Adding a Deck to your outside area, either as a ground-level, raised decked platform or as a balcony is a fantastic way to make use of your outdoor space. However, with the broad range of materials available on the market for Decking, how do you know which is the best one to go for?
Which is better Composite or Wood Decking? This article will discuss all the aspects of Composite Decking you will need to know, the pros and cons of the increasingly popular wood plastic Decking Boards.
Is Composite Wood waterproof, Is Composite Decking Worth it and what are the pros and cons of Composite Decking will all be answered in the below article.
- Summary: Advantages & Disadvantages Of Composite Decking
- Pros of composite decking boards
- Cons of composite decking boards
- Is composite decking worth it?
Summary: Advantages & Disadvantages Of Composite Decking
Cladco Composite Decking is a man-made, environmentally friendly Decking Material made of an amalgamation of 60% FSC accredited wood fibres and 40% recycled plastics, together with bonding agents and tints.
If you are looking into adding a Composite Deck to your property, you will want to know if Composite Decking is really worth it, does it have the same benefits and advantages as traditional timber or any additional properties or benefits?
Composite Decking offers an increased range of properties compared to other materials on the market, these include:
- Low-maintenance - A Composite Deck does not require regular sanding, painting or varnishing like Timber.
- UV resistant - The Boards have an increased resistance to fading.
- Low-slip - When installed with the narrow groove side up, Composite Decking has a lower risk of slipping than lumber
- Low absorption rate - while the boards are not waterproof, they absorb less water than a lumber deck
- Stain, and scratch-resistant
- Will not rot, splinter or warp
- Available in a range of colours
Learn more about planning your Composite Decking Project and the best places to buy Composite Decking here.
Calculate the cost and number of Boards and Fixings you may need using the Cladco Composite Decking Calculator.
Pros of composite decking boards
Longevity: Your Decking Will Last
Unlike traditional natural wood pressure-treated decking, Composite Decking Boards are able to withstand more severe weather changes. The Boards can survive changing weather conditions without requiring any additional treatment or added protection.
Thanks to the man-made plastic materials paired with the wood within the board's interior they have should have a reduced expansion and contraction rate compared to traditional timber boards. Composite decking is resistant to rot, and mould extending its durability and lifespan.
Durability: Less Maintenance
One of the benefits of Composite Decking is the low-maintenance properties of the composite materials enabling it to last for many years without the need for staining, treating, sanding or painting.
Stained, natural, and pressure-treated wood requires regular maintenance to ensure the deck keeps its high-quality look but is still susceptible to cracking, splintering, rotting, and warping.
Whereas composite materials may require the occasional cleaning will not rot, warp, or splinter, and comes with UV resistance properties to prevent fading enabling them to maintain their high-quality appearance for years to come without the need for any additional servicing.
Learn more about care maintenance of Composite Decking material here
Style & Colour: Create Stylish Outdoor Spaces
One of the pros of Wood Composite Decking compared to lumber is the range of colours they are available in. Cladco Composite Decking comes in a range of eight colours in either a Woodgrain or Original design, giving customers a high range of flexibility and choice when it comes to styling their outdoor space.
Wood Composite Decks can be stylised in contrasting or complementary colours and designs. Match or contrast your Deck to your home, add a picture frame effect or create a multicoloured pattern.
Safety: Splinter-Free & Slip Resistant
Composite decking materials benefit from low-slip properties. The low absorption rate of wood plastic decking materials results in a reduced slip surface. The narrow grooves on the surface of the Boards, when laid correctly also add to the low-slip benefits of the Boards.
Timber Decking Boards are at risk of splintering, which could be dangerous when walking around barefoot, or if children or animals are on the decking. Composite Decking should not rot or splinter, making it the safer option in comparison.
Eco-Friendly: The Green Choice
For some, the environmental impact their purchases and choices of materials have on the environment is important. Composite Deck Boards is made using 100% recycled materials, using FSC accredited wood fibres, and recycled plastic. Composite materials do not contribute to deforestation, do not require regular staining or varnishing, therefore not releasing harsh toxins into the environment during annual maintenance. Find out more about Cladco Composite Decking Environmental Policy here
Cons of composite decking boards
Price: Up-Front Cost is Higher
Composite Decking is not the cheapest material available, it is more expensive than its timber decking relatives, due to the manhours and labour needed to produce the product, manufacturers of Composite Decking often have increased overheads compared to wooden deck suppliers.
However, the additional benefits of Composite Deck Boards make up for the pricer cost of a Composite Deck, the material may be slightly more expensive, but it offers a range of benefits including low maintenance, low-slip, fade, scratch, and insect resistance which wooden decking boards do not offer.
Property Value: Material Makes No Difference
Decking can help increase the property value of your home, as it extends a buyer's perception of the amount of living space your house has to offer.
Unfortunately, it is the actual Deck that could add value to your property, not the material it's made from. The benefits of Composite Decking are a highlight for the homeowner, however, this shouldn't have an overall impact on the property price.
Permanent Colours: No Repainting
When it is time for your to consider the colour for your Composite Deck needs to be a choice you are 100% happy with, as one of the problems with Composite Decking is the colour cannot easily be changed. Composite decking is permanently coloured to help prevent fading and reduce maintenance, darker colours, such as greys, browns, blacks may not be easy to change if you want a different colour later on.
Composite Decking colours can be altered slightly by sun bleaching, or certain harsh chemicals, although this is not recommended.
Fading: Darker composite colours can fade over time
Like anything which is left to the elements 24 hours a day for many years, some fading of colours is unavoidable. The most notable of fading will come from the darker colours.
This could be encouraged by a number of factors, including UV rays, weathering, high footfall, sun cream or other lotions or chemicals being spilt on the deck.
The higher quality of material the less likely the boards are to fade, Cladco Composite Decking has UV-resistant properties to help prevent fading over time.
Look: Can lack the real wood look
One of the pros and cons of Composite Decking is the real wood authenticity of the boards. While the decking products have been designed to reflect the look of wood, however as with most things man-made this cannot be done perfectly.
Thanks to the recycled wood found within the Boards make up they do have a slight natural lumber appearance, especially the Cladco Woodgrain Effect Composite Decking Boards, however, one of the few cons of Composite Decking is that they lack the authenticity of the look and feel of a real wood deck.
Is composite decking worth it?
To decide if Composite Decking is worth it, you first must determine what it is you want from a deck.
Composite Deck Boards are low-maintenance, low-slip, insect and fade-resistant and should not fade, warp, splinter, crack or rot, ensuring your Deck Boards will stay looking high-quality for many years to come, all you need to do is install, sit back and relax.
Cladco Composite Decking Boards are available as 4m long boards and 2.4m long boards, in either woodgrain or original effect in a variety of eight colours. Composite Decking issues are few in number whereas natural lumber boards or pressure-treated wood deck boards will give your deck an authentic timber appearance also require high levels of aftercare and have more issues and cons than that of Composite Decking.
For more information about Cladco Composite Decking or to generate a quote for your project, see our Cladco Decking Calculator here or contact a member of our sales team on 01837 659901