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Future-Proofing Your Projects: The Trade Professional's Guide to Choosing and Installing Composite Decking

submitted on 6 March 2024 by
Making material choices for building and landscaping projects is an important decision for trade professionals. Selecting materials that are durable, low-maintenance, and environmentally sustainable is key to providing future-proof solutions for clients. Composite decking has emerged as an ideal material that meets these criteria. This guide will provide trade professionals with advice on choosing and installing composite decking in order to future-proof projects.

What Is Composite Decking?

Composite decking is composed of a mixture of recycled wood fibres, plastic, and other polymers. This composition allows composite decking products like wood-plastic composite (WPC) and polymer decking to provide superior durability, weather resistance, and sustainability. Composite decking aims to avoid the drawbacks of traditional materials like wood or concrete, which are prone to splintering, cracking, warping, and frost damage. Composite boards are much less subject to moisture absorption, damage from insects, mould growth, and deterioration from UV exposure.

Benefits of Composite Decking

Composite decking offers trade professionals and their clients some major advantages:
  • Long-lasting - Composites far outlast wood and can last over 25 years without replacement. This avoids frequent costly rebuilds.
  • Low-maintenance - Unlike wood, composite boards don't need sanding, staining, sealing, or painting. Just an occasional soap and water clean keeps them looking new.
  • Splinter-free - No splinters mean composite decks provide a safer surface for children and pets.
  • Resists slipping - Special embossing applied to some composite deck surfaces provides better traction in damp or wet weather.
  • Customisable aesthetic - Composite decking comes in a wide variety of colours and finishes to achieve exactly the look clients desire.
  • Eco-friendly - Many composites contain high levels of recycled content and avoid use of harmful chemicals.

Key Considerations for Composite Decking Installation

While composite decking solves many of the problems inherent to wood decking, proper installation is still key to creating lasting, high-quality deck areas. Attention should be paid to the following areas during the planning and construction process:

Appropriate Structure and Framing

Composite decking can be heavier than traditional wood planks. Ensuring deck joists and beams are spaced at close enough intervals to properly support the weight of the decking is important. Additionally, composites can expand and contract slightly with temperature changes. Allowing proper structural spacing and ventilation lets composite boards freely move without buckling.

Proper Fixing and Gapping

When fixing composite boards to framing with screws or clips, care should be taken not to overtighten, which can cause cracking near board edges. Likewise, correct spacing between deck boards is paramount so that water drains freely and doesn't pool on the deck surface causing excessive expansion.

Mitigating Static Electricity

The static charge that can build up on composite decking can deliver small electric shocks if touched by bare feet. Installing copper wires during construction that run to underground earthing rods dissipates this charge, eliminating irritation from static zaps. With attention to these installation considerations and diligent planning adapted to the unique needs of composite decking, trade professionals can unlock all the advantages of this durable, lush-looking material for their customers' decking projects.

Partner With Experienced Composite Decking Specialists

Ecoscape offers trade professionals and their clients a complete range of composite decking solutions featuring attractive and resilient composite materials. Get in touch today to learn more about finishing projects with future-proof composite decking from Ecoscape.
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