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Is Composite Decking Family-Friendly?

A deck makes a great addition to a family home. But what’s the best material to use? Composite decking boards—made by combining natural wood fibres with synthetic materials—are certainly a popular choice these days, but are they suitable for an environment that’s going to be used by children as well as adults?

The answer is a resounding ‘yes’—in fact, composite decking may well be a safer choice than hardwood decking, especially for families with small children. Here are several reasons why:

  • Unlike natural wood products, composite deck boards don’t splinter or crack, so there’s less risk of your little ones getting small slivers of wood embedded under their skin (ouch!).
  • Composite wood generally offers better slip resistance than hardwood decking materials, so your deck shouldn’t become too slippery when wet. Again, this is good news for safety-conscious parents.
  • Composite decking boards require virtually zero maintenance—not only is this great news for busy mothers and fathers who already have enough on their plate, it also means that you don’t have to treat your kids’ outdoor play area with potentially harmful chemicals.
  • Wooden deck boards have to be spaced a little way apart to allow for the natural expansion and contraction seen in all natural wood products. The space required for composite wood boards is smaller, reducing the chances of your children getting their fingers caught in the gaps.
  • Composite decking is incredibly durable. Low-quality decking may seem like a bargain at first, but if your children are going to be playing on that deck regularly, you need to use materials that can withstand the wear and tear your kids are likely to dish out.

In addition to the advantages listed above, composite decking is nice and easy to clean—which is great news if your little cherubs like to make a mess when playing outside!

If stains are a big concern for you, it may be worth looking for capped composite decking specifically. These increasingly in-demand boards are so named because each one is ‘capped’ with a protective polymer sleeve that keeps out moisture and allows you to wipe your deck clean with ease. Capped composite decking is a little pricier than non-capped decking, but if you anticipate a lot of spills and splatters, that moisture-resistant sleeve may save you a lot of stress.

Speaking of prices, perhaps the one drawback of composite deck boards is that they tend to cost a little more than their traditional timber counterparts, so families on a tight budget may be tempted to go for the cheaper option. That being said, good-quality composite decking can last for decades with almost no maintenance at all, so that initial investment does tend to pay off later!

Adding a deck to your property opens up all sorts of new activities and entertainment options, both for your children and for yourself.

Your composite wood deck can be a fun play area, an arts and crafts space, and an outdoor dining area for all the family to enjoy—not to mention a great place to relax and uncork a bottle of wine when you finally get some hard-earned time to yourself!