Decking – composite or natural

Greengage TeamGreengage interests

Composite decking

When it comes to decking, you have a couple of options to choose from. One of the most popular choices is between composite (top three images) and wooden decking (last image). While both options have their pros and cons, it’s important to understand the differences between the two before making a decision. We have experience of laying both and are happy to advise between the two types. We also have a range of samples customers can see.

Composite decking is made from a combination of wood fibres and plastic. It’s designed to look and feel like real wood, but it’s more durable and requires less maintenance. Wooden decking, on the other hand, is made from natural wood and requires more maintenance to keep it looking good.


One of the biggest differences between composite and wooden decking is their appearance. Composite decking is designed to look like real wood, but it has a more uniform appearance. This can be a pro or a con depending on your personal preferences. If you prefer a more consistent look, composite decking might be the better choice. However, if you prefer the natural variations of real wood, wooden decking might be the way to go.


Another important factor to consider is durability. Composite decking is more durable than wooden decking because of its composition. This means it’s resistant to rot, decay, and insect damage. It’s also less likely to warp or splinter over time. Wooden decking, on the other hand, is more prone to these issues. It requires regular maintenance to prevent rot and decay, and it may need to be replaced sooner than composite decking.


Maintenance is another important consideration when choosing between composite and wooden decking. Composite decking requires very little maintenance. It doesn’t need to be stained or sealed, and it can be cleaned with soap and water. Wooden decking, on the other hand, requires regular maintenance to keep it looking good. It needs to be stained or sealed every few years, and it should be cleaned regularly to prevent mould and mildew growth.


Cost is another factor to consider when choosing between composite and wooden decking. Composite decking is generally more expensive than wooden decking upfront. However, it requires less maintenance over time, which can make it a more cost-effective option in the long run. Wooden decking may be cheaper upfront, but the cost of maintenance can add up over time.

Environmental Impact

Finally, it’s important to consider the environmental impact of your decking choice. Composite decking is made from a combination of wood fibres and plastic, which means it’s not a completely eco-friendly option. However, some companies offer composite decking made from recycled materials, which can be a more sustainable choice. Wooden decking, on the other hand, is a renewable resource, but it requires the use of chemicals to treat and preserve the wood.

In conclusion, both composite and wooden decking have their pros and cons. Composite decking is more durable and requires less maintenance, but it’s generally more expensive upfront. Wooden decking is a more natural option, but it requires regular maintenance to keep it looking good. Ultimately, the decision comes down to personal preference, budget, and environmental concerns.

We have been using Milboard decking for our latest projects and would like to recommend it. This is taken from their website.

What makes Millboard composite decking ‘the best’?

Millboard is the only composite decking that is 100% wood-free, so it doesn’t need capping to protect it. Using a unique fiber-glass reinforced resin-mineral composition, Millboard achieves the finest quality of finish, balanced with usability and maximum durability.

This gives Millboard composite decking a series of unique benefits that allow it to outperform even nature itself, with no other decking solution being anything like Millboard – composite or otherwise.

  • Composite decking moulded from real oak
  • Not extruded like most composites. Millboard decking looks just like the real thing.
  • Superior slip-resistance, much safer than wood, especially when wet.
  • Splinter-free, real wood look whilst being kind to pets and children
  • Low carbon footprint – independendtly and UKAS accredited to the ISO 14064-1 Verified Carbon Footprint Assurance Mark
  • Lost-head fixings, Our Durafix® fixings are virtually hidden beneath the unique Lastane® surface on our composite decking boards, allowing you to obtain a near flawless finish in your projects that wouldn’t be possible with other materials.
  • Low maintenance – easy to install and maintain, light and easy to clean, no need for staining or oiling
  • Rot, warp & Rot, warp & split resistant
  • Millboard composite decking is completely wood-free – No timber content in our boards means there is no risk of rotting. As the boards are completely wood-free, it means they won’t warp or attract insects & pests like a real wood or wood composite deck might.
  • Split resistant
  • Resistant to algae and weathering. No protein content means no algal content.

Words: Jennie Eastick, Amateur gardener and Office Manager