After building one or two other homes, you undoubtedly know where you went wrong the other times.
And if you’re reading this, you probably shouldn’t have gone with the timber deck.
Sure, it does add an aesthetic appeal to your home, but a wood deck comes with several disadvantages. You might have to deal with stains, scratches, fading, warps, and even rot and moulds- and don’t even get started on the maintenance routines. If you had a previous terrible experience with wood, you might want to consider alternatives. Composite decking is one of the best options out there and offers several advantages over wood decks. If you’re still undecided, this article highlights common composite decking FAQs to help you decide.
1. Does it Look Like Natural Wood?
Just as its name suggests, composite decking is a mix of wood fibres, plastics, and bonding materials used to make a timber deck alternative. The mixture is usually heated, molded into boards, and then cooled so they can be used.
Often homeowners will be apprehensive about how composite decking will turn out. There’s no need to be worried since it does look like natural wood.
At NexGEN Decking, we have our boards manufactured by Fibreon Composites, USA. They come with subtle grain patterns with no repeats. The micro texturing and low gloss formula used in the manufacture gives the boards a unique finish.
2. Should I Sand, Paint, or Oil the Composite Decking?
Well, that depends on the composite decking you choose. For some of them, you may have or need to do any of the above to avoid damage to the composite.
The composite decking boards from NexGEN/Fiberon Decking feature the patented PermaTech surface material on all four sides. This innovation provides the board with remarkable resistance to staining, rotting, fading, warping, and even insect infestation.
So, even if you don’t paint, oil, or sand your decking, it will maintain its aesthetic appeal for quite a long time.
3. What Advantages Does Composite Decking Have Over Timber Decks?
The low maintenance required and the durability are the two significant benefits of composite decking. Thanks to the PermaTech surface, your composite decking will be less susceptible to damage than wood decks.
The durability of the material also ensures your decking will handle just about anything the harsh Australian climate will throw at it.
4. Is there Such a Huge Price Difference From Real Wood?
If you’re looking at the initial installation costs, composite decking will throw you off- but let’s play a numbers game, shall we?
Suppose the wood costs you $115 per square meter, and you’re looking to build a 20 square meter deck. The initial costs for wood decking will be $2300 for the materials.
For the same deck, composite decking materials at $139 per square meter will cost you $2780.
However, consider maintenance costs as well. Wood decking will require that you oil, stain, or paint the decking annually and will cost you $450- $850 per year. Your composite decking will only require washing, and you’ll probably only spend about $15 each year.
Over time, composite decking becomes much cheaper to maintain than wood decking. Considering the latter doesn’t even last as long, you’ll also have to factor in repair costs every few years.
5. How Much Maintenance is Involved?
Zero maintenance. Yeah, that’s right! Forget about the annual spring maintenance routine for your deck. All you need is to sweep and lightly hose it, and you’re good to go.
6. Is the Composite Deck Hot?
Just as much as a regular wooden deck. If you can stand on a wood deck, then this one shouldn’t be a problem as well.
However, you should keep in mind that darker decks will retain more heat, so perhaps you should choose lighter colours if you’re worried about the heat.
7. How Long Will the Deck Last?
At NexGEN Decking, we believe in the durability of our composite decking panels. They are all backed with a lifetime performance guarantee, and you’ll also receive a 50-year guarantee against fading and staining.
8. Capped vs. Uncapped Composite Decking: What’s the Difference?
Capped composite decking comes with a protective top layer that ensures stain and fade-resistance. The layer is usually fused to the deck, so it doesn’t separate with time. Therefore, maintaining a capped composite deck is much easier than an uncapped one.
9. Should I Go For Hollow or Solid Boards?
Both hollow and solid core composite boards will provide a strong deck that’ll serve you for years. The most significant difference between the two is in their appearance.
Hollow boards have an artificial look, with ribbed centers. As the name suggests, they are empty on the inside, which makes them quite light. Solid boards, on the other hand, resemble lumber and are solid all through.
10. How Much Expansion and Contraction Should I Expect?
Just like any material, your composite deck will expand and contract as with the temperature changes. How much of it you should expect will depend on the difference in temperature between the time of installation and your area’s maximum temperature.
Australia’s weather is pretty tough, so you should leave about ¼ inch gaps to allow for the temperature changes. The gaps are also excellent at letting dirt and water flow away naturally.
11. Is Composite Decking Slippery?
Well, that depends on the brand you go for. Most of them aren’t slippery, but you’ll find one or two exceptions.
Before busing composite decking panels, go through the reviews to see what other customers have to say. If the decking is slippery, you’re bound to find some complaints on the same.
All the same, remember that all decks can be slippery, depending on how you take care of them. So, be sure to keep the area clean at all times to avoid any accidents.
12: Board lengths?
13: NexGEN Composite Decking FAQs?
Our experts are available in different Australian cities and are always ready to help you build the deck you’ve always wanted!