Decking: Hardwood or Composite?

Decking through the eyes of the installer ….

A lot of our time is spent at work or in traffic or asleep! All things that are part of life. But, so is relaxing and what better way than at home in your own space enjoying your ‘great outdoors’.

Decking is a perfect addition to any modern, federation, retro or classic home or commercial property.

Introducing tranquillity, style, ambiance and practicality, your decking will also add value to your property PLUS provide a place to gather with friends and family for long Sunday lunches and quiet morning coffee.

But, which is better – Hardwood or Composite?

Good question

Hardwood is a popular choice softening an area with warm tones, rich reds, aging greys or golden shades that pop against your garden backdrop.

With a variety of choice including Indonesian Merbau, Western Australia Jarrah, Eastern States Spotted Gum, Fijian Mahogany and WA Geographe Jarrah, there is a timber to suit your home and application.

With routine care, your deck will last for decades


  • Hardwood is natural
  • Looks stunning in any setting
  • Is softer than concrete, liquid limestone and paving
  • Feels nice under your bare feet
  • May suit older homes better over a composite board


  • Scratches and stains easily
  • Has potential to twist and cup in the weather if unsealed
  • Requires regular and ongoing maintenance
  • Can look pretty shabby in no time if left without regular oiling
Beautiful hardwood decking is a feature in any setting
Merbau hardwood decking. Looks amazing against the green grass backdrop

Composite is a combination of recycled material, primarily timber and plastics. So essentially, composite decking is an eco friendly option.

With a selection of colours and textures, there will be a composite to suit your needs.


  • Maintenance free! A sweep or hose down every couple of months is probably all it’ll need
  • A good brand will come with a warranty
  • No nails or screws popping up. The boards are secured with hidden fixings
  • Termite and ant proof
  • Warp, shrink and fade resistant


  • More expensive initially than timber, but, no further expensive maintenance required
  • Does get hot in full sun (as do most surfaces)
  • Either you like it or you don’t
  • Some cheaper brands do tend to scratch

As with all things in life, you get what you pay for. There are good brands of composite that cost a little more and there are cheaper brands that save you money initially but don’t have the same quality and durability as the more expensive brands.

Our advice is: do your homework when choosing a composite board.

  • Speak to the carpenter about what they recommend – they work with different boards all the time
  • Ask your carpenter to view recent composite decks they have installed
  • Ask your carpenter for references
  • Request samples
  • Is there a warranty?
Maintenance free composite decking not only looks stunning but is extremely practical
Composite veranda decking. This is an old home but looks stunning with composite decking

Decking, either hardwood or composite is a perfect solution to creating that desired extra living space while introducing the peace and tranquillity of the outdoors into your home.

Castlegate Home Improvements have been building decks for 20+ years. We know hardwood and we know composite.

Give us a call today to request your free written quote 0438 411 978