Thinking of creating an outdoor area so that you can make the most of any good weather this year? Then decking is probably one of the options you’re considering.

Decking has grown in popularity over the last few decades, most likely because of the great way in which it creates a seamless transition from your indoor space to the outdoors. But it’s also a nice way of creating a practical space elsewhere in a larger garden.

Designs have developed rapidly, to the point where there are a lot of unique elements you can tweak and tailor to your property. For that reason, it might feel like there is too much to think about, but to help you on your journey to your dream outdoor space, we’ve created a buyer’s guide to decking.

We’ll cover important aspects such as materials, but also dive deeper into maintenance considerations and the differences in price.

Polar DesignBoard Composite Decking suits both traditional and contemporary designs.
Polar DesignBoard Composite Decking In A Design By Dee Stewart Garden Design

Decking Materials

There are several different materials you can choose from, and while their various attributes should be considered carefully, you should also take into account maintenance and cost when making your decision.

Composite Decking

Even within the composite decking category, there are different types using different blends of materials. The overriding feature of these materials, however, is their ability to mimic the look of real wood, without any of the drawbacks. Millboard and Designboard are all fantastic brands that come in a variety of colours and designs to provide the finish you’re looking for in any garden.

Lavender planter sits on Antique Oak Millboard decking edging sunken goldfish pond.
Antique Oak Millboard composite decking is ideal when you want a realistic wood effect.

Softwood Decking

A classic decking material, softwood timber decking is often the option for people intending to install decking for a lower price. However, you should always ensure your timber is from a sustainable source, like our redwood timber decking.

Hardwood Decking

As the name would suggest, hardwood decking is more durable than softwood, but it’s also more expensive because it takes longer to grow. It also makes it tougher to install, a common issue for anyone planning to lay the decking themselves.

Decking Types

Decking might seem like a simple material, laid out in planks, but there is more to it than that. There are different types and styles you can use to create a unique space in your garden.


The better-known variety and the type that springs to mind whenever someone mentions decking. But did you know you can get different board styles? From traditional planks with grooves in them to woodgrain effects and brushed textures that feature in the Millboard range, it’s good to consider this with the overall aesthetic you’re looking for.


Sometimes referred to as duckboards, these are essentially squares of decking that can be used to create a different look. This can often be slightly more expensive if you’re buying small tiles instead of long boards.

Decorative Decking

Decking has clear practical benefits, but at the end of the day, you also want to create something that looks nice too. There are lots of decorative uses for decking, as well as additional elements you can add to create a more unique and personalised decking area.

  • Steps - Create different levels in your garden with decking steps
  • Balustrades - An elegant addition if you want to add any panelling 
  • Lights - Insert lights within the decking itself for a flush finish that will illuminate your garden
  • Benches - Use decking boards to create a comfortable bench over any low walls or outcroppings, giving you additional seating options
  • Surrounds - Adding decking around a hot tub or jacuzzi is both practical and stylish
  • Two tones - By pairing different colours and textures, you can get more creative with the layout and design of your decking; this is often done to create a trim or border.
Decorative decking such as the Dark Ash Brushed Composite Decking helps create a more unique and personalised space
Dark Ash Brushed Composite Decking Built By Limebok Landscaping

Decking Maintenance

The choice of decking material for your garden should be paired closely with how much maintenance you’re willing to undertake. For example, composite boards are designed to offer the same stability as timber, but can be easily cleaned with water and don’t require regular treatment to keep them in top condition.

While natural wood has a certain feel to it, you’ll need to invest time in it to keep it looking its best. That means regular sweeping, keeping mould off it and either treating or staining it every few years depending on how quickly it fades.

Also, think about pets. If you have dogs, is there a risk they could create a mess on your decking, causing staining? Well-stained hardwood might survive, but composite is far easier to clean if your dog does decide to use it as a toilet!

Millboard Touch-Up Paint can be used for routine decking maintenance and is available in a range of seven colours
Millboard Touch Up Paint Can Be Used For Routine Decking Maintenance

Decking Costs

Finally, a key consideration when you’re thinking about decking is the cost. Your budget for your design may influence how many options you have, but you should also think of decking as a long-term investment for your property.

When choosing your material, opting for something simply because it’s cheap could leave you with more maintenance and a deck that doesn’t stand the test of time. Composite decking is a great way to get the look of natural wood without the hassle if you’re not keen on providing constant care for the wood and the cost of oils or stains.

Browse our full selection of decking to help you decide what’s right for your outdoor space and buy online today. If you have any questions about the products, then our sales team will be more than happy to assist you.