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At Ultra Decking we believe in providing customers with all available knowledge to allow them to make an informed choice on what composite decking bests suit their needs and the type of composite decking project being undertaken. By visiting our “Complete Guide” pages that is exactly what we have provided. Should Ultra Decking not stock the type of Composite Decking to suit your needs, you will be armed with the correct information and knowledge to make the best choice and decision that best meets your needs and is tailored to suit your new composite decking project.Composite decking has gone through many changes over the past 20 years and there are many different types of first and second generation composite decking available.

To answer what is the best composite decking, first we will briefly explore the different types of composite decking. To make this as simple as possible, we have detailed this with quick and easy bullet points.

 

 

First Generation Composite Decking

The value board as we describe it on our site is one of the most common and oldest generation that you are able to purchase here in the UK. The value range is our entry level composite decking solution which offers all the composite decking benefits versus timber.

Ultra Decking’s value range comes in many different sizes, the rule of thumb seems to be, that the deeper and wider composite decking boards the better, which isn’t always true. What is more important, is the depth and thickness of the side walls and core of a square or rectangular hollow structure. The deeper and wider the core, the stronger and more durable the structure will be.

Pros

Grooved Wood Finish

Anti-Slip

Doesn’t Rot, Warp or Splinter

Low Maintenance (when compared to wood)

2-4% water absorption (depending on suppliers)

Can Be Cheap – Entry Level Composite Decking Product

Cons

Fading through its lifespan (Needs more upkeep to keep the colour)

If not maintained at least twice a season, could get mould spots.

Can Scratch (Due to the anti-slip treatment)

Not Suitable for Heavy Weights like Hot Tubs or High Traffic Decks due to the Square Hollow Core

First Generation Print Wood Grain Texture

 

The above images is a first generation wood grain, please note, when purchasing a wood grain composite decking board, There are two types available, one is a print on wood grain and the latest is a deep embossed wood grain, which is manufactured into the board and not printed on to the surface of the board. The key question and main point is, why does this matter to you when purchasing? The answer is the weathering process, the first generation board like the above and deep embossed wood grain is a traditional composite decking solution, made from wood fibres, all traditional composite decking will go through a weathering process. In laymen terms it will fades, as the wood grain is printed onto the wood fibre surface this means the wood grain will fade along with the colour, where a deep embossed like below will not as the wood grain is manufactured into the board and retain its wood grain look.

Pros

Grooved Wood Finish

Anti-Slip

Doesn’t Rot, Warp or Splinter

Low Maintenance (when compared to wood)

2-4% water absorption (depending on suppliers)

Can Be Cheap – Entry Level Composite Decking Product

Cons

Fading through its lifespan (Needs more upkeep to keep the colour)

If not maintained at least once a season, could get mould spots.

Can Scratch (Due to the anti-slip treatment)

Not Suitable for Heavy Weights like Hot Tubs or High Traffic Decks due to the Square Hollow Core

Deep Embossed Wood Grain

This is the Deep embossed wood grain using the latest updates to first-generation composite decking.

The wood grain is manufactured into the board keeping its wood grain look through its lifespan, the latest first-generation composite decking also has improved UV resistant meaning the board will still go through a weathering process but will stabilise after the first 3 months.

Simply ask your supplier or fitter and if ever unsure please contact ourselves for free help and advice or run a homemade test in which you submerge the decking samples you received into boiling hot soapy water for 24 hours the poorer quality product will peel or discolour on the surface or the side grooves.

Pros

Natural Wood Finish

Anti-Slip

Doesn’t Rot, Warp or Splinter

Low Maintenance (when compared to wood)

2-4% water absorption (depending on suppliers)

Stable Colour after 3 months (less maintenance)

Scratch-resistant due to manufacturing process

Ultra Structural Strength with Circle Hollow Core

Cons

Fades (Not as fast as previous boards)

If not maintained at least once a season, could get mould spots.

Second Generation Composite Decking

Ultra Platinum Range, is a second generation composite decking board, also described as capped or shielded co-extrusion composite decking. This means the board has an all-round protective shield and does not experience the same weathering process as the first generation composite decking board described above. In short, a shielded or capped co-extrusion board is UV resistant.

 
The co-extrusion composite decking boards will not stain, due to the capping and are also resistant to mould and mildew, A composite decking board with the latest capped or shielded co-extrusion technology will be more durable and stronger which in most examples will come with a 25-year warranty. You are able to visually confirm if a board has the latest shielded or capped technology by the thin layer of capping surrounding the entire composite decking board.

Pros

Natural Wood Grain Finish on Ultra Platinum Range

Anti-Slip

Doesn’t Rot, Warp, Splinter or Crack

Ultra Low Maintenance

0.05% water absorption (depending on suppliers) if composite decking board has the latest capped or co-extrusion

Fade Resistant

Scratch Resistant

Mould Resistant

Stain Resistant

Ultra Structural Strength with circle hollow core

Cons

Sounds too good to be true

One problem with the early examples of co-extrusion composite decking board was the capped shield appeared to look like plastic rather than mimic the beauty and aesthetics of wood. Ultra Decking’s new natural platinum line has resolved this and produced a composite decking board that appears exactly like a wooden deck with a truly ultra low maintenance, leaving you to enjoy your composite decking for decades to come.