Are you planning to build a beautiful and low-maintenance deck? Or perhaps you’re planning to replace your old one. If so, you may want to consider choosing composite decking. It’s as beautiful as real wood and as reliable as durable plastic.
However, there are tons of composite decking materials available in the market. If it’s your first time building a deck, you may find it difficult, even confusing, when choosing which one to use. The question is, what should you look for when buying a composite deck?
Composite Buying Guide
In building a deck, you’ll have to make a lot of decisions. To make the most out of your project, you’ll need to plan everything carefully. One of the most crucial steps is choosing the right composite decking materials for your patio. To get you started, here are the things that you should consider when buying your decking boards.
There are a lot of homeowners that value brand names above everything else. While not all agree, you have to admit that it has some merits. For instance, a company with an excellent brand image usually offers high-quality products and services. Trex, AZEK, Timbertech are some of the most known brands. Getting materials from these manufacturers is a solid choice. However, it does not mean less-known brands can’t do any better. There are tons of manufacturers out there, and there’s bound to be something that can match these top giants.
Let’s face it; one of the most deciding factors when buying any item is the price. Since flooring projects can be expensive, especially composite decking, the best thing to do is to set a budget and start from there. You should find a product which has an excellent balance between price and quality. Remember, an expensive price tag does not necessarily mean it’s the best. Likewise, cheaper materials do not automatically mean they’re sub-standard
Like any product, quality is a top priority. How can you tell if composite decking materials are of excellent quality? For instance, you’ll get to choose whether you’ll be using capped decking or uncapped decking. Many builders consider capped materials to be of superior quality. It’s because they have an outer coating, like a skin, that protects it from damage. As for the uncapped composites, as they have weaker protection, they are more susceptible to damage.
One reason that made you choose composites is that they look and feel like real wood. If so, you’d naturally want something with the most wood-like property. High-quality composite decking materials have unique grains and realistic shades. Remember, unlike wood, and composites are not designed to be painted or stained. While you can paint them, it will often remove the outer layer of the deck and void the warranty. So it’s best to consider the colour and shade of your choice carefully before buying it.
When choosing the materials, it’s necessary to know the “where” and “whats”. First, where will you be installing the patio? And how can this help you choose the right materials? Composites are known to heat up fast. Because of this, you’ll need to consider whether you need to buy boards that are “cooler” than the others. The colour of the boards also affects the temperature. How so? Dark colour boards get hotter faster. It’s the same reason why wearing dark clothes makes you feel warmer. Dark colours absorb more light, and thus, produce more heat. If you’ll be installing the deck in a place where it’s always hot, it’s best to get light-coloured decking boards instead. Otherwise, feel free to use any colour or shade.
Moisture is a deck’s worst enemy. While composites are not as prone as wood, they can still get damaged by moisture. Plus, most composite decking will be slippery when wet. So if you’ll be installing the patio near a pool, the usual composite decking may not be suitable. It might be dangerous, as well. Instead, use textured decking boards which can give traction.