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When planning the design of your garden or other outdoor space in your home, there are many questions that you should ask yourself to ensure that you make the right decisions.

One of the top questions to ask yourself when adding flooring to your deck is the type of material that you should use for the lounging areas and outside seating. Decking has been the most common option that people choose because it is generally cheaper and comes in different types.

However, many people don't realise that there are many other options available on the market, and among these include tiles, which are longer-lasting, and an even better alternative to choose in some cases.

If you're considering an outdoor project and wondering which of the two materials is better, you're at the right place. In this article, we'll take you through some of the vital considerations when choosing between the two materials and help you determine which option is the better option to choose from based on your needs. Keep reading to find out more.

Decking Vs. Tiles: What is the Difference?

Here's a brief summary of some of the factors that differentiate decking and tiles:


Decks are the better option to consider when it comes to budget, but they are not as impressive regarding their lifespan. In terms of lifespan, you'll realise that tiles are actually a lot cheaper.

Pressure-treated wood is designed to last longer due to its lower susceptibility to different elements. Despite that, you'll realise that their lifespan is shorter than tiles, as the treated wood can only last for around five years, after which it starts to rot in different areas.

Another thing to note is that wood is generally a softer material, which increases its potential to scuff, dent, or scratch. With that, your deck will need replacement after a short period. The situation is different with outdoor tiles, as they are generally more long-lasting and designed to last many years, especially if they are correctly installed.

You can expect the tiles to last up to around 20 years with proper installation and maintenance. The interesting thing about tiles is that they do not require much maintenance.


During the rainy season, you'll notice that moss has a higher tendency to grow on outdoor surfaces. Moss growth on wooden surfaces creates a slippery surface, which can be very difficult to remove.

On the other hand, outdoor tiles are equipped with an HD anti-slip finish, making them the best option to use in exterior conditions. Even in extremely wet conditions, the floor tiles don't become slippery, and walking on them is much easier.

The tiles also don't require regular upkeep to avoid moss. Unlike decking, tiles don't absorb water during winter months, so you can comfortably use them in regions with harsh weather conditions with the assurance that nothing will happen to the tiles. That's not the case with decking because they absorb moisture significantly.

Easier to keep clean

Before choosing between any of the two materials, one of the critical things to have in mind is the maintenance and how easy it is to clean. Again, tiles take the lead over decking when it comes to cleaning.

The tendency for decking to go grey or dull in the summer months is higher than for tiles. On the other hand, tiles maintain their pleasing appearance even after many years. This is because they are impervious to bleaching, warping, and staining.

To clean the surfaces, all you need to do is mop regularly. You can also perform annual cleaning by using a tile cleaner. This is usually all you need to do to preserve the tile material and keep it good-looking for many years.

A lifetime of looking good

Exposing wood to extreme conditions like the hot sun increases its tendency to dull or grey. Staining the timber decking can give it back some of its life. However, this will become an annual chore that can become stressful over time.

The case is entirely different with outdoor tiles as they won't fade, stain mark, or scratch like decking. With that, you can enjoy their pleasing appearance for many years without requiring frequent upkeep.

Wide choice of options

The range of options to choose from is also a consideration when choosing between the two materials. With decking, you have multiple options you can choose from, as there are different types of woods available on the market today. However, an essential thing to note is that there's a limit to the customisations you can make to decking.

This restriction is an area where decking falls short. The case differs for tiles, as outdoor tiles are available in different shapes, styles, and colours. In addition to the flexibility in its availability, you are not restricted as you can use it in any way you like, depending on your imagination.

Decking or Tiles: Which is Better?

We have highlighted some of the main differences between the two materials, and ultimately the one you choose entirely depends on your preference. There are no rules to follow when choosing between decking or tiles, as it mainly depends on your region's environment and weather conditions.

Here are some other vital things to know about decking and tiles:


Decking usually refers to rectangular wooden boards primarily used for interior hardwood floors and exterior wood flashing. They come in varying sizes, and the standard size is generally between 2,100 to 2,400 mm long, with the width being around 90 to 200 mm.

If you choose decking, it's crucial to understand how it is installed. Decking is installed in two different ways. They are either screwed directly or clipped onto joists with the aid of decking clips. The process of installing decking is complex, and this is because they must be laid on joists.

Another thing to note about decking is that their appearance varies a lot. They mostly come in two different varieties: the smooth and the grooved option. Decking is generally ideal for use in larger garden areas. Their main advantages are that they are easy to install and come in different wood types like timber.


Tiles also come in different sizes, and they are mostly square-shaped. The standard sizes they come in are either 400 mm x 400 mm or 500 mm x 500 mm. They are mostly spaced into two to three crossbars and can be laid in different ways. The common ways they are laid include:

  • Screwing directly to the joist.
  • Placing directly onto the earth, concrete, or grass.
  • Clipping on a built surface.
  • Laying onto a PVC riser pedestal.

Another strategy used in laying decking tiles is using a checkerboard pattern that alternates the tiles to give a more stylish result. Alternatively, you can lay them in the same direction, and this approach is used to make the tiles appear bigger.

Tiles can also be used in smaller garden areas, but you should note that you're not restricted by how you use them, and you have more freedom and flexibility. The main advantages of tiles are that they are easier to install, easy to transport, lightweight, and compact in size. All of these are features that make people choose them over decking.

What Material Should I Choose?

There are many materials you can choose from when it comes to your outdoor projects, whether it's decking, tiling, natural stone or stone paving. Depending on your desired style, you can choose either decking or tiles, but if you're after longevity, maintenance ease, and anti-slip, tiles are more suitable options.

Tiles are generally better than decking, but before choosing any, it's essential to consider the features highlighted above. Ultimately, you can talk to a professional for tips to help you decide or to handle the outdoor project entirely.

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