Until the late 1990’s, wood decking was one of the only options for decking until composite decking emerged. As the new product surged into the market, homeowners deciding upon composite decking asked a follow up question: which composite decking material is best. They received a straight forward response with mixed materials. Below, we take a look at the materials for composite decking and items to decided upon to begin your deck build.
Composite Decking Materials
One major obstacle in the 90’s was the limited color selection (gray). Beyond the color limitation, people were forced to decide upon materials were best with this new product. First, let’s look at the process of how composite decking is created.
Composite decking is created when equal parts wood fiber and plastics materials are mixed together with pigments, preservatives and then heated and extruded. After this step, texture is applied to the product before it cools. The materials of the composite decking board 50/50 mixture are the following:
- Waste wood which is ground-up from mills and furniture factories.
- Recycled plastics comprised of shredded polyethylene, milk jugs and shopping bags.
So when you’re choosing your composite decking material, the material itself is a standard 50/50 blend. We’d like to note that there is an all-plastic alternative available if you’re looking for a 99% virgin PVC plastic. This is an alternative to the polyethylene-wood mix you’ll found in composite decking.
While there’s little leeway with composition options, there are other items that will need your considering such as profile and type of decking.
First, we take a look at profile. There are numerous composite decking profiles to choose from with the most popular ones including slotted, solid, open flange, scalloped or hollow.
Secondly, you’ll need to decided which type of decking look is right for you. Popular options include textured grain, two-faced, plastic-wrapped, embossed grain, weathered wood, paper board or a watertight decking.
When it comes to choosing the best composite decking material for your build, first deciding upon composite is a solid choice. Then, after deciding upon this first step, deciding upon the type of decking and the profile will help you solidify your decision and a big step forward to creating your dream deck oasis.