In this article we compare the true costs and advantages of Composite Decking alongside Timber Decking and Aluminium Decking, in the UK. Its amazing to see the real costs when you look not only at the initial costs of the project, but also reflect on the ongoing and longer-term costs!
Timber Decking Price £ 22.50/m2 to £31.66/m2 Ex VAT £ 27.00/m2 to £38.00/m2 Inc VAT
Composite Decking Price £26.67/m2 to £48.33/m2 Ex VAT £32.00/m2 to £58.00/m2 Inc VAT
Aluminium Decking Price £65.83/m2 to £99.17/m2 Ex VAT £79.00/m2 to £119.00/m2 Inc VAT
On initial looks you can see that a Timber Decking solution is the lowest cost, followed by a typical Composite Decking solution, with aluminium decking being the most expensive. Next, we asked ourselves why are so many people now shifting to buy aluminium decking options?
When we looked at the cost of a typical timber decking support beam compared to a composite decking support beam and also an aluminium decking support beam, we found similar cost variances to the decking boards as you would expect, but here’s what you need to know…
Is Aluminium Decking lower cost than Timber Decking?
Aluminium decking is normally more expensive than Timber Decking or Composite Decking, however here’s something you may not have considered… If you choose an Aluminium Decking system that has a double seal integral gutter system you don’t have to worry about an expensive substructure meaning you can simply use lower cost timber beams as if the decking is sealed in between each plank, with a concealed gutter, then the timber below won’t rot like it would if you use a standard Composite or Timber Decking system. Not only do you make the initial savings with a timber substructure and Timber Decking beams, but you can still retain the maintenance free finish on an Aluminium Decking board which has a far greater lifespan than Composite Decking or Timber Decking planks.
The most expensive part of any decking project can be the maintenance. In the picture on this article you can see what happens to Timber if the decking boards don’t seal the deck and if water is allowed to drip through on to the rafters. Looking at the image in this article you can see the severe water damage that can erode the substructure of a decking area and make it unsafe if the decking boards allow water to drip between them.
Choosing an Aluminium Decking system with an integral sealed gutter like the ALUPAVE® Decking system for example, can save you a lot of money in two ways; firstly ALUPAVE® completely seals the deck so you can use standard treated timber beams for the substructure. In addition, Aluminium Decking will not warp or fade like Composite Decking, or rot like Timber Decking planks.
ALUPAVE® aluminium decking is the only decking system where you have a patented and registered design of completely concealed fixings, combined with a double gasket seal on a hidden gutter system, which provides a decking solution, that allows rain water management and harvesting, and that have a 40-year lifespan typically against warping or rotting…..and, saving money and time by using a standard timber substructure!
Another advantage of Aluminium Decking is that it is three times stronger than Composite Decking and the Aluminium Decking boards generally span greater distances between substructure beams than Timber Decking or Composite Decking, saving you further costs. ALUPAVE® Aluminium Decking system has superior strength and incredible spanning properties. You can check out our free aluminium decking spanning guide for ALUPAVE® on our technical brochure.
Aluminium has excellent thermal conductivity properties, meaning that heat is quickly dissipated, so that unlike some other metals which get very hot in sunlight Aluminium Decking solutions tend to stay cool at a temperature which is comfortable to walk on. ALUPAVE® aluminium decking is designed with open-back rigid structure which helps it keep perfectly cool in hotter weather.
Composite Decking is generally made from plastic and rubber polymers which tend to absorb heat and can get very hot to touch. When you compare a typical Composite Decking board with an Aluminium Decking system you will find Aluminium Decking will generally stay around 10 degrees C Cooler in the summer months. In hot weather and direct sunlight ALUPAVE® Aluminium Decking typically stays a significantly cooler as its patented and registered design includes an open-back rigid structure which helps with airflow and thermal conductivity. In addition, the Composite Decking systems tend to warp and fade over time, where aluminium is more robust and naturally longer lasting.
A lot of people tend to be rightly concerned that an Aluminium Decking will make a lot of creaking and metal grinding noise, similar to that of an aluminium stepladder, and we have found that this is true of several Aluminium Decking systems, however on the ALUPAVE® Aluminium Decking system each aluminium decking plank is physically separated be a double rubber interlocking seal which eliminates typical metal to metal creaking noises that other aluminium decking systems have.
Aluminium Decking should be as easy as timber decking to install, however with ALUPAVE® each board interlocks with hidden fixings and there is no need for costly and fiddly fixing brackets or clips, making installation of this Aluminium Decking system a lot faster than Composite Decking; ALUPAVE® brings you savings on installation time too! To make this even easier we have created a free aluminium decking technical brochure which you can download.
You might also like to check out this article on the Top 12 Benefits of Aluminium Decking
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