So, you’ve made the obvious decision to ditch the timber decking for the more pragmatic choice of composite decking. Brilliant. Then it dawns on you. This isn’t the same as a timber deck where its pretty much all standardised. Composite decking comes in many different colours, designs and finishes. A headache worth having when you come to decide what works best for your home or commercial property. You can tailor it to your taste.
Composite Decking options
As I mentioned earlier, there’s lots of different options with composite decking. From grooved boards, to capped, woodgrain, heat-printed designs, co-extrusion, the list goes on. Our focus for today however will be composite decking in woodgrain.
Woodgrain composite decking
Composite decking, through its evolutionary process, has not only become lauded for its utility but also its beauty. And through that evolution, it is beginning to resemble wood in its natural state. All the grains and knots you would associate with natural timber can now be found with well-made composite decking boards. Not to mention all the added benefits of longevity and fewer maintenance headaches.
Heat printed wood grain (no more)
In the earlier generations of composite decking, to try and get a more “natural look” mimicking timber, the boards were marked with a woodgrain heat print. In the same manner you would get a t-shirt printed. These however looked quite “cheap” and none authentic. But it was part of the process and a stepping stone in the quest for a more authentic looking deck. Whilst these boards served their purpose at the time, they are known to not be as resilient as the newer versions of the product and are most certainly not as aesthetically pleasing
3D embossed woodgrain composite decking
The shift from the heat print to the 3d grooved decking was the next natural step. Rather than having a 2d printed image of knots and grooves on the deck, you could now actually feel the grooves on the surface of the boards if you were to run your fingers over them. A definite improvement on the previous designs. Some of these designs however, remained a little too unauthentic. This had more to do with the production methods than anything else. Especially the cheaper quality boards. These boards now began to look more natural, but laid side by side and they looked duplicated in their patterns. This isn’t the case in the natural world, where no two timber boards tend to be the same.
Thankfully, both the production methods and designs have come a long way in recent years. All the intricacies and finer details of natural timber are now manifest on good quality decking boards. Not only that, the 3d woodgrain composite decking boards now have an extra embossed layer of protection. Done well, these decking boards look very natural but are even more scratch, weather and mould resistant.
Composite decking has come a long way in recent years and we look forward to its evolution in the near to long term.