We need advice on Environmentally friendly composite pool decking suitable for subtropics

Our pool timber decking is rotting away and we need help finding an alternative that doesn’t require maintenance & doesn’t rot away quickly.

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Welcome @Shadow. It may assist others to reply if you are able to expand a little.
Sub tropical - coastal SE QLD & northern NSW?

What type of timber is currently failing and how was it treated? What type of maintenance did it receive if any?

Assuming you are looking to a similar timber style deck here is a discussion of one product type,

Are you able to expand on what environmentally friendly means in your circumstance? Some of the options for new decking include

  • select seasoned and treated hardwood or oiled hardwood,
  • wood composite timber bound by resins, may contain plastic polymers,
  • fibre/pulp reinforced cement based boards,
  • treated pine decking.

How the products are installed, and maintained is just as important as choosing the best option to suit the criteria. Personal experience suggests clay based pavers are the most durable and least maintenance, but they may not suit the site. All timber based products need some maintenance, which may not be environmentally acceptable depending on the product selected.

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That may not be possible as natural products all require maintenance and synthetic ones may not meet your criterion of environmentally friendly.

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By environmentally friendly alternatives I was thinking of recycled materials, not of timber. We inherited this problem when we purchased this property 2 years ago, so haven’t been responsible for it’s shocking condition! However, as we are all working several jobs & have 2 very young children, we do not have time to spend on pool decking maintenance. Ideally we want to replace the whole deck with some sort cement boards or composite boards, which need no further maintenance. The whole deck is elevated and situated in South East Queensland on the Sunshine Coast.

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Unlikely you will find such a product. Mould and mildew, algae etc are natural in sub-tropical environments. Management typically needs regular maintenance. Which ever product seems to offer the best solution, look carefully at the warranty fine print. There will be exclusions or limitations due to damage from mould etc, some pool and cleaning chemicals, and ……


  • New timber from sustainable forestry plantations may be the most environmentally friendly. The timber is holding newly captured carbon, and makes way for new growth to capture even more.
  • The option of using recycled plastics it can be argued is only encouraging more oil and gas (fossil fuel) to be produced to replace the plastics consumed in the making of the composites. Ultimately the wear and tear on these boards will be releasing micro plastics to the environment.
  • Whether cement based products are environmentally any better might come down to the resources and energy consumed in making the products.

Whether the second and third of these options are currently recycled or go to waste when they fail is a further consideration. This may or may not be a concern.

Like any product and recommendations, seek out independent feedback from owners of the exact same product. If the product has a 10 or 15 year warranty, owners with products at least that old might prove the most reliable.

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You might like to consider https://au.trex.com/ - They state: “We manufacture Trex eco-friendly composite decking boards using a blend of 95% reclaimed timber and recycled plastic.”
We used Trex for our deck replacement in Victoria - no pool. You could contact them and ask about suitability for your environment. Good luck