You thought making the decision to build a deck was the tough bit? Try and navigate your way through the numerous types of products on offer for your project. For several years now composite materials have been slowly taking market share from traditional timbers due to their low maintenance appeal. As the products have developed there has been a change in the product offer to market, traditional composites are still available but newly introduced capped stock material is fast becoming the market norm due to the long life and extended warranties offered over traditional wood plastic composite. Of course, like all materials there are pros and cons, and this is your quick rundown on which material best suits you.
Composite materials are going to offer a lower maintenance experience compared to traditional timber decks. Being a synthetic material, it is going to be much more resistant to the weather and the natural deterioration of wood. Because of this, your deck is going to require a lot less maintenance. You do not have to constantly be staining and re-staining your deck.
Safety is another component in your favour. Being UV and water resistant, composite leaves the surface less likely to splinter or split. This factor can be crucial as you can kick your shoes off and get out on your deck barefoot without any risk of injury through splinters. Some wood plastic composites come with R11 slip ratings, great for around pools or areas where slip resistance is required.
Finally, with giant leaps being made in the product’s development, you don’t necessarily have to sacrifice the effect wood has. Many wood inspired designs are now available to replicate the look of your favourite wood colour and embossed patterns replicate the natural grains available in timber.
Just because it’s less likely to be damaged doesn’t mean it won’t, extra care needs to be taken at the laying stage to ensure there is no damage. You’ve already paid a little bit more for this man-made material, but it will cost you more to fix as well as concealed fixing systems are preferred method as they allow the decking to expand and contract.
Fading is a concern you need to consider, the harsh Australian sun can cause some fading and it is important to review the information available on the product before buying. If fade is a concern then consider Timbertech Terrain or Trex Transcend as these products come with fade resistant warranties.
Whilst it can replicate the look of wood, ensuring you choose the right colour and finish is vitally important as you can’t change the appearance. Timber can be re-stained to freshen up a weathered appearance. A composite deck is looking its best the day you get it, cleaning will keep it that way, but it won’t get better.
No matter what your choice of materials adding a deck is an important decision and you should do your homework on the right material to suit you and your project.
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