What is Composite Decking? – Decking Guideline
I. The revolution of decking
Science and technology are developing increasingly; people tend to invent and search for new materials with superior properties such as plastic and polyethylene to make new useful and practical decking product categories more improved than traditional decking.
Consequently, composite planks are known and have become a popularly used material in the industry. This is a superior material that is more advanced in properties as well as widely used and mass-produced. Thus, what exactly is composite decking? What are the pros and cons of these boards?
II.What are actually composite decking products?
1. The main components
Composite materials are synthesized from two or more different recycled materials to create a new, superior, and more durable material than the original materials. Composite decking is a synthetic product made of a mix of wood fibers, recycled wood, plastics or recycled plastic, and a small number of bonding agents.
2. The manufacturing process
The manufacturer will mix the ingredient, heat them, mold the decks and cool them down. The resulting boards require far less maintenance than lumber decking while looking more realistic than the plastic alternative in the decking market.
III. How can composite deck bring advantages to homeowners compare to wood decking?
1. Reasonable price in the decking market
First of all, decking products is a long-term purchase. Manufacturers report that the average lifespan of decking is 10 years; however, with low maintenance, lumber or wood decking cannot last for that long.
A fully wood decks construction can cost homeowners up to $30,000 for a 500-square-foot space.
Composite decks at Decking Pros in Bellevue, Washington, costs the same as natural decking. Still, instead of replacing your wood decking once every 10 years, composite decking lasts for up to 40 years.
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2. High durability in decking varieties
Besides its financial benefits, as we mentioned above, composite decking is more long-lasting than any traditional wood deck. Because it is made from various materials, it is resistant to many other monolithic materials, like mixing concrete, mixed materials so that your deck board’s surface will not be deformed by pressure, weather, or moisture.
This type of deck can also make from recycled materials, so technically, it is eco-friendly.
Hardwood decking tends to rot and produces splinters If homeowners let their indoor or outdoor deck in severe weather with low maintenance. Also, humid moisture can form mold and mildew, making the deck shade fade and staining. That’s why composite decking is perfect for outdoor space.
3. Easy to clean
Scrubbing the surface of composite decking doesn’t require any profession. Usual cleaning chemicals can treat stains. You can see the article The Important Secrets of Pressure Washing and Deck Staining to compare cleaning wood decks and composite decks.
IV. Several varieties of composite decking
1. Capped composite versus Uncapped composite
a.Capped composite decking
These composite planks come with an outermost plastic layer, which means that the boards become deeply resistant to fading and staining. This cover contains UV inhibitors, antioxidants, enhancing its lifespan.
The boards are easy to wash clean and keep their tone open because they have a water-resistant external layer like regular plastics; mold cannot grow on its surface.
Capped boards are perfect for outdoor installation than wood composite; it looks like a wood deck but with the tenacity of a composite deck. The capped composite is also more expensive.
b.Uncapped composite decking
It tends to be more affordable. Although the material is resistant, it does not manufacture with identical protection against staining and color fading. The surface might fade and stain in the first couple of months, like a lumber composite decking.
Uncapped boards look very nice because they look lumber, but the durability is not high compared to others.
2. Hollow versus Solid composite decking
The most obvious benefit of hollow planks is that they are really light. This is because they have a lightweight honeycomb center and are made from polyethylene. Polyethylene is a light material. This composite decking makes them fitting for smaller house designs where there are fewer helping hands.
Because they are recessed in the middle, they can trap water, and the water inside is difficult to remove, which can damage the board over time.
However, a purposefully designed end cover can limit this problem and protect the board from water leaking. The final advantage of hollow boards is that they are less responsive to the elements. At the same time, solid panels can react to extreme heat and rain by expanding or contracting.
A significant downside of hollow flooring is that it resembles wood less than its counterparts. This is because it usually contains more uniform particles.
As you can see, hollow planks bring many benefits. This includes being lighter, easier to install, and resistant to expansion. Hollow floors are usually more affordable, and because they are more buoyant, they can be easier to install. However, they often have a more uniform look than other types and therefore appear less practical. Although, the untrained eye will not notice this.
The main advantage of solid composite flooring is its strength. If you’re planning on keeping more substantial items like hot tubs on your decks, then hollow planks might be the best option for you. But, heavyweight can make shipping and handling during construction more difficult.
One last but primary use of these boards is that they resemble wood rather than hollow boards. This is because it has more grain variations, giving it a more realistic look.
Compact composite decking looks more realistic and provides extra strength, which means it is high in lifespan. While this will make installation a bit more complicated, making them ideal for use in high-traffic areas such as bars and pubs.
V.Should you construct composite decking or hardwood planks?
Actually, it is up to your demand.
Suppose you want long-lasting decking, then composite decking is perfect for your house. Any open space like a patio or pool is great with composite decking. Composite decking requires less maintenance; however, which is less realistic than natural.
However, when you are looking for a realistic appearance, all-natural boards are for you. It is costly and requires a high cost of maintenance. You might need a professional cleaner to scrub its surface. Natural decking is great to install indoor space.