Making the Best Choice for Your Decking Project

Is your outdoor living space in need of a makeover? Decking is arguably one of the most important aspects of a patio or garden area, as it’s what makes the space so sociable – think warm summer evenings of cocktails on the terrace, barbecues on the patio or evening dinners on the deck.

Millboard® decking from Outlive is the best way to transform your space and add that wow-factor, however with a myriad of decking materials, colors and styles on the market, it can sometimes be difficult to know what to choose. To help you decide, we put the four main categories of outdoor decking materials head-to-head.


Natural stone

Natural stone offers a variety of colors, textures and sizes that can suit many design aesthetics while also being relatively inexpensive to purchase. Just be mindful of slip resistance, as some stone can become slippery when wet and can require some maintenance.

Natural stone requires regular sealing. Without sealing, the stone can deteriorate and also change color. For example, over time, it may begin to feature white dots on its surface – the result of calcium deposits in the stone reacting with water and air to produce an unsightly white ‘bloom’, this is added to the lichens that may start to cling to the stone – not ideal if you have meticulously color-matched your natural stone to other elements within your garden or home.


Concrete Slabs

Using concrete to complete your outdoor living space offers some advantages such as longevity and durability in harsh weather conditions, and in some cases may be less expensive than other stone options. Concrete slabs can also be colored and stamped to appear like real stone and match any design, however once treated they can also become more slippery and can fade over time.

Concrete slabs can also shift and crack resulting in costly repairs and even replacement which can be very difficult to match the original over time. If chips or cracks appear, these can also result in added tripping hazards.

Composite

Composite materials, manufactured from wood bi-products or a combination of wood and plastics, are becoming more widely available across the country. Composite materials offer longevity wood cannot provide, while still having the appearance of natural wood product with no maintenance.

Even with composite, you cannot avoid using treated lumber for the frames which will still have an environmental impact, a reason many customers choose to avoid natural wood to begin with. Darker composites may also fade over time to do UV rays, weathering and high-traffic. While composite options are durable for normal use, they are subject to scratches and deep gouges, more prone to warping, shifting and weakening than natural wood and are difficult to repair without full replacement which may leave you with uneven color.
 

Wood

If you’d like to add a warm, natural look to your garden, wood and wood-look decking is an ideal option. It’s traditional too, so will always be on-trend.

While traditional wood is a great decking option initially, thanks to the often cheap outlay, particularly true of the many softwoods on the market, the slippery nature of algae growth and wet weather, as well as continually painting and staining it soon outweighs the lower cost, in addition to the huge health and safety risk of slips and falls. Enter Millboard decking…

Millboard

Millboard decking is famed for its unrivaled aesthetic, offering the same, if not better visuals than traditional timber. The advantage of Millboard decking is that, due to its wood-free composition, it looks great with relatively little maintenance – perfect for busy families or those who would rather spend their time enjoying their outdoor space than maintaining it!

The various colors in the range mean you can go for something traditional – such as Enhanced Grain Golden Oak or Weathered Oak Vintage, or something more contemporary and modern, such as Enhanced Grain Burnt Cedar or Brushed Basalt. The Lastane top layer also not only provides a slip resistant finish, but it’s also quieter and softer to walk on, too.

 

The Comparison

To help you make your decision for decking, take a look at our comparison table below.

Decking material comparison table
Compare the fading, maintenance, warping and cost of various decking materials

Finally, if you would like any help or advice on Millboard decking, or would like to provide Millboard to your customers, get in touch with us at info@outlive.info.

 

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