Which Kind of Decking is the Most Child-Friendly?
When you’re a parent, a lot of time is dedicated to making sure your home and garden are enjoyable, safe spaces for your children to play in. There’s no feeling quite like enjoying a sunny afternoon out in the garden with the little ones, so whether you’re moving into a new house, or making some garden improvements, it’s important you include child-friendly features.
Popular types of decking
There are three main types of decking that people install in their gardens, plastic decking, timber decking and composite decking. Each of these decking materials have their own pros and cons, but when it comes to being child-friendly, there are definitely some decking materials that you should steer clear of.
Plastic decking is quite a popular option because it’s cheap and readily available. It’s mass-produced and comes in a wide variety of colours, making it an appealing option for brightly coloured garden play areas. Plus, plastic decking is easy to wipe down, making it perfect for messy play dates.
That being said, plastic decking is not the most child friendly for one reason – it gets incredibly hot in the sun! This can be a real problem, especially if you’ve got young children crawling around on in during the peak of summer.
You might think that a natural material like timber would be better suited for children, and in some ways this is true. Unlike plastic decking, timber decking absorbs a smaller amount of heat from the sun and is more pleasant under foot. That being said, timber decking is not 100% child-proof.
One of the main issues you’ll encounter with timber decking is splintering. This is where the wood takes on water and either freezes or warms up. This expansion causes the wood to split along its grain and wood starts to break away from the surface. These splinters are especially dangerous if you have little ones playing on the deck.
A way to avoid this (if you have your heart set on timber decking) is to sand, stain and seal your deck on a yearly basis. Refreshing the top layer of wood and removing any loose fragments of wood will help ensure your deck is child-friendly all year round.
If you’re looking for the ultimate child-friendly decking option, composite decking really is the way to go. It’s made of a combination of wood fibers and polymer resin to produce boards that have all the benefits of plastic and wood (without the drawbacks).
Unlike plastic decking, composite decking is manufactured to retain heat for as little time as possible. This makes it safe for your children to play on, even during summer!
Another great benefit of composite decking, is that it features a polymer sleeve that not only prevents chipping and splintering, but also stops the decking from fading in the sun. So, unlike timber decking, composite decking is a safer and easier to maintain option all-round.
Wondering whether you can achieve the same, charming real-wood deck using composite decking. The answer is yes! Composite decking manufacturing has come a long way since it was first introduced, and composite deck boards can be made to look and feel exactly like real wood. That means you don’t have to compromise on your garden design to make your new deck child-friendly.
So there you have it, composite decking is without a doubt the most child-friendly decking option on the market. Consider adding this to your garden design if you’ve got little ones that love to play in the garden.
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