Is Composite Decking Easy to Install?

decking installation

Building a deck is a long and complicated process. Moreso if you are doing it all by yourself. To successfully construct a good one, you’ll need lots of planning. First, you have to select which material you’ll be using, prepare the land, and get some necessary permits. But perhaps the hardest part for some is installing the boards. 


When selecting a material, one of your choices is composite decking materials. They’re quite durable, long-lasting, and aesthetically beautiful. But when it comes to installation, is it any better than the other types of decking? Is it easy to install?


How Hard is It to Install Decking?


Before anything else, let’s talk about the difficulty of installing decking the common decking boards. Softwood and pressure-treated lumber are the most common types of decking used. They are quite difficult to install, especially the pressure-treated boards. Not only are they heavy, but they are also incredibly hard as well. This makes it hard to drill holes or hammer nails into them. Another disadvantage of wood decking is that they are prone to shrinking and expanding. These movements of the boards push the nails or screws upward, which makes the boards unstable and dangerous. 


But what about composite decking boards? Are they any better when it comes to installation? 


Is Composite Decking Easy to Install?

Is composite decking easy to install

Is Composite decking easy to install? Generally, composites are easier to install. However, it depends on what type of composite decking materials you’ll be using. Since every composite decking board is different from another, ways to install them are also different. 


When it comes to installation, we can group composite decking boards into two. Here are the two types of composites and how they are different from each other when installing them. 


Grooved Composite Decking Boards


Grooved decking boards are composite boards with indents or channels on the side. These spaces make it easier for the builders to install the deck. How so? 


Unlike traditional wooden boards, you don’t have to use screws and nails to hold down the boards. Instead, you use hidden fastening systems. You screw clips and fasteners in the grooves and the joists of the frame.


Many people prefer this type of decking material. Not only because it’s easy to install, but it will also give a cleaner and smoother look for your patio. It’s also safer as you won’t have to worry about the nails or screws getting pushed upward, which can cause accidents. 


Ungrooved Composite Decking Boards


Ungrooved decking materials are boards that look identical to the traditional decking boards. These decking materials belong to the older generation of composites. However, many deck builders still use this type of composite decking. 


So are ungrooved composite decking materials easy to install? Since they are similar to every other type of board, there isn’t much different when it comes to installation. You can install them using screws or nails, like every other decking board. However, some of these types of composites are lighter than wood, which makes it easier to drill and install.


What Type of Decking Board to Use for Easy Installation?


When deciding to build a deck, it’s generally best to use grooved decking boards. You don’t need to drill the boards as you will be using clips and fasteners instead. You’ll also have a board without exposed nails and screws


However, it doesn’t mean that ungrooved decking boards have no uses. There may be times that you’d want to use them instead. For instance, if you’ll be building a deck on your house’s upper floors, it’s better to use ungrooved. Unlike grooved decking boards, ungrooved boards don’t have wide gaps between them. Because of this, there’s less chance for water or other liquids to pour down from the deck. Some people also prefer their decks without gaps.


At the end of the day, whatever type of composite decking boards you use, one thing is for sure; they are easier to install than most decking boards. 

Tags: decking, how to install, installation, installers

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