Everything To Know About Plastic Wood Decking
Unlike other fillers, plastic wood decking is made of a combination of wood and plastic (recycled or virgin). In addition to being stain-resistant, it does not require finishing and will never warp, crack, or splinter. Unlike other decking options, plastic wood decking is available in many more sizes, up to 150mm wide and 5,8metres long in some cases. This guide discusses all the concepts related to Platic wood decking.
Composite boards and wood are among the decking materials that can be substituted with plastic wood. Approximately 40 million tons of it are produced annually, making it the third most popular plastic in the world.
A growing amount of PVC pipes is being used for various aspects of home construction, including decking. The plasticizers in PVC make it slightly flexible yet still reasonably hard and strong when mixed with a certain percentage of softeners. It is therefore ideal for molding into deck boards and tiles. Let’s find out the types of plastic wood decking.
Types of Plastic Wood Decking
The decking industry was first introduced to plastic several decades ago with the introduction of composite decking. Composite, PVC, and HDPE are the most common types of plastic wood decking used by homeowners today. If you are looking to build an outdoor deck for your home, you should have an idea of how plastic deck boards differ from other types.
- Composite Decking
It is important to keep in mind that while composite decks introduced plastics into the industry, they are not equivalent to fully synthetic boards. Deck boards made from composite materials include organic materials and plastic components. Wood fibers, additives, and repurposed polymers such as polypropylene (PP), polyethylene (PE), or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) are combined to make composite decking (source). Depending on the brand, the ratio of wood to plastic may vary, which affects the durability and aesthetics of the decking.
- PVC Decking
PVC decking was introduced to the market in the early 2000s to address the problem of composite decking containing wood. Deck boards made from composite material use natural materials, while PVC boards use artificial materials. They are often made with virgin or recycled polyvinyl chloride, a plastic popular for use in products such as shower curtains, in addition to color and quality additives.
- HDPE Decking
Companies developed HDPE decking to overcome the failings of wood composite boards, just as they did with PVC decking. Deck boards made of HDPE consist of virgin or recycled high-density polyethylene with additives. In the same way as PVC, HDPE is likely to have come into contact with you every day as a result of things like milk jugs and shampoo bottles.
What We Like About Plastic Wood Decking
The following are the reasons which show what we like about plastic decking.
- Low-Maintenance Decking
To avoid heavy maintenance costs, homeowners often switch from wood to plastic decking. With plastic wood decking, there's no burdensome staining, painting, sealing, or sanding, like it would be with pure wood. Furthermore, synthetic decking is resistant to staining and fading. Essentially, after a deck is constructed using plastic boards, homeowners will only need to periodically clean it with soap and water. It requires almost no maintenance. Cleaning is simple
- Safety Advantages
The benefits of plastic wood decking include safety. The boards of splinter-free plastic wood decks are often covered in a wood-grain finish to enhance slip resistance. By being weatherproof and waterproof, plastic wood decks and docks pose a significantly reduced risk of collapse. Mold, insects, and mildew aren't able to harm this material. It does not require finishing or refinishing.
- Aesthetics and Applications
A variety of colors and wood-grain patterns make today's plastic wood deck boards look and feel more natural. There are many choices of color, ranging from deep wood tones to modern greys. For a customized, complementary look, homeowners can enhance their outdoor spaces with synthetic railings, gates, and even plastic piling wraps for docks.
- Plastic Wood Decking Adds Value to Your Property
Docks and decks made of plastics and wood will add value to a property and will save the homeowner money by preventing ongoing maintenance and replacement. With regard to the superior longevity and durability of synthetic decking, we estimate that a plastic wood deck addition will yield even higher returns.
What We Dislike About Plastic Decking
Plastic wood decking has the disadvantage of being part of an overall system, which means it needs to be installed following the instructions of the manufacturer. This requires the purchase of special fasteners, fascia boards, and trim pieces.
What is the Difference Between Plastic and Composite Decking?
Composite decking came into use in the late 1990s to solve a homeowner's problem of constantly having to refinish their wood decks and replace rotten, mold-prone boards. The advent of composite materials, which are made of plastic and wood fibers, changed everything.
In less than a decade, several companies began replacing wood fibers in composite materials, leading to the first permanently plastic deck boards. In contrast to its composite predecessors, plastic decking is completely free of organic material, eliminating any mold, mildew, or lichen growth.
Plastic Wood Decking Installation
Each plastic wood deck board product uses a different installation method. A compact plastic clip is sometimes provided to attach the boards to the underlying joists invisibly. There are also clipless systems that are simply connected directly to the joists using deck screws. Fastening the boards almost invisibly can be achieved by using a deck screw installation tool.
There are different ways to install deck tiles. In order for them to be fully supported, they must be supported by a continuous surface, such as an existing wooden deck or concrete patio. Installing plastic wood decking is similar to that of traditional wood. Create your ideal project design by ripping, routing, and edging plastic decking. Try using power tools to speed up and simplify the building process.
Whatever method you choose, you'll need a drill or impact driver, deck screws, and a circular saw to cut the boards to length. Make sure to space boards 5mm apart during installation to allow for seasonal expansion and contraction.
Maintenance and Cleaning of Plastic Decking
Now that you have constructed a plastic deck, you would like to keep it looking great all year long. In contrast with wood decks, plastic wood decking will not rot, warp, crack, chip, or split. This decking material is not 100% wood. As a matter of fact, it is made from polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene, and wood. As a result, your deck requires very little maintenance.
One of the biggest benefits of plastic wood decking is its low-maintenance nature. In addition to occasional cleaning and sweeping, a properly constructed deck will not require any maintenance procedures. However, as a result of repeated seasonal expansion and contraction cycles, you may need to replace boards and tiles if they have become brittle and cracked after many years of use. It may also be a good idea to replace boards or tiles that are faded from sun exposure. You can take care of the maintenance of your plastic wood decking in the following ways:
- Keep an eye out for wear and tear on your deck.
- Leaves and debris should be kept off the surface so that you can see the surface beneath.
- Don't let your plants grow too close to the deck since most plants attract insects.
- A painter's tool can be used to clear debris from gaps
- Replace damaged boards as soon as possible
- Keep uncut clawed animals away from decks
- Deck preservatives are a great way to protect your deck from water damage, scratches, and gouges. You can find and apply easy-to-use paints, sealants, and coatings.
It is a good idea to pressure wash your deck at the beginning and end of each season. Pressure washing removes pollen, insects stains, and bird feces that are not easily visible. Furthermore, make sure there is no damage to the joists under the plastic boards. Build a deck with sufficient strength and width joists if you are building a new one. A failure of these will result in the need to rebuild the entire deck. Make sure the joists are made from rot-resistant pressure-treated or earth-contact-grade wood.
Last but not least, do not build your deck right against the wall of your house. It is important that a small gap exists between your deck joists and the wall of your house to prevent moisture accumulation.
What is the Price of Plastic Decking, and Where Can You Find it?
Plastic wood decking comes in various widths and thicknesses, and its price depends on those factors. The average price of a plastic wood deck board is between R700 and R1100 per square metre. Even though plastic deck tiles are less common than wood, they can be less expensive, starting at just R500 a square metre. A wide range of plastic wood decking products can be found at building supply stores.
Are you ready to transform your average deck into something special? Plastic wood decking is stylish, modern and can add a lot to the look of your property. The Composite Company can help you in delivering, installing, and maintaining the plastic wood decks in Johannesburg and Pretoria.