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Things To Know About Composite Decking

January 16, 2024
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Even though the deck in your backyard may seem perfect, keeping that raised surface of wood in good condition can be quite the task. Homeowners gladly embraced the less demanding plastic-composite decking when it emerged in the 1990s, even though it was more expensive and only came in grey. Ten years later, sales of composites skyrocketed as businesses started to offer new goods that looked like Brazilian walnut and fresh-cut cedar but never went grey.

The environmental benefits of such widespread use are significant as well, since the majority of composites are manufactured from waste materials like sawdust, discarded plastic milk jugs, and shopping bags.

It is irrelevant that composites don’t feel or look like real wood. Once installed, they simply work and require a yearly wash-down, which gives you lots of opportunity to practise taking naps.

In this blog is a thorough explanation of composite decking and all you should know about it.

What Is a Composite Decking Board Made Of?

Particles, UV blockers, and borate preservatives are combined in equal parts with wood fibre and plastic, which is typically heated and extruded. The heating surface is embossed with any texture before it cools.

Waste Wood: Pulverised wood from furniture manufacturers and mills

Recycled Plastic: Shredded plastic made from shopping bags and milk bottles.

Pros & Cons of Composite Decking

Consider the advantages and disadvantages of composite materials before committing.

PROS:

Lower maintenance: You can stop worrying about staining and bleaching wood every other year. You can recover the greater cost of composites in around five years with the savings you receive by forgoing the use of these coatings and cleaning supplies.

Long lifespan: Composites are resistant to warping, checking, and termite damage. You can walk barefoot without worrying about splinters.

Minimal fading: After two or three months in the sun, all composites take on a somewhat lighter tone before the fading ceases. (When wood is left to its own devices, it eventually turns grey.)

Longer boards: up to 5.4 metres, meaning fewer joints at the ends.

High recycled content: All boards are made from at least 80% recycled timber and HDPE, with our Classic range of Ekodeck made from over 90% recycled materials.

CONS:

High initial cost: The cost of low-end composites is around thirty percent more than that of pressure-treated pine. Expensive composite decking costs are comparable to those of ipe (ee-PAY), a hardwood that is cut from tropical rainforests.

Easily scuffed: New composites are easily scuffed by moving furniture, playful dogs, and gritty shoes. Although they can’t be sanded entirely, light scratches eventually blend in.

Prone to staining: Food and grease have the ability to quickly discolour wood fibres. Furthermore, when wet, the hardwood in many mixtures can leave uneven, dark tannin stains; however, these eventually fade.

Hot underfoot: As dark composites roast in the sun, they get warmer, much like dark hardwoods. Boards with deeper grooves and lighter colours are better suited for bare feet.

Doesn’t truly look like wood: While some boards are more successful than others at simulating wood, they may be identified by touch or close inspection.

Installing It Right

This decking does not decay like wood does. Here are some significant distinctions to remember.

Joist distance. If joists are set more than 406 mm apart on the centre, composites will bow. Where to put screws. If composites are face-fastened too near an edge, they could crumble. Commonly, suggested spacing screws is 19.05 mm away from edges and ends, while the angles, the screws are slightly towards the joist at the butt ends.

Butt-end spacing. The distance between the butt ends. When installing, keep an eye on the temperature and strictly adhere to the manufacturer’s recommended spacing guidelines since boards tend to grow longer in hotter weather and shorter in colder weather.

Edge spacing. The distance between edges. Narrow holes can quickly become clogged, which raises the possibility of mildew and stains developing as well as the possibility of boards getting wet and breaking too soon.

High recycled content: All boards are made from at least 80% recycled timber and HDPE, with our Classic range of Ekodeck made from over 90% recycled materials.

Conclusion

For homeowners, composite decking offers an enticing alternative because of its longevity, low maintenance requirements, and positive environmental effects. It is an attractive option because of the possible long-term savings and environmental benefits, even with the greater initial cost. Customers should be mindful of the material’s unique feel from real wood, scuffing, and staining problems. For best results, installation procedures must be followed correctly. In doing so, contacting a professional decking contractor is always the best choice.


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