Not all composite decking boards are the same. They differ in quality and type. When planning to build a deck, it’s crucial to understand these differences. Knowing the differences can help you choose the right materials for your decks. What are the different types and quality of composite decking boards?
Different Types of Composite Decks
You can categorise composite decking boards into several groups. Each one has advantages over the other. Depending on the situation, one may work better than the rest. Here are some of them.
- Grooved Boards – Grooved composite decking boards are a type of board that has grooves on the sides. What purpose do these grooves serve? Many use screws and nails to set the decking boards into place. While it does hold the boards well, it can pop out over time. Not only will it look bad for the deck, but it can be dangerous as well. But now, with the use of groove boards, you can install a deck without exposed screws and nails. By using hidden clips and fasteners inserted into the grooves, you can create a beautiful and safe deck. If you don’t want to see any nails or screws on your deck, this type of board is perfect for you.
- Ungrooved Boards – The traditional shape of decking boards, without any indents or grooves. You’ll install it the same way as you install other decks, by using hammering nails or driving screws on the surface of the boards to the joists. While many prefer grooved boards, using ungrooved ones have advantages as well. Grooved boards leave a considerable gap in between the boards. Liquids can pass through it easily. But with ungrooved boards, they fit closer together, leaving little space for drainage. Because of this, it’s best used for above ground-level decks.
- Hollow Boards – Composite decking boards are very dense, making them one of the most durable decking materials. But because of their density, they are a little heavier than other materials. To counter this, many manufacturers hollow out the centre of the boards, reducing their weight. As a result, they are easier to transport and to install. They are also slightly cheaper. Despite what most people think, they can be as durable as solid decking boards. The downside to this type of composite decking board is that it produces a lot more sound. It is also more susceptible to moisture and moulds growing on the hollowed portion, especially if there’s no proper ventilation.
- Solid Boards – Solid boards do not have hollow portions in the centre. Because of the weight, they are harder to transport and install. Despite this, they have some advantages over hollowed boards. They are more resistant to moulds and moisture. They also produce less sound. You’ll also feel safer having a lot of people on your deck, as it can withstand more load than hollowed decking boards.
Different Qualities of Composite Decking Boards
The quality of the decking boards usually depends on the manufacturer, the materials they use, and how they made it. But in general, you can group composites into two different qualities; first-generation and new generation composite decking boards.
First-generation decking boards are the first and older versions of composites. They are inferior in quality. The reason is that the wooden fibres within the materials are exposed on the surface, leaving them prone to different kinds of damage, such as moulds, staining, and moisture damage. Only a few of these are available in the market, and most known brands don’t manufacture them anymore.
The newer generations of composites, on the other hand, don’t have the same issues with older generations. Instead of having the wood fibres exposed, new composite decking boards have caps, a plastic layer surrounding the boards that protect them from moisture, insects, and moulds. Most composite decking boards have three or four sides capped, the former being the more usual.
As long as you know the different types of quality of composite decking boards, you can confidently choose the right one. When looking to buy decking boards, go for newer generations of composite decking boards.