Composite decking is one of the most reliable and fastest-growing decking options. Composite decking uses a mixture of recycled wood and plastic, having both the durability of plastic and the appearance of wood. It’s perfect for indoor and outdoor flooring projects.
When it comes to decking construction, you need to decide what type of composites you’ll be using. Finding the perfect one will be crucial to your project. The good news is there are only a few types of composite decking. It makes it easier to find which one is the right one for your construction project.
Types of Composite Decking
There are loads of composite decking in the market. Each one of them is unique, different from each other. However, we can narrow them down by classifying them into different types. When choosing the right composites, consider each of these types.
Solid Composite Decking – Solid composite decking is the most known-type of composites. It is what homeowners use most often traditionally since they are easier to manufacture. These boards are solid, as the name implies. It means they are heavier and have more mass. Because of this, they are stronger and more durable. They also produce less sound when walking or running on them. Another feature of solid composites is that they look more like real wood.
While solid composites are excellent choices, they do have some disadvantages. Since they are heavier, solid composite decking materials are harder to work with. They are also more prone to shrinking, expanding and warping due to moisture.
Hollow Composite Decking – Hollow composite deckings, unlike solid composites, are lightweight decking materials, made with fewer materials. Because of this, they are easier to work with. As the name implies, they have hollowed portions within the boards. It makes it perfect for installing cables and wires. They are also less susceptible to shrinkage or expansion due to harsh weather. And contrary to what people believe, hollow composites can be as strong and sturdy as solid composites.
Despite all these advantages, there are cons in using hollow composites. Unlike solids, they often look like manufactured materials, not real wood. They are also more prone to damage from impacts.
Uncapped Composites – Aside from solid and hollow types, we also have capped and uncapped composite decking materials. Uncapped composites often belong to the first generation of decking materials. While uncapped materials are sturdy, they are more vulnerable to damage, including moulds, mildew, fading, and staining. To prevent damage, these types of older composites need to be maintained regularly.
Sales for this type of composite is decreasing. While this is once a reliable and solid choice for decking, advancements in technology made it a less popular choice. With that said, it’s still an option when choosing materials for your deck.
Capped Composites – Another type of composite decking materials is capped composites. They are the newer generation of composites. Majority of the composites on the market will be capped.
Unlike uncapped composite decking materials, capped composites have a special coating that prevents them from being damaged. The cap of these materials protects them from fading and weather damage. Capped composites are also relatively stronger and more durable than their older counterparts. Another great thing about capped decking is that it’s easier to maintain compared to uncapped ones.
When it comes to appearance, capped composites often have a grained appearance, due to the applied coating. The wooden boards are also reversible since all sides of the material are well-coated.
How to Choose What Type to Use
As you can see, there are only a few types of composites. When choosing whether to choose solid or hollow composites, you should consider what to use them for. Solid composite decking is great for its strength and durability. Meanwhile, hallowed ones are very lightweight and easy to work with. As for capped and uncapped, it’s best to choose the former. Not only is it more readily available, but it also has more advantages than uncapped ones. In the end, choosing what type of composite to use is a matter of your preference.