Ideas to inspire a decking project
Thinking of adding some decking to your garden? Our garden decking ideas are here to inspire you. There are lots of ways you can use this versatile landscaping option in your garden. So whatever the size of your outdoor space, having an area of decking is a great way to enjoy it. Whether you want timber or composite decking, a multi-layered deck, or one with a sandpit set into it for the kids to enjoy, we have lots of suggestions.
Read on to find out more and start planning your decking project.
Tools & materials required
Top decking tips and ideas
Take decking to another level
You can lay decking at different heights and levels, depending on the shape and surface of your garden.
A raised deck is a good option for sloped or uneven gardens as a way of creating a flat surface for a dining table or a seating area. If you build a tall enough frame, you can even use the space underneath your decking as additional garden storage.
A ground level deck is great if you want to keep a flat, even surface in your garden and they are easier to build than raised decks.
Top tip: Try mixing it up
Why not try integrating both raised and ground level decking into your design to create different platforms? This is a really eye-catching way to lay decking.
Choose the best shape for the space
Be open minded when it comes to the shape of your decking and design it to best fit your space. Rectangular or square-shaped decks are traditional and create clean, angular lines in your garden landscape. A straight-edged deck is also easier to construct than one with a curved edge.
Decking with a curved edge can help to create a softer finish to your garden design and looks great with bark, gravel or grass against the curved edge.
Consider different laying patterns
You can lay deck boards in lots of different configurations to create an interesting effect. Potential laying patterns for decking include: horizontal, diagonal, chevron and picture frame deck boards. Check out our article on How to plan your decking for more information on these different decking designs.
Decide between composite and timber decking?
There are different materials to consider when choosing your decking. Timber decking is the most traditional type and is made from pressure-treated wood. It is available in different colours and finishes and can be sanded down then painted or stained every couple of years to keep it looking its best.
Composite decking is hard-wearing and low-maintenance. A quick pressure wash will keep it looking great. It is available in stylish colours and is easy to install. Check out our decking buying guide to help you choose the right type for your garden.
Use decking to bring colour to a garden
Our composite decking is available in attractive colours including deep red, brown and grey so that you can choose one that works with your garden design. Our timber deck boards can be painted or stained with decking paint. We have lots of choice including traditional brown wood stains and chic grey paints. Why not check out our Valspar range of decking paint that comes in 200 different colours? That’s a lot of deck colours to choose from!
Top tip: Want to freshen up your decking?
Check out our video on three ways to spruce up your decking with paint.
Personalise decking with accessories
Railings or balustrade are a must-have on raised decking to make sure it is safe to use. You can choose between railing kits, or you can design your own with balustrade screens and posts. Simply fit the railings around your decking to make an attractive safety barrier. You can add railings or balustrade screens to ground-level decking too but where this is more for decoration, you can go for something less robust like this stylish decking rope.
Decking steps are another essential for raised decks to ensure safe, easy access. They are also a great way to connect different levels of decking. For help choosing the right decking accessory for your deck, check out our Decking buying guide.
Create decking ambiance with lighting
Adding lighting to your decking means that you can enjoy the area long after the sun goes down. Whether you go for atmospheric garden string lights draped around the edges, cosy lanterns, or built-in decking lights, lighting is a great way to brighten up your decking.
Our LED decking lights come in either blue or white and look great set into decking steps or between decking levels.Shop decking lights
Explore unusual decking surfaces
You might love the idea of decking in your garden but want to keep the look of grass. We have specialist deck boards that mean you can combine these two landscaping options. Grassedeck deck boards, (pictured), feature artificial grass set into decking. They are a fantastic way to have some low-maintenance green space in your garden.
Within our range of deck boards with a special surface design, we also have Walksure decking. These deck boards have a contemporary design with extra-grip rubber set into the wood. Find out more about our different types of decking in our Decking buying guide.
Decking that is great for kids
Decking can be a great addition in a garden that kids enjoy. The flat, level surface it creates is ideal for freestanding children's play equipment like sandpits or picnic tables.
Alternatively, you could build a sandpit into your actual decking space (pictured). This could work particularly well on a decking split over two levels. Position chairs and a table on the higher level, then set a sandpit into the lower platform so you can sit and relax in a sand-free area whilst keeping a watchful eye over your little ones.Shop sandpits Shop outdoor toys and play equipment
Top tip: Why not build your own?
You can use deck boards to build a sandpit from scratch. Watch the video below to find out how.
Work decking around plants, trees and shrubs
When thinking about the shape and size of your deck, plan it around the planting design you want to have in that area. Pot plants are the easiest way to incorporate plants into your deck design, but a border around the edge of your decking is a great way to frame it with your favourite shrubs and plants. Fragrant roses growing up trellis or obelisks can be particularly effective for this.
You can inset borders into your decking as a bit of a feature, this is particularly handy if you have well established plants growing in the area you want to deck. You don’t have to dig them up, simply build your deck around them.
Be creative with decking
Regular deck boards can be used for all sorts of garden landscaping. You can build a path alongside your flowerbeds, or a raised vegetable patch with separate compartments for different types of produce. Think creatively and the decking world is your oyster.
Decking tiles are a great alternative to regular deck boards and really versatile. They are easy to fit and can be used anywhere from balconies, over existing patio, or even to create a temporary hard surface for a party. Why not try creating a deck tile plant pot hanger? Following the easy steps below:
Top tip: Get crafty with decking
It's really simple to build a planter out of deck boards. Our How to video below will take you through the easy steps