Decking and paving: two quality outdoor surfaces, two equally excellent options. Since we have experience of both, we are often asked which of the two materials is better for the garden.
As with most decisions like this, there isn't a single, objective answer that we can give. Both choices have their unique merits, and at the end of the day, it mostly comes down to preference.
With this in mind, one good approach to this decision is to think about what kind of effect you want from the finished project. Generally speaking, a paved area lends itself to a smooth, contemporary style, while the natural-looking wooden boards are better for the more traditional outdoor space.
Of course, there are exceptions; some deck products are designed to look rather modern, and certain paving slabs boast a timeless, classical air. The best thing to do is as follows: decide what you want from your outdoor space, consider how you would like it to look and feel, and proceed from there, investigating as many different colours and designs as possible to ensure that you get the right one.
Now, some people might tell you that there is a clear-cut winner in this battle. They might say that paving is better because timber boards need loads of maintenance; conversely, they might argue that paving should be avoided because it's difficult to install. But, in truth, very few of these factors present a problem nowadays.
Composite wood decking and porcelain paving are both very durable, very easy to manage, and most importantly, very low-maintenance. Furthermore, neither product is decisively dearer; you’ll find a mix of cheap, low-quality products and more expensive high-end items in both markets. Whether you’re shopping for paving slabs or deck boards, you’ll get what you pay for.
This is good news. With those mitigating factors all but eliminated, you are free to forget about the specifications and concentrate on the design you want for your dream outdoor space. With no maintenance to worry about and very little difference in price or performance, decking and paving are both brilliant choices for the garden, and it’s entirely up to you which is better for your project.
Of course, you could always just do what Lee from Cardiff did and use them both!