Outdoor decking is slowly gaining its popularity as new private homes and HDB flats are introducing the balcony and patio space for home owners today. Investing in a good outdoor flooring material is paramount for creating a stylish and comfortable oasis, where you can sit back and lounge during sunny afternoons.
There are plenty of options out there. To help you make a choice that’s best for you, here are the top five materials recommended by our flooring experts, and their pros and cons.
#1 Outdoor Wood Decking
The most common outdoor flooring is none other than wood decking. Available in Chengal wood, Iron wood and Teak, natural wood decking is commonly used for the exterior of Singapore properties due to its cooling characteristics. Depending on age, wood species are graded in terms of their varying strength and durability, Janka hardness, as well as dimensional stability properties. Wood decking creates a little pocket of nature in your outdoor area. To ensure their longevity, it is important to maintain it at least once every 6 months, giving it a fresh coat of paint or varnish. More importantly, an improper installation may result in the warping of decks. Hence, engaging an experienced outdoor decking contractor to carry out a professional installation is just as crucial.
#2 Eco Wood Composite Decking
Eco wood composite decking is considered as one of the latest entry into the Singapore market. An improvement from conventional ones, Eco wood composite decking is manufactured in an eco friendly manner with a mixture of wood and composite that further adds to the strength and durability of the entire decking material. As such, good quality composite wood decking can be relatively more durable and stronger than conventional wood decking material. As its material technology is more advanced, eco wood composite decking is relatively better than conventional composite decking in terms of UV resistance. This is something important for home owners to know, as low quality composite decking may change in colour due to the impact of ultra violet rays. Heat resistance is another important aspect home owners in sunny Singapore should look into, especially when the decking is installed in an unsheltered exterior area, such as a swimming pool. Eco wood composite decking has relatively better heat resistant properties. This is due to the larger percentage of natural wood in it.
#3 Resilient Tiles Decking
Resilient tile decking is not so common in Singapore, but we are starting to see it in some commercial properties. This outdoor decking option is simply made up of designed tiles that are installed in the exterior. They have a healthy level of durability and resistance to rain and shine. However, resilient tiles may not be suitable if the decking is constantly under strong sunlight, as this may result in colour disfiguration. As compared to composite wood decking, resilient tiles are not as slip-resistant. This may result in a slippery outdoor flooring if the decking is left wet for a long period of time.
#4 Treated Soft Wood
These are mainly soft wood species that may not be recommended for outdoor decking or high walk in traffic projects. However, due to chemical treatment, the soft wood becomes stronger, durable and even harder than some wood species with high janka hardness. Thus, making this type of product good for decking purposes. However, such softwood are typically not grown in tropical countries such as Singapore or Malaysia. Being slightly malleable, constant foot traffic on soft wood decking may result in wear and tear such that the surface may look unclean. Therefore, coating has to be implemented at least three times a year using darker wood paint instead of clear or light wood paints.
#5 Conventional Composite Decking
The group of conventional composite decking is another common type of outdoor decking product in Singapore. We can say that even in conventional composite decking materials, quality varies. It is relatively difficult to ascertain which particular composite decking material is of higher quality. The reason is because such decking products are relatively easy to mass produce, thereby causing the market to have multiples brands of conventional composite decking. Apart from depending on one’s luck in finding a reliable composite decking product, choosing a credible composite decking supplier in Singapore is more important. This is because credible decking contractors would select good quality composite decking so as to ensure consistent quality in their residential and commercial projects!