Composite Wood vs. Timber Wood: Which is better?

Many homeowners choose standard wood decking because that is all they know. It is a familiar, widely source-able and affordable product bringing a great new look and function to any garden space. Despite this, though, there are a number of problematic qualities that cause homeowners headaches.

Composite wood is a material that has been designed and developed to bring durability to timber without sacrificing the look and feel of natural wood.

If you’ve been in scouring the internet in search of a building material that is both low maintenance and reasonably priced, then you may wish to consider composite over timber wood for your upcoming project.

Similarly, if you are in the trade and you wish to stock our products then we’ve launched Composite Wood Company trade accounts to allow installers and distributors exclusive access to all of our products with added trader benefits.

With a Composite Wood Company trade account, you will have access to all of the products we have to offer for use in your own installation projects, and the freedom to sell or advertise our products.

What is composite wood?

Composite wood is a unique blend of sustainable-sourced wood (bamboo) fibres, synthetic polymers and a PVC binding agent to hold it all together.

All of this combines to produce panels that are not only a strong, durable and low maintenance building material but also both looks and feels like natural timber wood.

What are the benefits of composite wood?

Let’s take a look at some of the key qualities that make composite wood a viable alternative to timber.

Durability against the elements

As we outlined before, composite wood is a uniquely developed material constructed from three key ingredients. The combination of organic wood fibre and polymer possesses a higher core strength than general timber due to the density of the molecules.

What’s more, the timber is also protected by an outer coat of resin. The resin is a layer of synthetic polymer that acts as a ‘cap’ on top of the wood, and it reinforces the durability features of the material.

UV rays are one of the biggest causes of timber decay, causing the molecules to deteriorate and eventually splinter. The resin protects against this by providing an outer layer of defence. By protecting the panels from UV light the resin preserves the structural integrity of the timber, protecting the molecules from breaking down.

What’s more, the resin is water-resistant HDPE. This means that where natural timber needs to be kept free of excess water to fight against the build up of rot-inducing mould, composite wood will not suffer the same fate. This makes composite wood an ideal partner for any small garden ponds, jacuzzis or pools.

The durability of composite wood is completed by it’s resistance to scratches. With timber, decking is often painted or stained to create the desired effect and this work can be undone by general wear and tear over time. The outer cap is designed to absorb the wear and tear of high-heels, chair scraping, dropped phones, toy cars… You get the picture.

These qualities mean that at Composite Wood we are confident to offer a 25 year guarantee on all of our products, from decking to railings and everything in between.

Low maintenance product

Composite wood products are completely low maintenance and retain their same look and feel over time. Wood decking will often need to be painted or stained to complete the project but composite wood panels come ready to go.

  • One side of our panels comes deep embossed or with a wood grain finish, while the reverse side is grooved as standard
  • All panels are 146x25x3660
    Five colours available from our stock with further discounts available on our new white decking range

All of our products are colour stabilised so UV rays will have little effect and won’t cause it to fade like traditional timber.

To hide the effects of UV light, composite wood products do not need to be sealed, stained or painted. That’s because the resin cap is durable against it and colours only fade by around 12% of their original look, something which is entirely natural and unavoidable. So you really can spend the entirety of your summer enjoying the greatest that your garden has to offer.

Splinter free decking panels

The sun emits strong UV radiation that travels across space and impacts us here on earth in numerous ways. It is the most common cause of splintering to wood decking and fencing, as it accelerates the breakdown of the molecules that make up the material. This leads to parts of the material protruding.

Why does this happen? Well, UV radiation dries the wood out and this removes a lot of the moisture from the cell structure. Here you will see that composite wood can help to lower your maintenance costs, as the resin ensures you do not have to spend extra money on sealing products. The sun’s UV rays do not damage the timber to the point that it cracks and splinters.

Ensuring our decking and fencing remains splinter-free is, of course, massive for us here at Composite Wood Company.

rotting garden decking

Anti slip surface

So we’ve discussed the protective cap and how it provides a defence against both water rot and UV, but we also need to the protective cap is also anti-slip. This makes it perfectly safe to set up children’s pools on the decking, you can rest safely in the knowledge that there is no slipping hazard once they get out. Similarly it makes composite wood the perfect addition to holiday homes and caravans.

Due to the protective resin cap that encases the wood, the build up of rot and algae is a thing of the past. With the upkeep costs to maintain a holiday home already high, you will rest easy in the knowledge that your decking installation is super durable.

As well as being waterproof by nature, the resin is also designed to include anti-slip qualities that can come in handy if you’re located within proximity to the coast. Similarly, if your holiday home has a pool or you are considering installing one, then composite wood decking panels can form a super-safe and durable perimeter for that.

Responsibly Sourced

Composite wood is made using sustainable and recycled wood fibres making it an environmentally friendly building material. In contrast, there can be doubts over the source behind plenty of timber wood products – their sustainability can be called into question.

Click here to sign up for a Composite Wood Company trade account, or get in touch with us to find out more.

Extra reading:

6 Outdoor Living & Garden Trends for Summer 2019

White Composite Decking Boards Now Available

What makes composite wood such a useful material?