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All You Need to Know About the Varied Types of Composite Decking

Deck builders Tacoma, considering a fresh deck? Opting for composite decking is an excellent decision due to its prolonged durability and reduced maintenance needs compared to other materials.

However, what exactly is composite decking? And is the additional cost over wood genuinely justified for composite products? With a plethora of options available, determining the right decking product for your deck can be challenging.

This guide aims to assist you in selecting composite decking for your residence, offering insights into some of the leading brands and products in the market. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be well-equipped to make informed choices as you embark on creating your dream deck!

Composite Decking vs. PVC Decking: What's the Difference?

Advancements in the technology of composite decking products have significantly improved their durability and reduced maintenance requirements. These boards not only boast an appealing aesthetic but are also effortless to clean and maintain. By addressing many issues associated with traditional wood decking, composite decking creates a safer and more practical outdoor space for your home.

Although people commonly perceive composite decking as any artificial wood alternative, it’s essential to recognize the distinctions among various man-made decking products:

  • Capped Composite Deck Boards: Crafted from a blend of wood and plastic.

  • Capped Polymer Deck Boards (PVC Decking): Composed of 100% plastics and synthetic materials.

While PVC decking is technically not a composite material due to its lack of wood content, all man-made deck boards share similar advantages over wood, such as lower maintenance, enhanced durability, ease of cleaning, and prolonged lifespan.

This article will delve into all relevant man-made decking products, providing valuable insights for those seeking a long-lasting deck solution.

Pros and Cons of Composite Decking vs. Wood:

Pros of Composite Decking:

  1. Low Maintenance: Requires minimal upkeep, eliminating the need for staining, sealing, or painting.

  2. Durability: Resistant to rot, insects, and decay, with a longer lifespan than wood.

  3. Color Variety: Available in a wide range of colors, providing more design options.

  4. Environmentally Friendly: Some composite materials use recycled content, making them a more sustainable choice.

  5. No Splinters: Unlike wood, doesn’t splinter, making it safer for bare feet.

  6. Consistent Appearance: Maintains a consistent look over time, without warping or fading.

Cons of Composite Decking:

  1. Cost: Initially more expensive than wood.

  2. Heat Retention: Some materials may retain heat, making them hot to the touch in high temperatures.

  3. Surface Scratching: While resistant to damage, can still be scratched.

  4. Limited Repair Options: Damaged boards may be challenging to repair, often requiring replacement.

  5. Appearance Variation: Some homeowners prefer the natural look of real wood.

Pros of Wood Decking:

  1. Natural Aesthetic: Provides a classic, natural appearance.

  2. Initial Cost: Often more budget-friendly upfront compared to composite.

  3. Repairable: Damaged boards can be sanded, stained, or replaced more easily than composite.

  4. Cooler Temperature: Tends to stay cooler in high temperatures.

  5. DIY Friendly: Easier to work with, often favored by DIY enthusiasts for installation.

Cons of Wood Decking:

  1. High Maintenance: Regular staining, sealing, and painting are necessary.

  2. Prone to Decay: Susceptible to rot, insects, and decay.

  3. Splintering: Can splinter over time, posing a risk of injury.

  4. Limited Color Options: Natural wood has limited color options.

  5. Environmental Impact: Logging for wood decking can contribute to deforestation.

Ultimately, the choice between composite and wood decking depends on individual preferences, budget, and desired maintenance levels.

Is Investing in Composite Decking Worth It?

Wood decks are a tempting investment as they’re cheaper, but water will find its way through any cracks in the surface, leading to rot & mold growths.

Wood decks are completely powerless against the elements and will require constant upkeep or costly repairs sooner than later. While this may not be an issue at first glance — after just a few seasons of rainfall, the problem will start to become clear!

Modern composite decking is extremely resistant to rot, mold, mildew, and insects. This means that your composite deck will stay looking good for years with very little effort on your part. It won’t rot, splinter, decay, burn — you name it!

By the time a wood deck must be replaced, a composite deck will still allow you to enjoy years of stress-free outdoor living.

What Does “Capped” Mean in Composite Decking?

Capped decking products feature a safeguarding layer of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) designed to protect the boards from moisture and stains.

In the present day, the majority of composite deck boards are typically capped on three or four sides. Products capped on three sides often come at a lower cost compared to those capped on all four sides, but it’s important to note that the wood fibers in the former are more exposed to moisture.

Decking products crafted from PVC are composed entirely of 100% PVC, extending from the core to the cap. This characteristic renders them even more durable compared to their composite wood-plastic counterparts, regardless of whether they are capped on three or four sides!

What is Scalloped Decking?

Scalloped decking is a variant of deck boards characterized by an underside that features a wave-like shape. This design involves removing some material from the bottom of the board,

Still looking for more answers?

Understanding the importance of having comprehensive information while envisioning your ideal deck, Fresh View Construction is here to assist you! Initiate the process by requesting a free estimate. We'll guide you through each step, bringing you closer to turning your aspiration of spending more time outdoors into a reality.


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