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Decking: Timber vs Membrane

Updated: Sep 6, 2023


Wellington Builders | Renovations | Construction | Design & Architecture Services | Environmentally Conscious | Wellington Roofing & Waterproofing | Wellington Painters


Outdoor lounge furniture on a timber deck with a view of the sea.

Happy 2021 to you! We hope you have been enjoying the lovely months of warmer weather, taking things slowly, spending more time with family, and the great outdoors and tackling that list of projects around the house.

With all this wonderful weather, it’s time to attempt the deck project. You may already have a clear picture in your mind of what you want the end product to look like, but in case you would like some inspiration, the following is a list showing the pros and cons of two very different decking materials you may wish to consider. Timber vs membrane:


· Timber: Timber is the most common option for decking. The best options in New Zealand are Kwila, Bamboo, Vitex, Hardwood and treated pine.

· Dec-K-Ing: This is a hard-wearing vinyl sheet membrane used for decks and walkways. Originally designed for the marine industry, it is now being used in residential and commercial properties because of its durable nature. It has an embossed, slip-resistant surface and due to its flexibility, it doesn’t split or crack. Available in 6 different colours.


· Timber: Tidy, warm.

· Dec-K-Ing: Modern, clean.


· Timber: Approx. $220.00/m² depending on the material used. This excludes the sub-structure.

· Dec-K-Ing: Approx. $280.00/m² plus substructure.


· Timber: Naturally tough and very durable.

· Dec-K-Ing: UV resistant, waterproof and hard-wearing.


· Timber: Sweep regularly and clean down with mild soapy water and a bristle brush or power washer (be sure to hose it afterwards!). Stain every 2-3 years.

· Dec-K-Ing: Clean every 6-12 months with mild detergent and a soft brush (rinse afterwards). High-pressure water blasting is not allowed.


· Timber: Easy enough to DIY.

· Dec-K-Ing: Can be installed over treated flooring grade plywood, concrete and fibre cement. Needs to be installed by a trained, Viking-approved applicator.


· Timber: Varies from product to product.

· Dec-K-Ing: 20 years.


· Timber: Hard-wearing. Can split due to seasonal changes.

· Dec-K-Ing: Mildew, puncture and wear-resistant. Heat reflective (takes longer to heat than other deck surfaces).


· Timber: Can splinter, shrink and crack.

· Dec-K-Ing: It ‘peaks’ under different weather conditions at the seams of the ply substrate.

We hope this list provides enough food for thought, but if you would like to discuss options or obtain a quote for a deck from local Wellington builders, please go ahead and fill out the “Contact Us” form and we will get in touch as soon as possible.

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