free from  harmful chemicals.

Timber decking:

Natural timber decking is made from FSC certified softwood sourced sustainably from European forests.

Tools you’ll need for laying composite and timber decking boards

Trex Transcend Grooved Board Island Mist

Explore Trex Decking – the ultimate in no-maintenance weatherproof composite decking

Garden supplies delivered to you

Turnbull supplies high quality decking boards with free local delivery from its network of branches. Get handy kerbside delivery together with all the other materials for your garden deck project. Order online 24/7 or call 01529 308839 today.

Browse more ideas for garden landscaping, including useful tips about the best landscaping materials to buy from the Turnbull team