With so many varieties of composite decking available in the market, it can be hard finding which one to use. If you don’t have much prior experience in building decks, it can be a problem for you. If so, here are some of the things you should look for when buying composite decking materials for your patio project.
Decking Board Colour
Choosing the right colour of composite decking boards is crucial, for many reasons. First, you’ll want a shade that will match the colour of your home’s exterior. You’ll want a cohesive look, and choosing a colour that compliments your exterior’s colour palette will do wonders.
Another good reason to decide which colour to use carefully is that painting composites are not advisable. So before you choose, make sure that you won’t change your mind. Lastly, the colour of the composites will affect how much hot your deck will get. Dark-coloured shades will be warmer, as they absorb more heat, whereas lighter-coloured ones reflect light. If you’re expecting your deck will have prolonged exposure to sunlight, it’s best to get light colours.
Composite decking boards can either be uncapped or capped, the former being common in older generations of composite materials. When buying your materials, go for a premium cap. The cap protects the composite boards from weather damage, moisture, mould growth, and insects.
Most decking boards will have three or four of their sides capped. For many, three-sided capping is better as it provides better breathability and drainage for the deck. Four-sided capping also has advantages, only if ventilation and drainage will not be an issue.
Brand of Composites
There are many brands of composite decking boards in the market. When buying materials for your deck, look for a trusted and reliable manufacturer. Some of the well-known brands in the market are Timbertech and Trex. They are also producing some of the most expensive varieties.
Another trusted and well-established brand is Ultra Decking. They also offer the same high-quality at a lower price. Their decking boards are also top-capped. You can also choose from different colours, such as various shades of greys and cedars.
Solid and Hollow Decking Boards
You can find different types of decking boards, including hollow and solid decking boards. Hollow decking boards have a spaced-out centre, whereas solid decking boards don’t. Both of them have advantages and disadvantages over the other, and choosing which one to use depends on your needs.
Solid decking boards are durable, produce less sound, and are more resistant to mould growth. It’s the most common type of decking board in the market. However, they are quite heavy, not suited for DIY builders. On the other hand, hollow boards are lighter and can be slightly cheaper.
They also offer the same advantages of composites. However, they have a little less durability and more prone to problems relating to ventilation and drainage. They also produce a more noticeable sound compared to solid composite decking boards. Regardless, both are excellent options in most cases.
Grooved and Ungrooved Decking Boards
Other types of composite decking boards include grooved and ungrooved decking boards. Grooved decking boards have indents on their sides. With grooved boards, you can use hidden fasteners instead of hammering nails or driving screws on the surface of the boards. Because there won’t be any exposed screws or nails, the deck will have a cleaner look. You also don’t have the risk of having the screws or nails to pop out, which can be dangerous.
On the other hand, ungrooved decking boards have no indentations on their sides. Despite what most people think, they do have a few advantages as well. Ungrooved boards are slightly cheaper and are better for above-ground level decks, due to the minimal spacing it produces in-between the boards, which minimizes liquid from draining from the deck.
However, while both are excellent options, more decking boards in the market are grooved types, as they offer better features. If you can’t find any grooved boards, you can make indents on solid boards instead.