There are plenty of decisions you need to make when picking out decking timber, but one of the most important is whether to choose grooved or smooth decking. There's really no right option, since both types offer several compelling benefits. To make the right choice, simply read through the relative benefits and think about which type sounds more attractive.
Why Should You Choose Grooved Decking?
Grooved decks are less common than flat decks, but they do offer several compelling benefits, including:
- Helps Water Runoff: If you live in an area that frequently experiences heavy rainfall, a grooved deck is a good idea. It's impossible for water to pool and start to cause damage or interrupt your enjoyment of your outside space, since water will flow into the grooves. Such decking is often tilted very slightly to ensure water then runs out of those channels to be properly drained away.
- Improves Safety: With grooves cut right into your deck, you'll be left with a textured surface. As such, you'll find it much harder to slip on grooved decks, especially after rain or snow. Grooves also provide a strong visual indication that changes in level are coming, and you should be able to fit ramps and mobility steps more easily.
- Covers Wear: Finally, grooved decking doesn't show wear and tear as visibly. Of course, decking is very tough, but it can still pick up the odd scratch or dent. Grooves break up your decking, so small flaws are relatively hard to spot.
Why Should You Choose Smooth Decking?
Grooved decking can be great, but it certainly isn't for everyone. Here are just a few reasons why you might want to go smooth instead.
- Easier Cleaning: One major disadvantage of grooved decking is that dirt and debris can collect more easily. It's pretty hard to get right into each groove and wipe everything away. In contrast, a smooth decking surface can be quickly wiped down with minimal effort.
- Nicer Walking Surface: If you'll be walking on your decking with bare feet, grooves can feel a little uncomfortable underfoot. Smooth decking is a lot nicer, especially if you might be lying out on a deck set around a pool. Even if you're wearing shoes across the surface, grooves can be tricky. Having a fancy garden party? Anyone wearing heels will find it tough to walk on a grooved deck.
- More Natural: While grooved decks hide small flaws, most people find smooth decks more attractive. After all, one of the perks that comes with timber decking is its authentic appearance, and that comes across better when you use smooth timber instead of grooved.