What is Composite Decking?

What is Composite Decking?

To gain an understanding of what composite decking is, it is important to start at the beginning and learn what, exactly, the word composite means.

Composite refers to anything that is made of more than one material. When these materials are combined, it creates new characteristics that did not originally exist.

In terms of composite timber, the materials that are used are a mixture of wood fibres (sawdust), plastic and different binding agents. When these ingredients are combined, they form a material that is heavier, stronger and denser than wood alone.

What is Composite Decking?Source: Trex

History

The only material that used to be available for deck construction was timber. However, this all changed in the early 1990s. Development in manufacturing techniques and a demand for products that did not put pressure on an already depleted supply of virgin timber created a market for wood-plastic composites.

Even though most decks are still built with traditional timbers, composites have become increasingly popular over the last 25 years because of their unique characteristics.

Features

In most situations, working with composite timber is quite similar to working with wood. It also has a number of additional benefits:

  •     It is less likely to split or crack.
  •     It is engineered to be resistant to stains and fading.
  •     It has a much lower requirement for maintenance to maintain its good looks

Benefits

More people are turning to composite timber for their decking, as it has a number of benefits. To summarise, benefits include:

Ease of installation – Composite decking is often manufactured with a “groove” system, allowing the planks to fit together easily with hidden fixings. This decreases the time it takes to install and gives a clean uniform look. 

Safety – Unlike timber, composite does not splinter, which makes it safe for bare feet and pets. Some composite products also have anti-slip properties.

Appearance – Composite decking is created with a finish that mimics the look of wood so you don’t have to miss out on the aesthetic quality of timber.

What is Composite Decking?Source: Timbertech

Eco friendly – Products like Trex decking use 95 percent recycled materials [source] and place less demand on timber from forests and plantations.

Disadvantages

No matter how you look at it, composite has one disadvantage over timber – it costs more to purchase. Despite this, it is actually a better financial investment than timber. The economic benefits of composite decking come into play when you view it as a long term investment.

There is one main reason composite decking will save you money over the long term:

Composite decking requires virtually no maintenance beyond occasional cleaning with soapy water. That means you will be spending less time and money on resealing and resurfacing. Over many years, the savings can really add up.

Brands

Trex – Trex is considered to be the world’s #1 composite decking brand and it’s easy see why. It’s a low maintenance, high performing deck, with properties that make it resistant to most problems that decks face – scratching, staining, mould, and fading. The manufacturers are so confident in its endurance that they have included a 25 year limited residential warranty and a 10 year commercial warranty.

TimberTech – Timbertech is a composite decking material with features that make it perfect for the Australian environment. The material has special patented technology that protects it from water and slippage.

ModWood –Australian summers can be quite severe. ModWood decking is designed to withstand intense climate conditions, making it a perfect choice for Australia’s home owners looking for a low maintenance and sturdy alternative to traditional timber.

What’s more, ModWood has a flexibility when it comes to design as it is available in a wide range of sizes, colours and finishes.

Now that you have a better understand of what composite is, you might like to consider it is a decking option. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about composite decking, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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What our clients say

Austim are a great partner and timber supplier. Our business is based on the East Coast of Australia and we partner with Austim for WA projects. We have had a long lasting and great working relationship with Austim for many years. Highly recommend them.
daniel wright
daniel wright
06:31 18 Jun 19
Austim is always the first place I try when I need timber and it’s rare that I can’t get what I need there. Stuart is a rare gem of a gent to deal with – quick to respond to any queries, full of good advice and goes out of his way to help get whatever project I’m working on happening to my schedule, even when all I need is a few sticks and a handful of fixings. Highly recommend Austim, the team and young Stuart.
Anni Lilford
Anni Lilford
00:51 16 Nov 18
Stuart went out of his way to make sure we got the product we wanted. He made suggestions on possible constructions and timbers suitable. Very knowledgeable friendly staff all around. Excellent experience, highly recommended.
Holger Butenschon
Holger Butenschon
05:14 22 May 18
Hi Ben,Just wanted to thankyou for your help and advice in our selection of the Millboard Vintage Oak decking also in you recommending Grant from Premier Hardwood Decking. Grant has just completed our decking and we couldn't have asked for a more professional, reliable and competent tradesman. The decking has been installed to a very high standard and the decking itself is stunning. Ian and Sue
susan smith
susan smith
06:27 08 Oct 18
I've used Austim on a few occasions for home projects like decking and pergola, etc and each time the response to my requests for price and delivery have been excellent, the deliveries took place as negotiated, the timber quality was great and value for money. The team at Austim do a great job and make dealing with Austim a breeze.
Michael Robinson
Michael Robinson
09:06 25 Oct 18
I have worked with Austim for around 8 years now and they are one of the best suppliers in perth to deal with. I would highly recommend to use them for any timber needs!!!
Art of Timber
Art of Timber
07:55 05 Mar 20
I had been looking for some cedar for my kayak project and had rung a couple of other places with no luck. When I contacted Austim they were very helpful, had the timber in stock and I was on my was in 20 minutes. The wood was very good quality and has really finished up beautifully. Thanks to Austim.
mark alderson
mark alderson
02:03 08 Apr 17
I"d like to thank Austim for there help in supplying me with material that firstly I thought I'd have trouble sourcing as it was marring up with originally 30 year old existing timber.My project was not a massive project but still needed the attention of an new build.The timber supplied by Austim was machined to size with absolute perfection, where I had to remove old pieces and replace with the new pieces they fitted perfectly.once the floors are re-sanded and varnished they will be back to there former glory. Thanks again to the staff at Austim.Regards Bob Heppenstall.I've just added a finished photo after the Floor Sanding was completed.Original timber was Tassie Oak, and the new is Vic Ash, as you can see there is only a slight variation in the final product.I hope this gives anyone thinking doing the same the confidence to proceed. Regards Bob Heppenstall.
Robert Heppenstall
Robert Heppenstall
10:05 12 Oct 18
Great service over phone and by email. Product supplied is high quality - no issues. Staff accommodating and friendly.
M F
M F
00:18 07 May 20
Good service with fair prices.
Colin Della Bosca
Colin Della Bosca
08:14 04 Jun 20

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