What to consider when choosing composite decking

Crafting beautiful decks and outdoor living spaces for Overland Park, Olathe, Leawood, Lenexa, and more of Kansas​

When homeowners begin considering a new deck, most people have no idea how many choices there are when it comes to decking options. With multiple manufactures, colors, materials, and price points, how does someone sort through everything to decide on what decking option works best for their home, tastes, budget, and long-term plans? This is where a knowledgeable contractor can stand out from the crowd. Hankins Decks LLC offers a wide variety of color, grain, and decking options to choose from, as well as in depth industry knowledge to answer any questions that you may have concerning your options for your new deck. Below is a crash course in composite decking to help get you a head of the curve when choosing your new low maintenance decking material.

Composite decking is not all created equal. No matter what manufacture you look at, there are three main types of composite decking – uncapped composite, capped composite, and PVC. Let’s dive into each option and explain a little bit about each one.

  • Uncapped Composite Decking This type of decking was the original composite decking that was introduced around 30 years ago. The decking is made up of both wood and plastics, and was an early version of what we have today. Although there are still a very select few manufactures that make an uncapped composite, not many deck professionals continue to offer this as an option.

  • Capped Composite Decking Most composite decking installed today is capped composite. The core of the capped composite is still a mix of wood and plastics, but the outer shell is what makes this product such a good option. The plastic capping on the outside of the board protects the core from the elements. These deck boards have an amazing life span, and even come with a 25-year limited rot, stain, and fade warranty. With a wide range in pricing to meet many budgets, capped composite decking is a great choice with deciding on decking. Capped composite is also offered in a wide variety of colors and grain patterns.

  • PVC Decking PVC decking is the best long-term investment on the market. While the other choices in composite decking all have a wood mixture in the core, PVC decking is made from all plastic. This creates a deck board that will never rot. PVC decking has a very similar capping to the capped composite decking, and is also available in many colors and gain patterns. PVC decking offers limited lifetime rot warranty and 50-year fade and stain. This is a top choice when considering what type of decking would work best for your project.
Hankins Decks LLC offers both capped composite and PVC decking options, but the choices don’t stop there. There are different decking profiles as well. From the top, all the profiles may look the same, but there are actually four different profiles. Let’s break down each category of these as well.

  • Grooved Edges Grooved decking has a notch cut into the side of the deck board. This groove is what allows the installer to attach the hidden fastener clips onto the deck board. Don’t worry, these grooves are hard to see from above, and take no strength away from the deck board.

  • Non-grooved Edges (Sometimes Called Solid Edges) The non-grooved deck boards are just that, they have solid edges without any grooves. These boards are used for stairs, picture frame trim boards, and other uses where the edge of the board will be easily visible.

  • Solid Bottom Sold bottom deck boards are the same thickness all the way through the board. The bottom of the deck board is flat, and the whole board sits on the framework. These are the most common composite deck board styles, and are standard on the mid and high range composite deck boards.

  • Scalloped Bottom Scalloped bottom deck boards usually fall under the economy range with composite decking. To drop the price point for the deck board, manufactures shaves grooves in the bottom of the deck board to recycle any make more decking.

Now that you know a little more about the types of decking there are, you can focus on what really matters – the look! Most manufactures have different lines of decking options with different grain patters and colors to help you narrow down exactly what you envision for your new deck. To see just some of the many decking choices Hankins Decks LLC has to offer, visit our PRODUCTS page. No matter which composite decking you decide on, you can rest assured that your beautiful new outdoor space will give you many, many years of enjoyment. Plus, you will never have to stain your decking again!