A Tale of Two Decks: Timber and Ekodeck
You’ve decided to transform your outdoor area into a tranquil retreat or entertainer’s delight, but with so many options to choose from, how do you know what deck is going to be best for you?
While we can’t give you a crystal ball to see the future, we can tell you a tale of two decks – one timber, one Ekodeck – and show how they perform in different scenarios over the expected lifetime.
Installation: How easy your deck is to install
The plans are set, and the new deck is going in. Everyone is excited – but just how quick and easy is it going to be to install?
The timber you’ve chosen looks great, but you quickly encounter your first challenge – consistency. With timber being inconsistent in size and often bowed, it can be hard to find similar sizes that will give you the uniformity and evenness that you are after.
Then comes the predrilling, nailing, and ensuring screws are straight (watch out for those splinters too). Once installed, it’s time to remove the tannins from your decking and start oiling.
The decking you’ve chosen looks just like timber but has a rather convenient difference – all boards are the same length and colour. What’s more they are completely straight and don’t bow, so achieving a consistent look across your deck is easy.
As for the installation, Ekodeck comes with a quick and easy clip system that automatically spaces the boards. It’s so easy that professionals and DIYers report an average 30% time saving using the Quickfix system. This leaves you with a deck free of fasteners for a clean, smooth finish and it’s immediately ready for use.
Ongoing maintenance: What it takes to keep your deck looking good
Your new deck is installed. It looks stunning, and you’re the envy of everyone who visits. But how much work is going to be required to keep it looking that way over the long-term?
A few years down the track, will you still see it as your private oasis or just another chore to add to the growing weekend maintenance to-do list?
Regular cleaning is needed to keep your timber deck looking good and avoid scratching or damaging the oil coating. A general clean every three months is recommended to remove dirt, grime, and debris, but don't reach for the pressure washer as this can cause splinting!
Oiling and sealing should also take place every six to twelve months. This is even more important in areas prone to moisture, as the timber can be susceptible to rot and termites if stringent sealing, maintenance, and treatments aren't adhered to.
To keep Ekodeck looking good, a general deck clean once a year is recommended. Scrub your deck with warm soapy water, then rinse with a pressure washer that has a fan spray nozzle.
Due to the materials used, Ekodeck is naturally weather, rot, decay, and termite resistant, and while it does look like timber, it doesn't require the oiling, painting, or sealing that timber does.
Spills and stains: How your deck performs when accidents happen
Let’s face it, spills and stains on a deck are inevitable. Perhaps it’s grease and grime from the barbeque, soot from the fire pit or food and drink spills from a celebratory event.
Maybe it's a play date gone wrong with crayons, and Play-Doh left out too long on a hot summer's day or the family pet who didn't quite make it to the yard to do their business. Nature can even join in the fun with leaves, tree sap, moss, mould, and mildew leaving stains.
Just how hard will it be to get these spills, marks and stains out of your deck? How much scrubbing are you in for – and will it even come out?
As timber is porous, spills can quickly absorb, making quick clean-ups crucial in preventing stains from setting into the wood. While some stains can be difficult to remove, with quick thinking and the right cleaning approach, supplies and hard work, you can, in most cases, avoid permanent damage.
Catch it too late, or worse still, use the wrong cleaning products like bleach, and it's a completely different story – and a rather costly or time-intensive repair.
Ekodeck’s Designer Series range has been engineered to be stain-resistant and easy to clean. With a very low water-absorption rate (approximately 0.5%) and a stain-resistant Dura-shell™ coating, you have a big head start with cleaning up spills and keeping your deck in great condition. Whatever messy or sticky situation you find yourself in.
Longevity: How long your deck will last and in what condition
Let's go a little further into the future now. Let's say 8-10 years down the track. What is your deck looking like now? How has it weathered through the harsh Australian climate, and how is it faring through all the use?
With regular upkeep and maintenance, your timber deck can last ten years or maybe more. Regular oiling and maintenance will keep your timber in good condition, but as timber is an organic and porous material, the colour will fade and become dull over time, even with the regular upkeep.
As timber is also a fibrous material, it dries out over time. The fibres will start to peel away, causing splinters to form (and those unfortunate tweezer moments with the kids as they play on the deck). This will happen faster and be worse if you have skipped a few of those regular maintenance milestones or resorted to the pressure washer to clean the deck.
As the up-to 20-year warranty suggests, the life expectancy of Ekodeck is remarkably longer. As it is UV stabilised, it is also a colourfast product, so it will retain its colour and only lose some of its lustre if exposed to the elements. As for splinters? The small particles of timber in Ekodeck are combined with plastic using bonding agents, so there are none.
So, there you have it, the tale of two decks. Which one would you rather choose?