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How do you select composite decking boards?

Thursday, April 14, 2022

As an excellent alternative to traditional wood decking. The wide variety and color selection are one of the advantages of composite decking. However, this also creates a problem. How do we select the right composite decking boards?

Various options for plastic composite decking boards

Composite wood deck boards are a low-maintenance alternative to wood. The composite wood decking industry experienced some growing pains in the early days. But composite wood decking material continues to improve and the number of quality products on the market increases every year. Ten years ago, there were 10 options. There are now over 50 composite deck boards to choose from.

Composite wood deck boards

You’ll also find PVC and plastic lumber trim panels installed in much the same way as composites. In this article, we’ll focus on composite decking boards, but most of the information applies to PVC and plastics as well. The biggest frustration you will encounter is choosing the best composite decking among all styles, colors, and brands.

In a nutshell, choose the cheapest composite decking based on your budget. At the same time, according to the design style of the house, choose the matching plastic composite decking boards.

This article will help you narrow down your options and simplify shopping for the best deals. High-quality composite wood decking, such as COOWIN decking. Although it is two to three times more expensive than pressure-treated wood but lasts two to three times longer.

Please Note: Just because your local home center carries a product doesn’t mean it’s approved for use where you live, or for every application. Consult with local building officials before purchasing. Each system has different fastening and installation requirements. If you ignore the manufacturer’s installation instructions, you will void your warranty. This is why composite decks make sense for deck rebuilding.

How to choose composite wood decking material?

Factor 1: Are you on a tight budget?

Installing wood railings instead of composite railings reduces deck costs. But wood requires more maintenance. best composite decking material, such as COOWIN decking. Most lumber mills and home centers carry one or two brands, and others can be specially ordered.

The basic outdoor decking material for most brands is similar and performs well. The differences come down to design, color, the mix of plastic and wood, mounting system, and texture.

Pro tip: Planning your composite outdoor decking design around these measurements can save you money and reduce waste.

Factor 2: Does the “look of the wood” matter?

Higher-end composites have superior texture and the most wood-like look and feel. Some of the most expensive deck material brands have subtle shading and individual “texture” variations so that no board is an exact replica of another. Some manufacturers polish each board at the factory to remove any “plastic” sheen.

High-end gray composite decking like COOWIN is also available in a wider range of colors and matching accessories. Such as balustrades, balustrades, posts, post caps, skirts, and decorative trim.

Factor 3: How wet will it get?

A composite decking board with a smooth texture can be slippery. If your deck is close to the pool, or if you live where icing is a problem. Please choose a style with a distinct texture.

Factor 4: Are hidden fasteners important?

Many people don’t care when they see fasteners when looking at their decks. But if it bothers you, choose a system that uses hidden fasteners. The tongue and groove system eliminates play, hides the screws, and reduces their drive.

The clip system works with decking composite with grooves, which are lightweight and thinner than face screw styles. However, if you don’t install end caps or special trim, or use a mounting design that covers them. These systems may have open ends that collect leaves and dirt. Concealed fastener systems are more expensive than systems installed using face screws. Hidden fasteners themselves can increase the price by 30%.

Factor 5: Have you included all the extras in your budget?

You don’t need to use specialized tools as the composite planks can be installed using the same basic tools as any wood. But the decor itself is only part of your overall budget. Each system requires hidden fasteners or grey composite decking screws. For best results, use screws designed for composite materials.

Also, depending on the system, you may need end caps, reinforcements, special trim or skirts, and add-ons such as railings, posts, and post caps. Research installations and add-ons to get a full picture of the cost before purchasing trim panels.


Before purchasing the materials you have identified, call your local building official. to ensure that the composite decking material you want to use complies with local building codes. Some composite systems have restrictions on the materials used for stairs or require specific framing in certain applications. Make sure you know what fastener spacing is required so you don’t run into any surprises during the inspection.

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