There are few options you can choose from when planning a decking. You will want to consider each option and contemplate its advantages. When looking for decking materials, homeowners tend to pick one that will last the longest. There are lots of decking material, but two stand out. They are composite decking and wood. But the question is, what is the life expectancy of timber and composite decking?

Timber Decking Life Expectancy

For many years, people have used wood for construction projects. It’s easy to find, relatively cheap, and has a timeless beauty. Until now, many homeowners use wooden decking materials to build their decks. But how long do wooden decks last. It depends. 

There are various types of wood, and each one has a different lifespan. For decking, there are two classifications of lumber used, softwoods and hardwoods. Softwoods are more common, cheaper, and often lighter and less dense, although a few exceptions exist. The life expectancy of a softwood deck ranges anywhere between 5 to 10 years. That’s relatively short compared to hardwoods.  

Hardwoods are more expensive and rarer types of lumber because they grow slower than softwood trees. Compared to softwoods, hardwoods offer longer lifespans. A typical hardwood deck can last at least 10 to 15 years, depending on the quality. 

To sum it all up, softwood decks can last a decade at most, whereas hardwood decks can last more than a decade. But how do they compare to composite decking?

Lifespan of Composite Decking 

Composite decking lifespan

Composite decking is an alternative materials to wood. They are more expensive than real lumber, but they do have many advantages over wood. They offer better protection against elements than wood. Because of this, they have longer lifespans than wooden decks.

Many composite decking materials life expectancy is 25 years. High-quality decking boards can even last for 50 years. While it may seem unbelievable, there are many reviews to back many of the suppliers’ claims. Some companies even offer warranty coverages of up to 30 years.

Of course, there are various types of composite decking boards, and as such, each one has different lifespans. The older generations of composites, especially uncapped ones, tend to last only as long as softwood decks. However, newer generations or most composites in the market today will last at least 20 years. 

Overall, composite decking will last longer than most wood decks. Some types of hardwoods can come close. But they can be more expensive than composite decks. 

Why Composite Decking Will last Longer

So why do composite decking has a longer life expectancy than timber decking? There are a few reasons why. Wood absorbs water and other liquids. If your wooden deck absorbs moisture, it can cause some few, irreparable problems. For instance, water can cause your deck to expand and shrink. Continuous expansion and shrinking can warp the decking. 

As it absorbs more moisture, wood also becomes a breeding spot for moulds and mildew. Not only do they damage your deck, but they can also leave permanent stains. As for composite decks, these problems shouldn’t be a problem, especially if you use capped composites. They don’t absorb water, meaning they don’t rot. Although they do warp, they can hold their shape better. Moulds and mildew will also not be a problem as long as the deck is kept clean. 

Composite Decking Require Low-Maintenance

Another reason why composite decking last longer than wooden decks is because they are easier to maintain. In the UK, many homeowners live busy lives. Many people may likely neglect cleaning and inspecting their decks. And if you forget or skip to maintain a wooden deck, it’s only a matter of time until you see the problems as a result.

Composite decking, on the other hand, require very little maintenance. Of course, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to clean it. You still do. However, compared to wood, you’ll put less effort, money, and time in doing so. Even if you have a busy schedule, maintaining a composite decking won’t be a huge problem. 

Because composite decking are easier to maintain, you will more likely preserve it’s quality, thus extending it’s lifespan, whereas it can prove difficult for a wooden deck. 


Overall, the life expectancy of composite decking is more than that of timber. If you want a long-lasting deck, composite decking is the best deal.

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