Composites are some of the best decking materials. But as with other materials, it has a few disadvantages. Before deciding to build a composite decking, you may have wondered what possible issues or problems that can arise with using composites. What are these disadvantages? And having these disadvantages in mind, is it still worth choosing composite decking?
Problems with Composite Decking
There’s no perfect decking material. However, some are way better than others. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have disadvantages. That’s the case for composite decking. Here are some of the issues you’ll face when choosing composites.
- Price – Price is one of the major deciding factors whether you buy something or not, and composites are not exactly cheap. Compared to wood, expect to spend at most twice for boards. For instance, a 15-metre square wood deck will only cost around £1200, whereas a composite one can cost up to £1800 to £2000. Because of its high cost, many people pass on using composites.
- Not Paintable – Many manufacturers of composite decking materials recommend against using paint or stains on composite boards. Some go as far as revoking warranty as soon as you do so. The reason? When you paint a composite deck, it loses most of its qualities that set it apart from wood. Meaning, you’ll need to treat it the same way as wood the moment you paint it, which includes sealing, staining, and repainting it every few years. It also becomes high-maintenance like a wood deck.
- Heavyweight – There’s no question that composite decks are superior in durability. However, that comes with a price. Composite decking boards are heavier than wood or plastic, making it hard to transport or install. If you’re planning to install a deck all by yourself, you may want to ask a friend or two if you’ll be using composite decks.
- Can Be Slippery – Because of the outer plastic capping of composite decks, it may become slippery when wet. Installing one near a pool or a water feature can be dangerous, especially if you have kids running around. It’s best to consider safety precautions if that’s the case.
- It Can Become Hot – Composite decking boards can become hot enough when constantly exposed to direct sunlight. Of course, the same can be said for any other material. Plastic decks heat up the fastest, whereas wooden decking is the slowest.
Solutions to Composite Decking Problems
Don’t let a few disadvantages stop you from getting a composite deck. While there are problems with composite decking, there are still a few ways to around them.
- Buy Cheaper Composite Decking Materials – Composite decking boards vary in prices. If it’s too pricey for your budget, consider looking for cheaper alternatives. While big brands offer the best quality, they do have the highest prices as well. The good news is, you can find other brands that work as well with a more affordable cost. When buying, look for a good balance of quality and price.
- Take Your Time to Choose Colours – Because you can’t paint a composite deck, it’s best to take your time in deciding what colour or design you choose. But if you don’t plan on changing the colour of your deck, there’s no reason to paint it. Composite decking is fade-resistant and can retain its colours for years. Only when it’s old and faded enough makes it worth painting it, but it would take years to reach this point.
- Get Hollow Boards – A variety of composite decking boards are hollow, making them easier to transport or install. Despite their design, they can be as durable and low-maintenance as solid decking boards.
- Choose Boards with Texture Grains – Not only do they add to the wood aesthetic, but grain textures on composites also provide added safety. The grains make it possible for more friction, making the deck less smooth even wet.
- Choose light colours – If you think your deck will be exposed to the sun, consider choosing light-coloured boards instead of dark ones. Light colours reflect light, which is the source of heat, whereas dark colours absorb more light causing it to become hotter. It’s the same reason why wearing dark-coloured shirts on hot days makes it even warmer.