Choosing the right length of decking boards can have a significant impact on a deck’s performance. Composite decking boards come in various sizes and styles, and there are advantages and disadvantages to each option. One question may come up; do composite decking come in 24 foot lengths? And what are the benefits and drawbacks of using such long decking boards?
Can You Get a 24-foot Long Composite Decking?
Most decking boards on the market have lengths spanning from 6″ to 20″. If you visit your local supplier, these are the ones you will likely find. But as for 24-foot boards, you may have a more difficult time finding them. Fortunately, while still significantly rarer, extra-long PVC and composite decking boards are much easier to find than wood boards of the same length. You may find a few suppliers that have them in stock.
If you can’t find any readily available 24-foot long decking boards, there are still a few options you can try. Some composite decking manufacturers offer custom length boards. You only need to give them a call and request boards with your preferred lengths. Depending on the brand, they can get it ready in about two weeks. Due to how much time it would take to produce and deliver them, you will need to plan accordingly.
Since longer decking boards can be harder to find, what are the merit of using them to build your deck? Do they have drawbacks?
Advantages of Long Decking Boards
Many prefer longer decking boards for several reasons. For instance, since longer boards span greater distances, there will be less exposed ends. While composite decking boards are highly resistant, these ends can be susceptible to a few issues, such as warping and moisture absorption. You will save much more from replacement costs in the long run, as long as you maintain the deck properly.
Another excellent advantage of longer decking boards is their aesthetics. With fewer ends, you will have a smoother and cleaner-looking deck. If you are going for a straightforward deck layout, longer boards are better suited for the job. With fewer ends, it also lessens the likelihood of the boards popping out. Besides using them as usual, long decking boards are also handy for other uses. For instance, you can use them to picture frame your deck.
Disadvantages of Long Composite Decking Boards
While there are several disadvantages of long composite decking boards, there are a few drawbacks as well. One of the many concerns in using long decking boards is stability. The longer the decking boards, the bendier it gets. If you plan to use long deck boards, you will have to follow the correct joist spacing to ensure a sturdy deck.
To make longer boards less flexible and sturdier, many manufacturers make them thicker than shorter boards. For this reason, they may be more expensive when it comes to initial cost. Besides the thickness, the limited stock of 24″ foot decking boards can make it more expensive. Ordering from a custom-length board supplier can often be cheaper.
Another disadvantage of longer decking boards is you won’t have as much freedom when it comes to design. With shorter boards, you can layout the decking boards into different patterns and styles. And you do it without a lot of cutting. For longer ones, your options are significantly more limited unless you cut them into smaller pieces.
Should You Get 24 Foot Decking Boards
While slightly more unusual, there are several places you can get 24-foot decking boards. Some shops have them in stock, while there are brands that you can pre-order from. Depending on the deck you are designing, longer decking boards are very useful in many ways. However, you will still need to take note of some of its drawbacks.