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Replacement deck

The deck in my tiny back garden, which was installed in 2011, took it upon itself to collapse at the start of 2020, just as the lockdowns started happening. I’ve been trying to sort it out ever since. Making a decision about what to replace it with is the first step. I am shifting between replacing the deck with another deck in, say, composite (since as much as I may say to myself that I won’t put any pots on the new one, I am aware that this resolution is very unlikely to last), and replacing it with paving.

Has anyone got any experience of composite decking? Are there any brands that don’t just look horribly plastic? Because the garden is so tiny, I need something in a light colour. I’ve been ordering a few samples, but haven’t had much luck so far...


  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 6,537
    If it doesn’t have to be decking for practical purposes, e.g. to raise the level/equalise a significant slope in the most cost-effective way, I would favour a hard surface, whether paving, brick, setts or similar. Otherwise, I am sure it was @Papi Jo that installed composite decking and may be able to give you some advice.

    Would a lighter coloured surface make it look bigger? On the principle that dark fencing recedes, maybe a dark colour would do similar and set off the inevitable potted plants better? Depends on the light levels and other factors but you could try it out with some black plastic sheeting and see what you think. It can be difficult to visualise from a small sample. Overlaying a photo with various shades might help too.
  • K67K67 Leicestershire Posts: 2,507
    Have you thought about a light coloured gravel instead?
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,555
    @Nollie is right.  @Papi Jo had a new composite decking laid a couple of years ago and it looks very smart -

    It'd still need washing down once or twice a year to remove algae and muck but wouldn't rot so I'd compare costs of doing that against suitable paving which would also get slippery in wet weather and see which is going to be more cost effective.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Thanks so much for all these suggestions. Cost is less of a factor because the space is so small--so I am still getting samples. Have now discovered bamboo decking, which is very very nice, but why have they stained it chestnut brown?!
  • K67K67 Leicestershire Posts: 2,507
  • I've been reading up more on bamboo as decking in the UK--looks like in wet conditions (which I have) the only durable sort is called fused bamboo. This was a helpful article, in case anyone else follows this thread up later:
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