March 30, 2013

The Latest in Composite Decking

International Builders' Show Report

This post is in partnership with TimberTech. All opinions are my own.

New Features in Composite Decking

Polymer Shell, Realistic Grain and Enhanced Color Top the List

Composite Core Surrounded by Tough Polyethylene Cap
Composite decking is made by combining wood fibers, often sawdust, with plastic resins.  The resulting planks are resistant to water and fading – but not immune to it.  That is, until the idea of encapsulation came along.  The newest versions of this decking feature a composite core with an outside polyethylene wrapper. 

This capped plank gets its strength from the composite center while the polyethylene wrap seals out weather and provides a wear surface that resists scratching, marring, stains and fading.

More Realistic Grain and Colors
Early composite decking offered resistance to rotting but often left a lot to be desired when it came to appearance.  Today’s embossed and engraved grain patterns combined with variegated coloring, produce a convincing wood-like appearance. This new technology has enable manufacturers like TimberTech to replicate the look of indoor flooring in a product that’s designed to stand up the rigors of outdoor living. 

The idea of extending indoor spaces outside is a trend that is more popular than ever.  Modern composite decking materials allow homeowners to create that effect by using composite planks that mimic their indoor counterparts.

Invisible Fastening System
Another feature that’s evident in high quality composite decking is something that’s not visible – the fasteners.   Planks from makers like TimberTech come with grooves in the sides that engage clips mounted to the tops of joints.  The result is an expansive, fastener-free surface that’s unblemished with screw or nail heads.

Many newer deck designs incorporate railing systems that have a continuous top rail – uninterrupted by posts – designed to accommodate steel, composite or stainless steel cable infill options.

Integrated Lighting
The most up-t0--date decking systems also feature lighting that can be inset into deck surfaces or stair risers and integrated into railing systems providing illumination that’s both functional and dramatic.

To get a further look at the latest in the world of composite decks visit

Posted in: News Outdoor Projects Decks, Patios & Porches Tools & Know-How Other Hardware
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