Can’t Decide Between Traditional Wood or Composite Timber for a Deck? Dura Composites Explains How Both Options Stack Up:

Hardwood has traditionally been the material of choice when it comes to building a decking area, but recent years have seen ‘manufactured’ wood plastic composite timber such as Dura Deck grow in popularity among DIYers and professional deck builders alike.

So, as a Landscaper, how do you help your customers choose between materials that have higher initial costs and low ongoing maintenance requirements, and materials that are cheaper to purchase but require more onerous and costly maintenance?

Deciding which material is best for your customer’s new deck or deck renovation project will depend on several factors including colour, available board widths and lengths, their ongoing maintenance requirements, and of course, price. Take time to discuss exactly how the customer plans to use the deck. Is it in a shaded area or in direct sunlight? How long do they plan to live in the property and will their new deck material prove to be an asset if they decide to sell?

Although wood has traditionally been used for garden decking, the past 5 years have seen huge advancements in engineering and the popularity of composite wood alternatives that outperform and outlast their wooden counterparts.

Wooden decking boards such as pressure-treated Southern yellow pine, redwood or cedar, are natural, easy to install and can be cheaper to purchase initially, but they require extensive annual maintenance and can rot, splinter, and warp. The main reason people choose wood is for the initial cost savings, but as well as their tendency to deteriorate over time, wooden decks also require periodic resealing and re-staining.

The alternative is to opt for a composite timber deck which is made from a high tech combination of wood fibres and recycled plastic. Although the initial installation price for a composite will be more than wood, the actual cost over time is a good deal closer. That’s because composite timber has superb weather resistance, a long service life and the lowest possible maintenance requirements, so all the homeowner will need to worry about is washing down their deck with water occasionally to remove any debris that’s built up from falling leaves, moss or other organic material. So there’s no expensive treating, painting, sanding or staining required, and their composite deck will never splinter, rot or warp like traditional wood.

Dura Deck from Dura Composites is a popular choice for landscapers and homeowners who are looking for the low-maintenance advantages of composite timber, but in a wide range of colours, widths and surface finishes to suit even the most demanding of applications.

The narrower boards (Dura Deck Type 146, and Dura Deck Type 150) have a more traditional appearance and most closely resemble natural wood planks, so there’s no need to compromise on looks if you’re opting for composite timber over traditional wood.

If your priority is maximising the speed of installation or if you’re planning a particularly large or heavy duty deck then one the wider boards (Dura Deck Type 225, or Dura Deck 295) may be more suitable. All Dura Deck composite timber decking boards are reversible to allow the installer to choose from two attractive finishes, and for times when you need to cut boards to specific sizes whilst maintaining core strength, Dura Composites also offers solid section profiles.  With a 10 year warranty and expected 25 year service life, you’ll be safe in the knowledge that you’ve chosen a future proof solution for your customer’s decking needs.

As well as the low-maintenance, cost effective, durable and versatile benefits of Dura Deck, the products are also certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. This is an assurance that the wood fibres contained in the boards were grown and harvested in a legal, sustainable manner—and not illegally clear-cut from a rainforest, so your customer can have peace of mind that they’re also making an eco-friendly choice.

If time is of the essence and your customer can’t afford to build a deck frame you might want to consider pointing them towards choosing decking tiles. Products such as Dura Tile feature a composite timber deck surface fixed onto a plastic base. To lay these tiles in an afternoon, all you need is an area of hard-standing such as a paving or concrete that is flat and you can simply place the tiles into position secured using the interlocking tabs. The real advantage here is that the customer saves time and money and you can create a deck area look for them with very little effort.

When weighing up the pros and cons of composite timber versus traditional wood, you may find you need some additional help to decide what best fits your customer’s home and situation. The best way to do that is to talk with an experienced supplier such as Dura Composites who can ask the right questions and help you make the right decision.

To help ensure that you select the best product for your needs, our knowledgeable team is available Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm, for pre-sales support and technical queries. You can also download our detailed technical manuals by clicking here

When you’ve decided on the product that’s right for you, Dura Deck is available to purchase through our carefully selected distribution partners:

For commercial landscapers, our distributor International Timber, has 4 major UK depots in Stirlingshire, Manchester, Gloucestershire and Essex, and stocks a wide range of Dura Park Deck boards to meet your project requirements.

The details of your nearest depot can be found below:


Manchester (Northern Sales Centre) – 01618 482 900

Parkend, (South West & Wales Sales Centre) – 01594 566 000

Purfleet (London & South East Sales Centre) – 01708 68 3333

Grangemouth (Scotland Sales Centre) – 01324 666 000

For small and medium landscapers, and the general public, Dura Deck is available at a wide range of Jewson stores. To find your nearest branch, click here.

Our products can also be purchased from other members of Saint-Gobain Building Distribution, including Gibbs & Dandy and Champion Timber.

For more information on Dura Deck, please visit