Composite Decking Board Cores
I’ve been asked several times by clients domestic and commercial, “does the composite decking board depth and core type make a difference to the strength and overall performance over the decks service life?”
On this page we will discuss the different depths and design of all composite decking boards and what truly matters when purchasing.
1Square hollow composite decking
Ultra Decking’s home choice range of composite decking boards are 150mm wide and 25mm deep.
The square hollow core is a commonly sold design here in the UK. Most customers’ first thoughts are that the deeper or thicker the decking board, the stronger it will be. This isn’t always true. When choosing a square hollow composite decking board, the most important part to confirm and check is the depth of the top and side walls inside the square core. Regardless of the board’s overall depth, the square core top and walls should be at least a minimum of 5mm on each side wall, including the top and bottom of the square core. If the walls and tops of the square core fall below 5 mm, the strength is more than likely very weak. This might lead to structural problems such as cracking, splitting or even failure over time.
In summary, a square hollow core decking board of any thickness for residential/home decking projects must be a minimum of 5 mm in depth on the side and top walls to ensure the required strength over the deck’s service life.
2Circle Hollow Composite decking
Ultra Decking’s Premier range is designed with a circular hollow core. Our experience has shown this design to be of similar strength and durability to a composite decking board with a solid core.
Independent tests from SGS have confirmed that Ultra Decking’s Premier Range of composite decking boards can withstand the stress and weight of up to 4 average family cars before failure. The Premier range of composite decking boards is recommended for areas with public access and high footfall. Of course, residential customers can opt for the added strength and durability of the Premier range for that lasting peace of mind.
For commercial customers, we strongly recommend a circular hollow core as the smart choice. Ultra Decking’s Premier and Signature ranges are designed and built to withstand high footfall areas, offering many years of service. Circular hollow cores can distribute impact or shock waves evenly throughout their core and easily deal with the harshest weather conditions, especially changes to temperature fluctuations experienced here in the UK.
Many industry experts and analysts recommend the composite decking board with a circular hollow core because it improves strength features and is better equipped to deal with temperature contraction and expansion.
In summary, a circular hollow core decking board is the best choice for commercial composite decking usage. It offers similar strength to a solid board and gives it flexibility for expansion and contraction.
Solid composite decking board
Solid Composite decking boards come in 2 options, a full or a half solid board.
Solid composite decking boards are an additional option for commercial decking projects. Subject to quality, they have no match in strength and are built to withstand large footfall or public areas and offer a long lifespan due to the boards dense design.
The only downside to a solid composite decking board is expansion and contraction. The dense design does not easily stand up to fast temperature changes as easily as a hollow design. This can lead to movement causing warping in some instances.