Composite decking is a material made from a mix of plastic and real wood and can be a great option for many decks. If you’re not sure which type of decking is best for you, we’d highly recommend looking into composite decking – but before you do, here’s some handy facts you might like to know before you take the leap and choose to use composite decking for your new deck.
It’s the simplest kind of deck to maintain
Maintaining composite decking is incredibly easy – unlike with softwood and hardwood decking, you can get away with virtually no maintenance year round, other than a little cleaning! There’s no need to reseal, treat or stain this decking, unlike its wood alternatives.
If you’re looking for a beautiful deck without the maintenance – composite decking should be your first choice.
It lasts an incredibly long time
Because it’s made from a mixture of plastic and wood, composite decking lasts longer than most other decks; a minimum of twenty-five years, but likely over fifty years if your entire project is made from composite. The plastic won’t break down as easily in harsh British weather and offers a lot more waterproofing than traditional wood materials.
Some people choose to build their frames below the deck with softwood as it’s cheaper, however, this can mean your deck won’t last quite as long.
It comes in both tile and board form
Composite decking products come in a traditional board form, but also a new ‘tile’ form which some people love. If you’re looking for a modern decking look, it can certainly deliver. The composite tiles don’t just give you a new aesthetic option though; they also mean you can easily install things like LED lighting to your deck with ease, with tiles coming with lighting & solar panels prebuilt in.
No need for electricians to get involved and you can DIY beautiful LED lighting into your new deck so you can enjoy it past sunset!
It’s often made from recycled materials
If you’re keen to reduce any harm to the environment, composite decking is a great solution – not only is it much more durable than softwood, it’s also usually made from recycled materials, meaning your impact on the environment is much less than when you buy wood boards.
More expensive than softwood
As with all decking types – there’s always a drawback. Composite decking can be a pricier option than softwood, and so it isn’t for everyone. If you’re looking for a more temporary option that only needs to last around ten years, softwood might be a better choice for you. Otherwise, the investment will likely be worth it, if you need a deck that will last twenty-five years and beyond (with very little maintenance).
You can also choose to build your frame with a cheaper material like softwood and simply cover the main area with composite; be aware though that this can mean the frame may deteriorate faster than the composite decking and therefore may not last as long as you might have hoped.
You can’t change your mind on colours
Unlike real wood, where you can easily change stains and paints, composite decking doesn’t agree well with changing colour. You can’t sand or stain composite decking, unfortunately. If you think you might want to change up the colour and style of your deck without tearing it out and starting again, it might be a better choice to get a real wood that you can sand down, stain and paint to your heart’s content.
If you’re looking for a decking with a certain wood look however, you’re in luck. Composite decking comes in a vast array of colours and styles, from hardwood oak finishes to sleek ebony tiling – so there’s certainly something to suit everyone’s tastes.
It’s heat resistant
Composite decking has good heat resistant qualities, so if you’re looking for a decking that won’t overheat and harm bare toes (or paws) composite decking can be a perfect solution.
Less likely to get algae growth or mould
Composite decking is only partially made from wood, making the material less porous than real wood and therefore much less likely to attract mould and algae. Mould and algae need air and water to grow, and because it’s hard for water to penetrate this material, you shouldn’t see green patches or deterioration on composite decking. If you would prefer a real wood deck, but don’t want algae or mould – just remember to maintain your deck properly with the right wood treatments.
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