Grooved and Smooth Decking – What’s the Best?

One of the features that makes timber decking such a popular building material is its versatility. You can tailor your wooden decking area to suit your project, choosing species and profiles that are low-maintenance, durable or simply beautiful, depending on your needs. But, unless you’re a timber expert, there are some choices that are a little confusing.

For example, should you opt for grooved or smooth decking? Unless you know the pros and cons of each type, it’s impossible to make a good choice! That’s why we’ve done the leg work for you, compiling everything you need to know right here.

Why Do People Choose Grooved Decking?

At EcoChoice, we see a huge demand for both smooth and grooved sustainable decking. Both are perfect for different projects based on their unique benefits.

The real advantage of grooved decking is that it aids the runoff of water. However, they have to be installed properly for this to work effectively, with an almost imperceptible drop along the length of the deck boards.

Another advantage of grooved decking is in footbridges and narrow walkways. If the direction of traffic is guaranteed to be perpendicular to the deck boards, then grooved decking is likely to also offer a better degree of anti-slip safety to the area, especially in winter when surfaces get more slippery.

What Projects Will Benefit the Most From Grooved Decking?

Grooved decking is a brilliant option if you’re using a wood that’s more susceptible to rot, such as pine. With a treatment to prevent rot, and grooves helping the water run off rather than sitting stagnant, your wood will be in much better shape in years to come.

If you live in a particularly rainy area and your decking is uncovered, grooves are a smart choice, as long as your deck has been installed with a minimum drop so that the water runs off naturally. This minimum drop should be a slope of at least 3mm per foot to ensure water drainage. No one wants puddles forming on their decking, and this is one way to avoid that happening.

Which Projects Benefit From Smooth Decking?

If grooved decking has the advantage of water runoff, why would you choose smooth decking? 

There are actually a few advantages to a smooth finish that make this type more suitable for certain projects. For example it’s kinder to bare feet, so for decking around a swimming pool or in a private garden where you often aren’t wearing shoes, it’s a no-brainer. It is also easier for pushchairs, bikes and wheelchairs to move on smooth decking, making it more appropriate in certain public spaces.

Another factor to consider is cleaning. A smooth surface won’t trap as much dirt and grime, needing only a sweep to look clean. Grooved decking is much more likely to trap debris, which can be a problem in high-traffic areas.

Which Should You Choose?

If you are not sure whether your project needs smooth or grooved decking, we can help. Our sustainable decking experts will be able to match you with your ideal option based on your project, ensuring that you always make the right choice. Reach out today and let us know more about your needs, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. When it comes to your decking, we’re always happy to help!

Image: Anne Kitzman /



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