Decks for your terraces and yards. Decks for your swimming pools and gardens. Best composite decking is what you’re looking for. Durable and easy to maintain. Discover its properties and designs.
Things You Should Know
Terraces or yards are places made for resting. Therefore, their design should be cozy and elegant. In addition, it must be durable. Because it will be exposed to sunlight and rain. Composite decking floors are designed for this. Overall, they are made of wood or plastic and wood composite. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Stay with us to learn about these details. We’ll show you the following:
- Material types
- Installation and maintenance
- Profile types
- Pros and cons
What is composite decking?
Composite decking is a board of different dimensions and materials. They are mainly made of a mixture of wood fiber and plastic in equal parts. In addition, they have ultraviolet inhibitors and borate preservatives. These materials are heated and then extruded.
The result is the boards of different thicknesses, designs, and dimensions. These have properties that make them durable. They are also resistant to sunlight and water. Generally, they do not contain designs or engravings. Because they are designed to imitate natural wood boards.
There are two main types of composite decking. Waste wood, i.e. crushed wood from mills and furniture factories. And recycled plastic containing shredded polyethylene and shopping bags. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages as will be explained later.
Decking material types
Considering that composite decks are made of different materials and compositions. It is worth detailing the different types of materials they have. We will see the pressure-treated wood, ipe wood, redwood, cedar. Also composite wood.
It’s the classic terrace board. The low cost is one of its advantages. Besides its lengths that require few cuts for installation. However, they break down easily. Also, it’s a good place for termites.
It’s brown wood. It keeps its appearance with a minimum of maintenance. Once installed it is one of the best materials. However, its installation can be a little hard. Due to the hardness of the material.
This is an excellent option for terrace floors. As it ages it takes on a beautiful deep red tone. However, it is a scarce material in the market. And it can chip over time. Unless you have a supplier nearby, it is not an affordable option.
Cedar is mainly used in fences. Because it has natural oils that can make it slippery. Its advantages are in its hardness. However, its dimensions are limited. Thicknesses of more than an inch can be difficult to find.
This is a material that is gaining in popularity. One of its advantages is the care of the environment. By being built with less natural wood. Instead, it uses recycled plastics. Other advantages are immunity to insects and termites. In addition, they don’t splinter or deform. It is easy to maintain. Although it can be a little difficult to install.
How to install composite decking
If you’re a do-it-yourselfer. You can decide to install the composite decking yourself. It will require time and patience. Also, you can hire a professional. However, satisfaction will not be the same.
In this type of material, planning is essential. It’s not just putting boards together. For this reason, every terrace or pool project is unique. And it all depends on the design you select. And this will depend on the use you will give to your project.
If you choose simple, single-level designs. You will be able to do it yourself without any problem. However, if you choose circular or curved designs. Also, on several levels. The help of a professional will not be superfluous. So, don’t hesitate to contact us by mail or SMS.
On the other hand, have the necessary tools. Make sure you have them before you start. You will need a circular saw, cordless drill, framing square, chalk line, framing hammer, gloves, dust mask.
As for the maintenance of your composite decking. That’s one of your main advantages. Because with little time and effort. It will keep your deck looking like new. It sweeps the slots on your floor so that water can runoff. In the case of stains, if possible clean them immediately. If you have mold marks, add some dish soap and hot water.
Composite decking layouts
Initially, you can choose between the attached or floating platforms. The attached platform is secured to your home. It requires a frost-proof footings. Furthermore, they use more materials. You must also build the deck bases.
On the other hand, the floating platform is independent of its construction. Its structure requires poles and beams to support it. They are a little more affordable. And you can place them wherever you want.
Other designs are associated with the shape of the deck. You can choose between decorative stripes to divide the length of your space. Also, opposite diagonals to give a different style. In addition, there are curves or boat decks that give you an innovative style.
Just as there are different materials for composite decks. There are also different manufacturing profiles. These profiles will indicate the weight or ease of installation of the boards. Moreover, to define the method of fastening the platform. The profile types that exist are:
- Grooving: These are compact pieces. They have grooves on both sides of the board. The appropriate fasteners are hidden.
- Solid: Compact boards that can be used on either side. They can be installed on the face or on the edges. It requires screws to hold the platform.
- Open flange: These boards are not compact. They have holes inside. Although they guarantee the rigidity of the material. Its advantage is to be lighter than the previous ones. It uses hidden fasteners.
- Scalloped: Compact boards on which only one side can be used. They are fastened just like solid boards.
- Hollow: These are hollow, rigid boards, 25 percent lighter than solid boards. It requires screws to hold the platform.
Composite decking pros and cons
Some of the advantages and disadvantages have already been mentioned. However, it is worth summarizing them. They will guide you to make the right choice. Let’s talk about composite covers:
What are the advantages of composite decking?
Easy maintenance: With composite decks, you don’t have to worry about staining or bleaching your floor. You won’t have to use additional coatings either. Their composition makes them resistant to sunlight and water. You only need to sweep occasionally.
Environmentally friendly: They don’t just use wood, which means fewer trees. They use plastic and other recycled materials. Which is good news for the environment.
Durable: Due to the materials of manufacture. These floors do not rot or attract termites. Likewise, they do not deform or splinter. They can last up to 50 years if they are made of ipe.
Keep the color: The first three months fade away. Then this process stops. Unlike solid wood which inevitably turns grey.
What are the disadvantages of composite decking?
As we well know, everything has its cons. Composite decks are no exception. Here are some of the disadvantages.
Hot underfoot: These materials are usually heated in the sun. To lessen this disadvantage. Choose light colors with deep grooves. If you are going to install it in warm places.
High initial cost: Composite decking boards have a higher cost than solid wood. However, with the low maintenance costs, in five years you can recover the investment. And your floors will last longer than this.
Prone to staining: Can be stained by food or grease. Some may cause wear and tear spots. But these will disappear over time.
- Weight: They can be heavier than natural wood. However, with home delivery options. It can cease to be a disadvantage.