Composite decking is a man-made binding product used in the construction industry. It is a mixture of recycled plastic and wood fiber popularly marked as an alternative to wood. The mixture is heated to form boards that need a lot of maintenance than the wooden decking boards. This material is becoming very popular due to its durability, resistance to termites, damp and rot. These boards do not need painting, sealing or staining and they don’t even crack or warp in direct sunlight. There are many manufacturers in this field but BriteDeck, Composite Decking Sydney excels in its crafting. The decking material is splinter stain-free and fade resistant with plastic capping.
What is Composite Decking?
A Composite is defined as something that is composed of multiple components or substances. Therefore, manufacturers combine natural and synthetic ingredients to create composite decking. Most composite deck boards combine natural or recycled plastic, wood fiber, and chemical additives. Composite decking is also the most environmentally friendly choice because it is mainly made from recycled materials.
Different types of composite decking include solid PVC plastic boards, solid composites made entirely of recycled plastic, and a combination of plastic and natural wood or bamboo fibers. Composite decking has become the best choice for most modern architectures because it does not need high maintenance requirements, is known for its outstanding durability, and has a longer life span than wood alternatives. Moreover, producers can produce composite wood decking that resembles the appearance of domestic and imported hardwoods.
How To Find Out The Best Composite Decking?
If you are shopping for Composite Decking, consider some important factors and choose the best decking material from many options available in the market.
1. Budget: There are numerous composite designs/brands with similar performance. But composite decking with a simple colour palette, grain pattern, low maintenance, and smooth finish option can meet your needs to suit your budget. You can cut waste and save money if you install decking with face screws and a wooden rail.
2. Sunlight: Consider a light colour, if your deck is exposed to the hot sun. Dense and dark coloured decking boards absorb heat from the sun and reflect it back making your deck sizzling hot.
3. Moisture: Composed Decking boards are designed with anti-slip features, hence if your deck is close to a pool, or you reside in a place where you often have snowfalls, a composite with smooth finish can be dangerous. Choose material sensibly that is waterproof and weather resistant.
4. Appearance: Many composites appear like wood and have superior grain touch, some brands feature subtle shadings and grain patterns, a few are buffed artificially at the factories. There are some more decking boards with a wide range of colours and matching accessories like railings, posts, balusters, and decorative trim. This makes your deck look beautiful but is costlier than the cost of your board. Therefore do not choose such a decking product, instead, go in for composite decking which is more appealing.
5. Building Codes: Consider a decking material that is approved by the local building officials in the city. Some Composite material has limitations on using for certain applications like framing or stairs. Therefore, to avoid building code violations use an approved material and fastener spacing.
6. Extra Cost: Composite decking boards can be installed using the same tools as in wooden decks, no specialized tool is required. Each system needs hidden fasteners and screws, use screws for composite decking for better results. To have a clear picture of cost, before buying a deck search for installation and accessories required for each system.
How is Composite Decking Manufactured?
Composite decking is primarily made of a variety of recycled materials, mainly polyethylene or PVC, blended with wood fiber, rice hulls, or other fillers, as well as a combination of chemical additives. While some composite boards are created with up to 95% recycled material, others don’t contain any recycled material. The distinction in recycled content is more of an environmental problem than a performance one. There are two types of manufacturing procedures used for composite decking:
1. Extrusion- This process produces planks by forcing raw materials through sculpting molds. In this process, all the natural elements are combined and then placed into an extruder, which melts the mixture and drives it through a “die” to form the dimensional lumber shape. This process produces the uncapped composite board or the first-generation composite board.
2. Co-extrusion process – This process placed a robust, capped composite polypropylene shell around three sides of the composite decking board. To avoid delamination, the capped layer is wholly attached to the substrate. In addition to providing a seamless, integrated layer of defense against spills, stains, and regular foot activity, this technique also includes UV inhibitors in the hard shell, which help prevent the decking from fading over time.
Types of Composite Decking
Composite decking is available in three major types. Initially, wood fiber and plastic were blended uniformly in composite decking boards. Later, manufacturers added a synthetic cap that covers three or four sides of the panels to improve performance and aesthetics.
1. Solid Boards or first-generation boards. The original composite deck boards were made of recycled wood and plastic, lasted longer than wood, didn’t splinter, and required less upkeep. These composite boards are hefty, sturdy, and long-lasting. Still, without a synthetic cover, the impacts of moisture and sun exposure would eventually be seen on the boards. They are frequently used as swimming pool decks, entranceways to residences, and permanent flooring in hotels, homes, and offices since they nearly resemble wood. However, solid composite decking planks may swell and shrink in extremely cold or hot temperatures.
2. Capped Boards with composite cores – Capped composite decking boards contain materials in their cores that are similar to those in first-generation composite decking and a cap. The cap that surrounds the core gives the composite board more flexibility in terms of color selection and increases the board’s useful life. The boards are also simpler to clean, thanks to the cap. The cap is made of a synthetic substance that boosts stain and scratch resistance and aids in preventing discoloration. In contrast, the core is made of recycled plastic and wood waste. These composite boards are a great option for decks, gardens, swimming pools, and many other areas.
3. Synthetic hollow capped boards – The cores and caps of these composite boards are made of purely synthetic materials. These lightweight composite boards, also referred to as hollow composite boards, require covers on their edges and are less impact resistant. They resemble solid composite boards; therefore, experts use them to attach cables, siding, and cladding. They have a longer warranty and are more resistant to natural elements than boards with wood fiber in the core.
Advantages of Using Composite Decking
Over the years, composite decking has been the preferred replacement for most home builders’ conventional wood materials used for decking. The advantages of composite decking over wood are numerous. The fact that composite decking is so adaptable and contributes significantly to the sustainability of our planet are just a few reasons why it is a popular choice. Continue reading to learn more about composite decking’s benefits for outdoor needs.
1. Easy Installation- Composite decking manufacturers have developed unique fasteners that provide a cleaner finished appearance. Most of these “hidden fasteners” are simple to install and don’t require any special tools. You can also select color-coordinated screws that make the installation look more like wood. In terms of dimensions and cutting, composite decking has similar dimensions to wood. To go with your composite deck, several businesses also provide low-voltage lighting, trim boards, and railing systems that are color-coordinated.
2. Easy to maintain – In contrast to wood, composite decking only needs occasional cleaning with soap and water to maintain its appearance and functionality. As a result, homeowners in various regions and climates preferred composite decking as a low-maintenance home solution.
3. Tested for durability – Composite decking is one of the most durable decking materials on the market, which can last for more than 25 years with no maintenance. This is largely because the decking is constructed of materials resistant to rot and insects. Due to the durability of the materials used to make composite decking, it can withstand a variety of damages Color is also a durability factor. It won’t dissolve or fade away like a stain or painted surface might. It is resistant to weather, human contact, and common dust problems.
4. Sustainability – In addition to being low-maintenance, composite decking is frequently environmentally safe because many producers use recycled materials, which lessens and prevents waste plastic and wood disposal. You’re not only improving the aesthetics of your house, but you’re also preserving the environment. By using composite decking, you are saving trees. Manufacturers cut down on the number of trees they harvest by expanding their uses. Recycling plastic keeps it out of the ocean and the environment, which helps to reduce the number of plastic waste. Recycled materials have a longer lifespan than unrecycled ones, which keeps them out of landfills and reduces waste.
5. Multiple Color Options – In contrast to natural wood, composite decking is available in many colors. Many grades and optional features are available for composite decking, including stain resistance and ultraviolet protection. There are many color choices, which makes it simpler to match your deck to the exterior of your house. Customers can choose from various hues and grain patterns of natural-looking wood to fit their preferences and blend in with practically any architectural style.
Quality Composite Decking is costlier than pressure-treated wood but it is long-lasting with style, colours, fastener choice and building code requirements. It is wallet-friendly material with warranty and is officially approved. Therefore choose composite decking as an ideal material for your decks.