Many types of Composite decking brands and materials have been available on the Australia market for quite a few years. Since a decade ago, a number of creative composite deck manufacturers have established new products, installation methods, and manufacturing processes that have drastically boosted all three aspects of this product, including cost, performance, and appearance.
The fact is that each composite deck is different from the other, and pricing does not necessarily tell the entire story. Therefore, what should you consider when picking the most appropriate composite decking material and brand to present for your home?
Below are some of the most vital factors to check into when comparing the benefits and limitations of various composite decking brands and materials in Australia.
Compare the composite decking boards’ appearance
Initially, the first version or generation of composite decking products didn’t seem to look as good as timber decking products. Over the years, composite decking was becoming smoother, with little or less variation in either texture or colour when it was put next to the timber decks.
Fast forward twenty years, composite decking have almost the same look and feel as the natural timber decks. Luckily, composite decks manufacturing equipment and processes have advanced quite a lot.
These days, by intentionally blending various raw materials and color pigments at particular times during the incorporating process, composite decking manufacturers can produce composite decking boards that appears just like some wood species.
While comparing various composite decking brands from various manufactures, clients are often disappointed to discover that the style or color of the decking they need is only available with certain brands or manufacturers.
Compare Capped and uncapped composite decking products
Back in the late 90s, first-generation composite decking brands and products were prone to wear and tear from daily use and susceptible to mold growth, as well as fading. This was partly due to composite material being manufactured uncapped.
Currently, high-quality composite products are capped. This means that it consists of a tough outer layer that covers the internal part. Linked with the internal material, the outer shell of the new generation composite deck helps protect the product from mildew growth by creating a water-proof layer.
Compare the composite decking board raw material
In the earlier days, composite decking boards had a limited range of choices, unlike the current products. The difference between the older and newer ranges are from textures, colors, comfort underfoot to stability. The only thing they have in common is that all composite products are made from distinct mixtures of plastic and natural wood fibers. Nevertheless, the type of product combination and plastic differs from one manufacturer to another.
Generally speaking, composite decking manufactures will utilize either recycled PVC, polyethylene, or Polypropylene plastic to offer the material its optimal resistance to mold growth and moisture. Overall, these plastic combinations will not crack, or splinter like PT (pressure treated) wood.
Due to its relatively low price and widespread availability, most manufacturers have been taking polyethylene plastic as the most preferred plastic material. Nevertheless, over the past few years, clients have started demanding improved performance from the WPC decking products they buy. Although you do not have to paint stain and sand composites like PT timber, clients are now searching for materials to have improved strength, remain cooler underfoot, and resistance to staining and fading.
Polypropylene (PP), utilized in most of the modern composite products, is less brittle compared to PE plastic. This makes it a sturdier ingredient for making composite decking products. It has a high melting point and a superior resistance to absorption of chemicals, which means that composite products made with Polypropylene are cooler underfoot, have increased stain resistance and durability.
Compare the time of installation of composite decking brands
Comparing the time spent on the installation of composite decking products has a particular interest to composite decking installers and customers. DIY homeowners would particularly benefit from creating a composite system that installs swiftly, the time-saving factor for an expert deck builder can immediately affect their company’s bottom line.
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Luckily, some manufacturing companies have established creative methods above the earlier screw-down technique of the deck manufacturing process. These include an array of hidden deck fastener systems that utilize clips rather than screws to make sure the deck is secured to the frame.
Compare the composite decking warranty periods
You will often realize the customers are interested in comparing the warranties offered by different decking companies. Although a homeowner might have no intention of remaining in a single house for over twenty to thirty years, the reality is that they can, and their composite decking material could be covered by a certain warranty, is one of the things that clients value.
When comparing warranties of decking products, clients should not only check the warranty period but also pay close attention to the things that are covered in the warranty terms and conditions.
A lot of the composite decking products on the market have up to twenty-five-year limited fade and stain warranty.