Dominated by woods once, such as cedar, residential decks are making use of non-wood surface decking materials. The products are often lumped together under the label ‘composites’ and are now popular enough that all home improvement centres stock ample supplies along with traditional cedar for outdoor construction. Matching railing posts, rails and balusters may be available too. So Brite Decking is the best for composite decking Melbourne or Melbourne composite decking suppliers.
Here are some facts to be aware of when shopping for composite lumber for your deck –
Not All Synthetic Decking Is Composite –
Old forms of synthetic decking material include plastic and PVS, but these are now regarded as old fashioned and are not used mostly. Real composite decking is a combination of natural wood byproducts like plastic or vinyl resins and sawdust. A new feature of recycled bamboo bonded with resins.
Not All Building Codes Allow Composite Decking –
The local building code may not allow for non-wood lumber in deck construction or may restrict its use. Composite may be allowed for the surface checking but may be forbidden on stairway treads or railing parts. Check with the local building inspection office to know what building materials are allowed for decks. Composites are becoming more accepted for decks, but always check for this. Be wary of using composite lumber for any kind of support framing. Some forms of 2x framing lumber are now becoming available but some code jurisdictions allow it for structural, load bearing use.
Composite Lumber Is Not Just Decking –
Original synthetic woods for decking planks to be installed on the surface of a deck but many manufacturers now offer a range of products including balusters for railing and rails, stairway treads and railing pieces, latticework, post caps and fascia boards. Decking boards come in 12, 16 and 20-foot lengths. Check with local code requirements before building stairways or railings with composite lumber.
Composite lumber is expensive –
Top-quality decking can be two to three times as expensive as compared to cedar planking. The difference between expensive and more economic composite is not a matter of quality but of colour, style and texture. Always go for less expensive products first and if they satisfy your design requirements, lean that direction.
High Quality products look more like wood –
The more expensive and better composites have a realistic texture that looks like wood. Some have varying tones and patterns so that adjacent boards will not echo the exact same pattern and colour. Due to this kind of attention to detail now some builders choose composites where once only fine cedar or Redwood was sufficient. You should be aware that textured composite planks can trap dirt and grime and be hard to get clean even with a power washer. Composites are susceptible to mildew and algae staining especially in damp and shady locations.
Composites Can Be Slippery When Wet –
Composite planks get slippery when wet when the smooth types that have little or no texture. You may think twice before using composite for pool decks or stairways. Your local building may not allow it even. In snowy climates, composites can be very slippery underfoot. In such conditions, make sure to choose a composite with a pronounced texture.
When choosing a composite, take home samples in different colours and set them out in the direction to see how much heat they absorb. Dark colours absorb more heat than light ones. Any climate with lots of direct suns, composite may not be the best choice for a deck, unless you construct an overhead shading structure also.