Composite floors (wood-plastic), are a relative novelty on the market of floors and panels for outdoor use. They look very nice and the installation is not too difficult. However, you are wondering how durable they are? We will try to answer these questions in our 2023 DIY Guide.
Composite Decking As The Perfect Solution
If you have been thinking about installing composite decking, it means that you are following the trends in exterior decoration. Composite decking is an exceptional combination when it comes to material. They are produced by extruding a mixture consisting of 60% wood flour and 40% plastic. Such a composition allows the product to be resistant to atmospheric influences such as rain, snow, frost, high temperatures – but still to give the impression of the warmth of wood. The purpose of such materials is primarily to cover the porches, terraces, the area around the pool, etc. Engineering-perfect solutions for the installation, as well as a very appropriate choice of colors – have made composite decking a real pearl in the flooring offer.
What Is The Secret Of Composite Decking?
Composite profiles for decking floors, facades, and pergolas began to appear on the American market in the late 1980s. Their development is encouraged by the increase in the number of recycled polymers – but also by the growing interest of consumers in more durable products that require minimal maintenance. Initially, the first sales arguments of composite profiles were that they do not contain harmful and potentially dangerous substances, that they last much longer than wood – and do not require maintenance.
DIY Composite Decking: Can We Really Do It By Ourselves?
If you are renovating or decorating your home, garden, or porch – you are probably thinking about floors as well. If you want something new and exciting, and at the same time durable and exudes a warm atmosphere and comfort – composite decking is definitely the choice for you. You can opt for the one you like, and you can take a look at the wide choice on this website. You can use composite decking in almost any house you can imagine. Although it may seem at first glance that you can’t install it on your own – it’s not like that. In fact, it is much easier than it seems – and you will only need a little patience and passion to install it yourself. The outcome will be spectacular, and the satisfaction that will overwhelm you because you managed to do it all yourself – will be invaluable.
Decking platform can be made on all substrates. On earth, sand, concrete, over ceramic tiles, etc. While other floors require complete preparation of the substrate, which significantly increases the cost of the project – composite decking platforms are mounted directly on the associated structure. That is much cheaper and faster to make. The hidden system for tying floor mats with the help of clips and screws – enables simple and fast production of the decking platform, without rough work. The modern look of decking that unobtrusively fits into all types of buildings and simple installation without visible elements of connection leads to mass demand.
On What Factors The Durability Of Composite Decking Depend On?
● Good Substructure
The durability of the decking platform is in the first place in the quality of workmanship – but also the highest quality decking. If it is poorly installed, it will not last even a year. Most complaints stem from inadequately mounted decking. What exactly does this mean? In the first place, inadequate preparation of the substructure. Inadequately or unprofessionally made substructure – will sooner or later create problems. If the decking mat does not stand on an ideally flat surface – it will start to bend over time, which is a sure way to cracking and mechanical damage.
● Spacing Between Profiles
When installing the substructure, it is necessary to keep the distance between the profiles prescribed by the manufacturer. The most important thing is the dilatation distance on the front composition of the mats. Plastic and wood composite is an expanding material – that expands under the influence of the sun and elevated temperatures. If during the installation, the dilatation gap is not left on all front assemblies and the floor mats are not separated from all static objects – there will certainly be unwanted defects.
● Poor choice of screws and clips
If the screws and clips are inadequately protected and are not intended for external use – corrosion will soon occur, which causes the screws to crack and the floor mat to separate from the substructure.
Colorfastness In Composite Decking Floors
Almost all materials decompose under the influence of UV rays. So it is with pigments. At least it was like that some couple of years ago. Today, a lot of effort is being invested in the development of nanotechnologies – so you can increasingly see ceramic protections and varnishes for cars that guarantee the color fastness of 10 years. It is the same as the final construction materials – and many types of protection are tested and developed. Serious manufacturers are making significant efforts to prevent discoloration after years of exposure to UV rays.
Advanced Materials And Technology
Despite the improvement of the traditional technology of production based on the highest quality additives – the color change was brought under control but was not prevented. For this reason, there was a development of new technology, that is, co-extrusion, and application of materials that are UV stable. The profile is still based on a composite material – but it is coated on the outside – with a material that guarantees unchanged color for long service life. This method of production is more expensive than classic decking. However, it is the only known and applicable solution – for projects where absolute UV resistance is required.
How Does Composite Decking React To External Conditions?
We already know that composite decking is durable. However, it doesn’t mean that it’s indestructible. Changes in temperature, humidity, the presence of water, a few months under the snow, a high frequency of people, furniture with metal legs – all this will affect the appearance of your floor after a few years. Choose decking according to the conditions of the application but also your possibilities.
The Bottom Line
If you decide to install your decking platform yourself, be sure to ask for installation instructions prescribed by the manufacturer. It is important because each decking has its own tolerances – and they need to be respected for the platform to be in use for many years.