SarahBeenySpringIssue2017 - 247
Long summer days are just around
the corner: imagine soaking up the
evening rays while you lounge on
your decking. Quick and easy to
construct, decking can transform
your space into a barbecue or an
al fresco dining area.
Wood looks as good in traditional
gardens as it does in more modern
ones, while a combination of decking
and paving is ultra-contemporary.
There are several types of material
that are suitable for decking - the
best one for you depends on your
design requirements and budget.
The main three types are:
SOFTWOOD: Most decking
bought in superstores is made from
this. It is sourced from fast-growing,
evergreen or coniferous trees, and
the timber is chemically treated to
give it water-repellent properties.
Pros: More aﬀordable than
hardwood and you can stain it easily.
Cons: Less durable than hardwood,
with a lifespan of up to 15 years.
Yearly renovation is required to
prevent it rotting.
HARDWOOD: Sourced from trees
that take many years to mature,
which means their 'hardness density'
is very high. You can choose from
a range of timber, including iroko,
balau, teak and ipe, which all have
slightly diﬀerent tones.
Hardwood is rich in natural
oils, so very little maintenance is
required. It's important to ensure the
hardwood you choose is responsibly
and sustainably sourced.
Pros: More durable than softwood,
with a life of 20 years or more. While
it has a luxury look, it requires
Cons: More expensive than softwood
and you generally have to oil it once
COMPOSITE: Depending on the
quality, this can look similar to
hardwood or softwood. Each plank is
made from recycled wood ﬁbres and
resin or plastic, earning you brownie
points for being green. It is strong
and won't rot or splinter.
Pros: It usually lasts for at least 20
years and requires no maintenance.
It is also both stain-resistant and
Cons: Cheaper varieties can look
artiﬁcial. Quality ranges are pricey.
If you don't fancy putting up with
the ageing process of natural stone,
picking porcelain will give you a look
that stays clean all year round. Certain
porcelain patio tiles are not aﬀected
by the changing weather - they are
aesthetically pleasing no matter what
colour you go for (darks, creams,
whites and beiges).
Porcelain is made by mixing clay,
sand and other minerals together and
heating in a very hot kiln, producing
a durable, non-porous material.
It is water-resistant, hard-wearing,
low-maintenance and dense - perfect
for those summer garden parties
where footfall and furniture add to
the panic of ruined tiles. >
www.athomemagazine.co.uk MAY 2017 | 247