Everything You Need To Know About Composite Decking

Regardless of the size of your garden, an area of dino decking can really add to the visual appeal and the comfort of using the garden.  The addition of a gas heater or wood burner can make it accessible all year round. Even when it’s not dry, it can be a really enjoyable experience to be under the protection of a big umbrella listening to the sound of the water hitting the floor. Before the 1990s, decks were very uncommon and a collapsible chair or a towel on the floor was the only kind of comfort that was available. How fortunate we are now to be able to expand our living space outdoors at relatively low cost.

There are different types of decking available

Timber decking is still the standard choice when people think about decking installation. This is primarily due to a lack of knowledge of the availability of composite decks. With a little research, the numerous advantages of the composite will be discovered and an informed decision can be made. With the exception of how the deck is designed and it’s colour, composite decks are essentially all the same. What you may not know is that there is a choice of hollow composite boards and solid composite boards. There is no particular functional difference between the two, however, the cavities which are present throughout the length of the hollow boards reduce both the weight and cost. The reduction in weight can make it much easier to handle and will be more practical if you are adding overhead structures such as pagodas. The lighter hollow decking will lose some of its strength so more care is needed during installation to prevent damage. The finished deck will still be very strong though and won’t be subject to any failure. Natural timber can be more easily replicated with solid composite boards. One consideration though is that solid composite looks heavier and is heavier making it more difficult to move the boards around the frame, especially if performing a solo installation. Compared to hollow boards though, It does give a more natural look but can be more sensitive to the weather.

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Composite decking is lower cost over the long term

Calculating the cost is a big factor when planning your deck. Timber decking will offer a lower upfront cost. But this doesn’t include all of the necessary treatments and equipment which will be an additional annual expense. Whilst the initial cost for composite decking is higher, as this is the final price for the lifetime of the deck you are able to disregard all of the maintenance costs associated with timber. You will have to mop a composite deck occasionally, but even with the extra cost of some warm soapy water, the cleaning costs are affordable and simple enough to perform regularly.

Composite doesn’t age like wood

Composite decks won’t fail in the same way. There will be no danger of warping, colour fading or splintering regardless of the weather it is exposed to. Therefore, for the foreseeable future, you can have the confidence that your deck will look the same as when you installed it. Even when the rigorous maintenance regimes required for timber are maintained, weather damage to timber is almost impossible to prevent. Regular power washing, sanding, colour staining and varnishing is rarely enough to prevent water damage. The biggest enemy of wood is moisture, and the outcome can be delayed but never completely prevented.

A practical consideration

When planning your deck it is good practice to design the base dimensions to coincide with the length of the decks being used. Composite boards are available in much longer lengths, up to 20 feet, which can simplify the installation process. A reduction in off-cuts and wastage can also be achieved, especially when installing a larger deck.

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Make your deck look however you want it to.

Wooden decking can be made from a variety of different trees which will have some influence on the final colour of the treated wood. This will further affect the possible colours that can be achieved. Dark woods will not be able to have their appearance adjusted very successfully however many coats of stain are used. There are no such limitations with composite decks. The colour is synthetic and added at the time of manufacture, allowing a limitless range of colours. Additionally, as the colour is an integral part of the board there is no variation or potential for fading. Should a board ever need replacing, an identical colour to the rest of the deck can be procured. It is much more common to need a board replacing on a timber deck due to the wood splitting and becoming water stained. When a new board is replaced it will have a different texture, colour and appearance and obviously, stand out to the rest of the deck.

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