Using composite decking Sydney over Timber decking is increasing every year in Sydney, Australia. The companies like Brite Decking, lay around many decks per year. The use is increasing per year due to two things –
- The product is improving, looking better, lasting better and now the warranties are also put up on the product, by the manufacturers.
- They are marketed more and so the people are more aware of the product and people have seen it around or at any friend’s place and they could make out it doesn’t look good once down.
The most common type of board used is wood plastic composite (WPC) deck products, they are rice husk plastic and other fillers as well as completely plastic versions. The advantage to composite is that there is little to no maintenance required to maintain the product, it needs a simple wash and it looks like new for years to come.
It is easy to lay the composite as all the boards are of the same length and most types are made with the groove down the side and are fixed down with clip along the site, which means the boards need no pre-drilling. One of the downsides is the weight of the boards when installed . They are too heavier than normal timber and bend over the shoulder when carrying them, which makes them to be lifted by two men for 140 mm boards.
As it is an imitation to wood, it is no equal substitute for real timber. A growing variety of colours, textures and styles are now offered and the timber imitation products are becoming more comparable.
Common issues with composite decking products were scratching and splitting, stains and colour fade and high expansion rate. This was due to poor material compositions like high ratio of softwood sawdust and soft polyethylene. Manufacturers say this problem was with the earlier generation products and cheap imports but improvements have been reported and warranties are offered by the suppliers now to suit these advances.
In most boards the problem of colour fade is still there but the manufacturers have found that the product NexGen decking holds up well with the colour fading and staining due to the harder outer layer of PVC. This also helps with the mould, stretching and slip factor that can occur in other boards.
Installation – different installation methods are required by different boards and an important thing to look for is the expansion gaps required to leave when they are installed. Composite is different from normal Timber, in that it expands along the length of the board and not along the width, and in most boards, gaps are left along the end joints to allow for the movement. So you have to be sure to check the installation instructions of the board which you are using.
Disadvantage – if you really love the feel and the look of real Timber you want, then the fact is you won’t get this with any composite deck. As good as they still look like plastic. Another disadvantage is – the heat transfer in direct sunlight, on a very hot day, they will be too hot to walk on. A lot of services like dark pavement and freshly oil Timber decking also show the same, if you throw some water over it then it will cool down for you. The last disadvantage is the cost. The better composite is more costly per square metre to layout but you will recover your money back from not oiling it every 12 months.