Composite decking boards have been around for quite a number of years. It has been in the last few years that the composite decking boards and products have really started to attract the attention of builders and home owners alike. When composite materials where first released, they where expensive and really didn’t have the true test of time. As time has gone by, timber prices have sky rocketed, and composite products and their technology has improved along with their popularity, making them a very competitive alternative to traditional decking boards.
The biggest advantage of the composite decking boards is their long, low to no maintenance free life. Unlike traditional timber where you need to keep the sealer and vanish in good order to prevent root, you also having inspect regularly for termites and other inspects eating your deck. Please remember that if you are using timber sub floor framing (posts, bearers & joists etc) that you still need to maintain good termite protection practices and regular inspections as the sub floor framing will deteriorate over time.
In the last few years, many composite decking board manufactures have started to play with the colours of their products to give a more natural look. This has resulted in some magnificent looking decks, privacy screens and even decorative fencing.
When installing these prodcuts it is best to follow the installation guides, at the end of the day, the manufacture is the who over time as developed the best way to install their product. There is one tip that I highly recommend keeping in mind when installing composite decking boards, which some manufactures do not mention in their manuals. When laying the boards, do not change the direction of the boards (end for end the boards) as they will look different in colour due to the way the boards a manufactured.
For those that like the technical stuff the boards are predominately made from reconstituted timber and recycled plastics. The percentage of the mix, and the type of plastic used vary from brand to brand. There are many overseas brands coming to Australia, some of these brands haven’t been tested in Australian conditions and may preform poorly. Also keep in mind that if you live in a bush fire prone area you are required by law to use products that meet the building codes bush fire performance requirements which all suppliers of composite decking boards will be able to help you with.