I am quite new here and hoping to get some guides regarding my questions.
We are planning to renovate our whole outdoor area starting with some DIY decking, however having a German Shepherd we want to make sure we are choosing the right product that looks nice and does not scratch.
Q1- Timber or composite, which one is more anti scratch?
Q2- How different are they in terms of look? Am I going to be disappointed if I go for composite?
Thank you very much.
I will have to admit being in the composite fan club.
If scratches are an issue avoid treated pine!
Ironbark would be the hardest followed by Jarrah both are high maintenance.
Merbau not so hard but lower maintenance.
Composite fairly hard and scratches will sand out. Dark colours especially will hold the heat.
Timber has more finishing choices and composite has lower maintenance.
If you like the look of timber you will not be happy with composite but if you are going to neglect the maintenance side of timber then composite will look better over time.
Composite does still scratch and once it does, if the scratch is bad/deep enough you can't really fix it. Lighter scratches can be fixed/hidden with a heat gun on SOME products.
The benefit of timber, even as it does scratch over time, you can bring it back to brand new with a sand and oil - not possible with composite.
Looks like a great space to reno! Some timber/bamboo screening/cladding would work a treat.
Welcome to the community @Serveh. We're so pleased to have you join us and trust that you'll get loads of helpful advice and project inspiration for around the home and garden from our amazing members.
Great to see you've already got some very helpful advice from a couple of our most active members. Let me also tag @Adam_W for his thoughts as he installed this timber-free deck a couple of years ago.
Here's some other previous discussions you might want to read:
Looking forward to seeing how you can transform this wonderful outdoor space you have.
Please let me know if you ever need a hand getting the most from the site.
Yes, good question.
I've used pretty much every type there is and they all have various merits.
- Hardideck is great stuff but it does require painting which may be damaged by the claws of a big dog. That being said there is a type of paint from Crommelin for such materials that is apparently more penetrative so therefore less inclined to scratch or peel. I haven't tried that paint so couldn't say one way or the other.
- Composite decking is in the yes/maybe category but I'm not a huge fan of it. It tends to scratch like pine, obviously not ideal with claws, and this does sand out but the sanded areas become apparent. It also tends to dent or bruise which doesn't really lend itself to sanding. However... as pointed out you don't have to repaint or stain so this makes minor marking less obvious.
- Treated pine. Nope. Too soft. Will end up with marks all over.
And the one last option, which is what I would be using...
- A quality dense Australian hardwood. Ideally it will require oiling or staining, although they are durable enough to leave untreated if you like the silvered look. If undercover it will really will only need to be redone every 2+ years however it will be more resistant to scratching, dents etc.
Our front-deck is a local hardwood and it is just over 20-years old & hasn't been oiled for nearly 10. It has a couple of spots that need some serious sanding but apart from that it's all good. In fact I plan on giving it a freshen-up soon.
Okay, hope this helps.
No worries @Serveh yes, I did leave Merbau off that list. It's a good wood and as rightly pointed out by @Brad it is a softer hardwood (it's all to do with density).
If you're after the Merbau colour you'll find there are oils etc. that can give you that tint. Best way is to get one stick of decking as a sample and try the oil/stain.
Worth taking the time to get it right as you do have to live with it for a while.
Anyhews, glad to be able to help, let us know how you go!