Composite decking is becoming increasingly popular amongst home improvers and professional garden and landscape contractors, and with good reason. Known as fibre-reinforced polymers, or fibre-reinforced plastics, composite products are a mix of fibres, often wood, which produces the strength, and a polymer binding agent. With a wide variety of colours and patterns available you can get creative with your composite decking ideas. Technical advances in the formulation of the fibres and binding processes used in today’s modern building industry continues to provide new products of ever increasing strength, versatility, and durability.
Why Not Wood?
There is absolutely no reason not to use wood. In fact wood is still the most popular of materials when it comes to laying one’s new deck. As a general rule decking boards are of either pressure-treated timber; cedar, larch, or genuine hardwoods which have been sourced from sustainable forests.
With the large variety of decking planks available, professional guidance should be requested if you intend to lay your new deck yourself. The cheapest decking may well have a tendency to twist and warp as it dries out, no matter how well it has been fixed.
A Long Life – at a Price:
Lifespan estimates for timber planking vary from ten to twenty years, although the type of decking, where the deck is laid, its exposure to the elements, pest or insect invasion, and its use, will all have a bearing on its longevity.
Although treated during production, all types of timber decking require regular staining and anti-rot and insect protection. None-the-less, over time they will begin to decay no matter how much time is dedicated to their upkeep. As one would expect, the higher the timber quality, the greater the price per linear metre.
The big plus when considering composite decking is it requires virtually no maintenance, save the occasional wash over with a hose to remove accumulated grime, leaves and dust.
Laid in the same manner as timber decking, the technological advances in manufacture now provide an extremely realistic product which looks like traditional wood decking, certainly when viewed from a neighbours garden or yard. With their high density, composite deck-boards are unaffected by the worst of weather conditions, and won’t twist, split, splinter or rot. In most cases they are stain resistant and many manufacturers today offer boards which have been treated against the colour fading effects of bright sunlight.
With an estimated lifespan of up to thirty years, the additional financial outlay for composite decking is recouped in the extra years of service and virtually no maintenance. Negating the need for costly stains, varnishes, and other wood treatments required to keep wood decking in good condition.
Composite Deck Accessories:
Composite decking has a wide range of uses. It can be used when refurbishing a wooden porch or veranda. It can be laid so as to provide an outdoor extension to your living area during the summer months, can hold a bar for summer socialising, or as part of a barbecue area.
Composite accessories to compliment you decking include railings, post sleeves, caps, top and bottom rails and balustrade as well as lanterns and lighting to provide that little romantic touch while enjoying a glass of wine in the evening twilight.
If you’re considering refurbishing old decking, or adding a deck, have a good hard look at composite decking, and enjoy all the benefits of an attractive, maintenance free, socialising area.