There are a few options to consider when it comes to choosing your decking and it's important to get it right first time to save further costs in the future.
Janet Sycamore from the Timber Decking & Cladding Association recently wrote an Article 'Evaluating wood plastic composite decking' in TRADA's Timber 2016 Industry Yearbook which looked at the pros and cons of WPC and stated that
"A number of cases of poor performance have been reported to the Timber Decking and Cladding association (TDCA), although these appear to be limited to a particular type of ‘cheaper’ hollow form board. Installation errors were a feature in many cases, although product quality issues remain under question."
You can read the full article here
Why choose timber over composite decking?
Timber is a renewable product with a beautifully natural finish. In comparison composite decking is made of a mix of sawdust and plastic molded to resemble a deck board. Moisture can seep through the outer plastic layer of composite down to the wood fiber causing it to swell and over time this can lead to voids forming in the surface of the boards. In comparison timber swells to a much lesser extent, reducing any structural damage that might occur from swelling.
Composite decking is on the higher end of the price scale amongst hardwoods. One thing to bear in mind is composite boards become slippery very quickly in wet conditions.
Non slip decking vs. traditional decking
Traditional timber decking becomes very slippery when wet, the most common cause for slippery decking is a build up of algae growth. Fallen leaves and foliage as well as cold icy winters contribute to making decking slippery. Non slip decking features anti slip inserts that provide grip on top of the timber board that works regardless of surface water, algae, fallen leaves or ice.
Non slip decking vs.
Gripsure non slip decking is made by injecting epoxy resin into the grooves of a timber board and coating with an aggregate finish. The result is an anti slip insert that is bonded to the timber board. Because the resin is applied in liquid form the inserts are sealed into the grooves meaning no water can get in between the board and the inserts, as a pose to retro fitted inserts where water can make contact with the board and cause it to swell and pop the inserts out. Installing retro fit inserts is a very labour intensive job and can be quite expensive if your trying to cover a large area. As the inserts are glued or screwed in they can become lose over time potentially creating a trip hazard.