How long has composite decking been around?
Composite deck boards have been available for less than a quarter of a century – appearing on the market in the 1990s. It is impressive how it has taken off, but not surprising.
Backyard decks are for relaxing and recreation—the barbeque, cocktail party, quiet lunch, and of course, naps are what outdoor living is all about. The constant maintenance required by timber decking, which needs to be scrubbed, bleached, and stained, can be a colossal time sap. And periodically, wood boards that had splintered, warped, or rotted needed to be replaced. Natural materials exposed to the elements through every season take a beating – weathered look decking is not to everyone’s taste. Read about why our capped composite decking is virtually maintenance free.
Composite decking – then and now
When composite boards first came onto the market, they cost more than a timber deck. There were relatively few colour choices, but builders and homeowners opted for easy-to-maintain, long-lived, resistant to insect pests, and even relatively more fire-resistant composites (which kindle at a much higher temperature than woods). Honestly, in the early days of composite decking, there were some problems with mould build-up and mildew. Nevertheless, the use of composite wood soared. Then companies began to offer much better products.
These low-maintenance composites looked like newly cut cedar or Brazilian walnut and never turned grey. (All woods, unless treated and maintained, eventually go grey.) Sales took off to the point where in 2019, they amounted to about $1 billion. That is a big consumer market vote of confidence in composite timber decking.
Today, durability, colours, patterns, and ease of installation are a new world from the first composites. The capping on our Fiberon Composite Decking has a non-porous surface layer co-extruded into the wood fibre. The same as golf ball technology. And installing it is a breeze – no nails are required.
The maintenance required by a capped composite deck, as compared with wood, amounts to virtually zilch. A once-a-year washdown does it. Occasionally, vacuuming the space between boards may help a bit—no more sanding, painting or staining.
Just consider that composite decking, which comes in long straight lengths that are easy to install, never warps or rots. It is free of splinters, unlike ageing wood decks. It requires no paint, sealer, or stain, yet it is exceptionally scratch-resistant and termite resistant. It’s no wonder that it is increasingly the choice of homeowners and builders in Australia and worldwide.
As for cost, the best composites are more expensive than some woods but about the same cost as quality hardwood timber. Hardwood timbers are increasingly scarce and costly as the world’s forests keep shrinking. At the same time, however, the savings on finishes, cleaning, maintenance work, and earlier need to replace a wooden deck mean that, on average, the deck constructed of capped composite materials makes up for its extra cost in five years or less.
For more information on composite decking prices, see our free Composite Decking Price Calculator.
Composite decking products offers a design advantage
Because materials for composite decks can be ordered cut to your specifications, such decks require some advanced planning. And that planning stage, with which we can work with you, offers many design choices not always available with timber. Beautiful deck patterns are possible and enhanced by the no-nails method of construction (no rusting nails, for one thing). Also, materials like pre-grooved deck boards, if that is your choice, save a great deal of your time in the installation of your deck. With good pre-planning assisted by our expert sales force, we can provide detailed instructions for each step in building your new deck. Upscale projects such as decks accommodating tree trunks are a natural choice with composites.
Although composites are not wood, they offer a wider choice of textures, surfaces, and colours. For example, our Select Range of products is given a distinctive matte surface with our proprietary low-gloss treatment and micro-texturing process. As for colour, we have taken our lead from natural elements and pigments. A virtual Australian colour palette of earthy hues and tones. And our boards are subtly streaked with multiple tones that give your deck a sense of depth and visual impact. Finally, our manufacturing process ensures a realistic grain pattern, mimicking real timber that you will not find in other decking products; no easy-to-discern patterns suggest your composite boards are artificial.
Learn more about our range and the colours available:
Select – Jarrah, Spotted Gum and Graphite
Escapes – Blackbutt and White Oak
Good Life – Cottage and Cabin
Meeting the environmental imperative
At the same time composite timber decking improved and their use soared, the industry ran into the environmental recycling imperative facing our planet. Beautiful, durable, splinter-free, eco-friendly decking material called “composite” can be made of wood scraps, sawdust (otherwise wasted), and recyclable plastic such as bags and bottles – saving on landfill. The amount of recycled material used in each board is impressive, and the figures are truly significant in an entire deck.
If you enjoy nature in your backyard, you are helping to protect and sustain it when you use capped composite wood for your deck. It is estimated that every 6 metres of decking board use up about 13 kilograms of material that otherwise would go straight to a landfill. We are talking about millions of kilos every year that homeowners use and enjoy instead of dumping into the environment.
The quality and the amazing warranty
As capped composite decking suppliers and manufacturers, we stand behind our product. Our boards are made in North Carolina, USA, by Fiberon Composites. Our Select range of products is backed by a lifetime performance warranty and a 50-year stain and fade guarantee. No other brand or company on the Australian market can match our warranty. This is why we’re one of the world’s leading composite decking brands.
Why not call us to discuss your plans and choices for your upcoming decking project? We’d like to let our experts work with you to make choices for your distinctive deck design and other requirements. We’ll also offer you installation advice, too. Select from products with dramatic colour tones and an array of wood-grain patterns. All are polished and protected by Permatech capping. Capped composite decking like this is for builders and homeowners who won’t compromise on quality. We distribute Fiberon Capped Composites in Australia through our representatives in Perth, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide.
You can also grab a free sample pack via Express Post to get a feel for the quality and colours in our range.
Create a deck of lasting beauty, extraordinary durability, and ultra-low maintenance. Get your weekends back!
Be sure to check back here regularly for insights, information, and updates on all you need to know about how to plan and build a composite deck.