When buying and looking for composite materials, you will notice that not all of them are the same. They differ in size, colour, and in construction. One notable difference is grooved and ungrooved boards.
What are grooved boards? And what are its purposes? If you’re building a deck, which one should you choose? These are only a few questions regarding these types of boards. Fortunately, we have all the answers to these questions. Read on to know more.
What are Grooved and Ungrooved Boards?
Grooved decking materials are boards with an indent or rows of cuts on the side of the boards. Most of the newer decking boards will typically have this indentation.
On the other hand, there’s also ungrooved decking boards. They don’t have grooves on the sides, unlike grooved boards. For the past few years, this is the type that most people use. Because of this, it is often associated with older generations of composites. However, it’s true that the majority of existing ungrooved decking boards are likely from the first generation of composites. It’s not to say that all of them are old, as there are still in production and used by many.
So, what is the purpose of the grooves on the decking board?
Why Do Some Decking Boards Have Grooves?
If you think that the grooves are only there for design purposes, you’re wrong. The truth is, they serve an important role in securing the decking boards in place.
The oldest way to secure the boards to the frame is by using nails and screws. Many people still use this method. However, a new fastening system was invented, which does not require screwing or punching nails on the boards. Instead, they are hidden from plain sight. Not only is it safer, but aesthetically pleasing as well, since you’ll have a deck with no visible nails or screws.
To use hidden fastening systems, however, you will need grooved decking boards. The system uses a series of clips and fasteners that fits into the indents on the side of the composite decking materials. That is the purpose of the grooves of some of the decking boards.
Which One To Use?
Now you know what they are for, it’s now time to choose which one to use. Is it better to use grooved decking boards or ungrooved ones? Of course, each of them has its advantages.
Why Use Grooved Decking Boards?
For grooved decking materials, you can have a patio without any visible screws, nails, or holes from punching them into the boards. Because of this, the patio will look cleaner and smoother. For many, this is a huge plus.
Another reason to use them is safety. While screws and nails have been used for a long time, they do have some issues. Especially the nails, they tend to resurface because of the expansion and compression of the material due to moisture. While this is not a significant issue with composites, it still can happen. When the nails back up, it poses not only damage to the deck, but safety problems as well. People may get injured due to it.
So if you want a patio with a beautiful and clean look, grooved decking boards are for you. They are also easy to install and are generally the safest.
Why Use Ungrooved Decking Boards?
As previously mentioned, people may associate ungrooved with the old generation of composites. Because of this, some may think that they are not a viable choice for decking. However, this is not true. Sometimes, using ungrooved ones is better.
For instance, if you’re building an outside deck on the upper floors, it’s better to use ungrooved. Since grooved decking leaves gaps between the boards, water can pass through the deck easily. But by using ungrooved, any liquid spilt on the deck or rain will not drip quickly. The gaps made by the grooved decking boards also pose another safety issue. If you’ll be wearing heels or any similar footwear, there’s a chance you’ll trip on the gaps.
Another good reason to consider ungrooved is that there are ways to hide the screws and nails. You don’t have as many options as grooved boards, but it’s still possible to get a smooth and clean-looking deck. One way is through plugging the holes left by the screws.