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Everything You Need To Know About Composite Decking


Are you considering composite decking for your home? From its durability to its ease of maintenance, composite decking is quickly becoming one of the most popular decking materials on the market. 

In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about composite decking, including what it is made from, how it is installed and maintenance and care. 

What Is Composite Decking Made From?

Composite decking is a popular choice for outdoor decking and patio spaces due to its durability, low maintenance, and attractive appearance. Composite decking is made from a combination of wood and synthetic materials, such as plastic or vinyl. 

The wood component of composite decking typically consists of sawdust or wood fibres from recycled wood, such as wood chips, sawdust, wood pallets, and even sawmill scraps. The synthetic component consists of polyethylene or polypropylene plastic, which is then extruded into boards. 

If you are considering composite decking for your outdoor space, it is important to understand the different types of composite decking materials available. There are two main categories of composite decking – capped composite and uncapped composite. Capped composite decking is made from a combination of wood and plastic, with a protective outer layer of plastic coating on the top. 

This layer helps to protect the wood from moisture and UV rays, making it more resistant to stains, fading, and other weather-related damage. Uncapped composite decking, on the other hand, is made from a combination of wood and plastic without the protective layer. While this type of decking does not have the same level of protection as capped composite decking, it is still a very durable and low-maintenance option.

How Is Composite Decking Made?

The process of making composite decking begins with the sawing of the wood fibres, usually from a mixture of hardwood and softwood. The sawdust is then mixed with the plastic resin and additional ingredients, such as colourants or UV protectants. This mixture is then heated and extruded into the shape of boards or planks.

The boards are then cooled and cut to the desired length. During the manufacturing process, grooves may be cut into the boards, allowing them to fit together in a tongue-and-groove style. The boards may also be embossed with a wood grain pattern to create the look of natural wood.

Once the composite decking boards are formed, they are placed in a pressure chamber to bond them together. This is done to ensure that the boards stay together and resist damage from weather and other elements.

Composite decking can also be made using recycled materials. For example, some manufacturers use recycled plastic and wood fibres to create composite decking boards. This is a great way to reduce the amount of waste that goes into landfills.

No matter how composite decking is made, it is a great choice for homeowners who want a durable, low maintenance decking material that looks great. Composite decking is available in a variety of colours, textures and styles, making it easy to find one that will complement any outdoor space.

Cost Of Composite Decking

The cost of composite decking in New Zealand depends on a number of factors, including the size of the deck, the quality of the materials used, and the complexity of the installation. Generally, the larger the deck, the more expensive it will be. The quality of the materials used can also play a role in the cost of composite decking in New Zealand. 

Higher-quality materials, such as those made from recycled plastic and wood fibres, tend to be more expensive than lower-quality materials. The complexity of the installation can also influence the cost of composite decking in New Zealand. Installing a complex deck, such as one with multiple levels or intricate designs, can increase the cost.

In addition to the cost of the materials and installation, there are several other factors that can affect the cost of composite decking in New Zealand. These include the location where the deck is to be installed, the type of decking chosen, and the labour cost.

For example, installation costs in rural areas may be higher than in urban areas, due to the additional travel time and labour required. Likewise, the type of decking chosen can also influence the cost, with higher-end composite decking materials typically costing more than lower-end materials. 

Labour costs can also vary depending on the complexity of the job and the number of workers required. Finally, it is a good idea to compare quotes from different contractors in order to ensure that the best possible deal is obtained.

Maintenance And Care Of Composite Decking

Although it is true that composite decking is low maintenance compared with traditional timber decking alternatives, this does not mean you should completely neglect all maintenance and care for your composite deck. 

If you want the most out of your composite decking you should do the following:

Periodic Cleaning

Composite decking should be gently cleaned on a regular basis with a mild detergent and a soft-bristle brush. This will help remove dirt and debris that can scratch or dull the surface of the decking. Avoid using a pressure washer on composite decking as it can cause damage. For tougher dirt and stains, you can use a deck cleaner specifically designed for composite decks.

Maintaining Your Deck

Composite decking should be regularly inspected for signs of wear and tear. If you notice any loose boards, they should be secured immediately. Additionally, check the deck for any splinters, splices, splits, or dents that may need to be repaired. It is also important to regularly check for signs of mould or mildew which can be treated with a mild detergent and bleach solution.

Protecting Your Deck

To ensure that your composite decking retains its good looks, you should consider applying a sealant or sealer. This will help protect the deck from UV rays, water damage, and staining. Additionally, you can use a protective cover to keep the deck from fading or becoming discoloured.

Replacing Your Deck

If your deck has become too worn or damaged, it may be time to consider replacing it with a new composite deck. Replacing the deck can be a big job, so it’s important to make sure that you hire a professional to do the job. They will be able to properly install the deck and ensure that it is properly secured and sealed.

Composite decking is a great option for outdoor living spaces as it is low maintenance and durable. However, it is still important to properly maintain and care for your composite decking to ensure that it looks its best and lasts for years to come. With proper cleaning, maintenance, and protection, your deck will remain beautiful and functional for years to come.

How Is Composite Decking Installed?

Composite decking is a popular choice for homeowners looking to create a beautiful outdoor living space. Using a hidden clip system, composite decking can be quickly and easily installed without the need for exposed fasteners. This article will explain how composite decking is installed using a hidden clip system.

The first step to installing composite decking with a hidden clip system is to prepare the area. This includes removing any existing decking, making sure the surface is level, and laying down a layer of gravel or crushed stone to create a solid base.

Once the area is prepared, it’s time to install the decking. Composite decking boards are laid on the gravel base and secured by hidden clips. Most composite decking manufacturers offer clips that are designed to fit their specific composite decking boards. The clips are inserted between the decking boards and then screwed into the joists. This creates a secure connection that will keep the boards from shifting over time.

After the clips are installed, the deck boards are laid in place. It’s important to make sure the boards are laid out according to the manufacturer’s instructions to prevent any gaps or warping. When the boards are laid out correctly, it’s time to secure them in place. This is done by using screws or nails.

Once the decking is installed, it’s time to finish the job. This includes cleaning the deck and applying a sealant to protect it from the elements.

Installing composite decking using a hidden clip system is a quick and easy way to create a beautiful outdoor living space. While it requires some preparation and planning, it can be done in a relatively short amount of time. With the right tools and a bit of know-how, you can have a beautiful deck that will last for years to come.