If you’re looking for alternatives to timber decks, you’ve probably come across composite decking. Manufacturers would tell you about all the benefits of installing composite deck tiles and boards in your outdoor living area.
However, it can be tricky to understand what composite decking exactly is, as most people do a great job explaining it. So if you are thinking about upgrading your outdoors, here is everything you need to know about composite decking.
What Is Composite Decking?
The word composite is used to define something that is made of various substances, materials, or parts. A combination of natural and synthetic materials is used to produce composite deck tiles and boards. In most cases, this is a mixture of wood fibre, recycled or virgin plastic, and some bonding agents or chemical additives. However, sometimes they’re also made of 100% polyester material.
The reason these composite deck boards are quickly becoming popular is that despite being an entirely man-made product, they have a natural appearance. In addition to that, they are easier to maintain than traditional wood floors and decks.
The natural wood that is generally used in flooring materials requires a lot of maintenance and can start deteriorating in a few years. However, due to added materials in composite decking, these last much longer.
High-quality composite deck boards have an additional layer of protection, also known as outer capping. This gives them a much longer life than natural materials.
There is a common misconception that composite decking only works outdoors. However, that’s not the case. If you want to give your indoors an aesthetic look, you can undoubtedly have composite decking tiles installed inside your house. You could even have a wall made with this material.
Here are some benefits of composite decking.
As discussed earlier, the most significant benefit of installing composite deck boards in your house is that they are low maintenance. If your house features traditional wood decks, you’re probably already aware that they require expensive servicing for at least 1 to 3 years to maintain their natural look. In addition to that, you’ll have to replace them every 10 to 15 years. You also need to regular power-wash the area.
On the other hand, composite decking requires much less maintenance effort. You also save a lot of time and money that you would have been spending on having your wood decks services. They also require much less protection against weather agents. So unless there is a massive dust storm in your area, you won’t need to regularly power-wash the deck.
Generally, composite decking is more durable than traditional wood. However, it is essential to note that not all composite deck boards are made the same way. If you want a durable option, make sure to do prior research to see who produces the most sturdy and long-lasting composite decking in your region.
Once you have high-quality composite decking tiles installed on your deck, front porch, or any part of your house, you can forget it for years. It will still require some maintenance here are there but will be more durable and long-lasting than wood and other natural materials.
·More Aesthetic without the Drawbacks
One of the main reasons people install wooden floors and decks in their houses is because they look more aesthetic than plain tiles. It can make your house feel homier and connected with nature. However, this comes with the drawback of regular maintenance, which, in most cases, is not worth the effort.
With composite decking, you can still enjoy the aesthetic look of the wooden tiles without any of the drawbacks. These are designed to replicate the natural grainy look and patterns of real wood. By just looking at them, you won’t even be able to tell that they have polyester, plastic, and other materials. You can also place a nice vintage rug on the deck to compliment the look.
DIY Composite Decking
If you want to save some money, you can choose to install the composite decking boards yourself. This may require extra effort but isn’t that complicated to do. So if you’re looking for a fun DIY project that improves the structure of your house, here’s how to do it.
How to Build the Frame for Composite Decking
Before you can start installing the tiles, you will have to build a frame for composite decking. For this purpose, you will first have to determine the size of the deck. While you can install deck boards in smaller spaces, it is crucial that you figure out the spacing for the deck’s footing and joists.
Footings or piers are columns made of concrete material and act as a foundation for your deck. These extend into the ground and hold the deck in place. If you live in an area where the temperature goes down to freezing level, you will need to have longer footings to prevent structure warping.
Additionally, you will have to mark the spacing for your joists. Some buildings may have codes that specify joist spacing, but the general safety rule is to keep it 16 inches.
Once you have the spacing, footings, and joists properly marked out, you can start building the frame.
Step By Step Guide for Composite Decking
After determining how much space you need for your compost decking, you can start the following process.
- Start by flattening out the joists. This will prevent and wavy or uneven deck.
- To achieve a more natural look, hide the composite ends. You can do this by installing Trex deck boards around the perimeter, also known as the “picture frame” deck.
- Make sure to double-check the joist spacing before and after installing them. These ensure that your deck stays in place, so you don’t want any errors.
- Avoid random spliced in the long run by using splice boards. Make sure that the length of the splice boards matches the size of your deck.
- Create an aesthetic design by mixing and matching the material. Composite deck boards allow a lot of space for experimentation. So if you want to create a look with multiple different designs of wood, you can always do that.
- Determine your fastening system. You can choose between T clips, mini gaps, and face-fixed screws.
- Certain boards will need to be locked in place. This makes it easier to direct their movement during expansion and contraction.
- Afterward, you can start sliding composite deck boards into the frame.
- Once all the composite deck boards are in place, you may want to install fascia boards.
- Finish off your project by installing end caps or moisture seals.
Installing a Composite Decking Board
Installing a composite decking board yourself can be a hard process. Therefore, if you’re doing it for the first time, it is recommended that you get a professional to guide you. This will make the job much more manageable and prevent any silly mistakes. However, once you learn to do it yourself, you can redo and upgrade the deck without any additional guidance.
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