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Correct Composite Decking Installation Is Critical to Success

 Correct Composite Decking Installation Is Critical to Success
26/10/2018

As composite decking is getting more and more popular in the UK we are finding that many decking installers are now transferring to installing composite rather than wooden decking which they previously have installed.

So we thought it would be useful to note a few tips to help with transition.

Know how composite differs from wood on the deck, composite performs very differently to wood when in place, whilst it does not swell when wet it certainly expands when hot and it is important that manufacturers guidelines are followed, in particular to expansion spacing and these are set correctly and you will need to understand that the when temperatures are low there will need to be a greater expansion gap compared to the summer, if in doubt speak to your supplier or manufacturer.

Historically wooden decking is installed using deck screws or nails, composite mostly is installed using a hidden fastener system which not only helps with the appearance of the deck but is also designed to allow the deck to move ever so slightly during its expansion cycle, so it is important that this is considered, restricting the movement of the composite deck board will cause it to split and crack over time and unless your deck board is designed to be screwed down this should be considered.

Picture framing your deck through the installation should be considered carefully and again expansion gaps should be adhered to and horizontal and vertical boards should not be butted up to each other as this again will restrict movement through the year and will cause the deck boards to buckle as they try to expand. It is also important that T clips should not interfere with your main board and we suggest that starter clips should be used as these are single sided when boards are horizontal and vertical to each other so that gaps are adhered to.

We usually find that a composite sub frame is installed at either 300mm or 400mm spars, with wood this may have been a lot wider so some consideration is needed with regard to this in your calculations as more material may be required.

Securing the end of the board, this is where the composite deck board will be experiencing most deflection so in the past with wooden deck boards it was easy to put a screw or nail through to stop it moving., but again with composite this is not possible so use a hidden fixing to give it some support towards the end of the board but remember only on the side of the board not at the cut as this will stop movement.

We all want happy customers and a little time spent understanding composite decking systems should make that a reality as composite is designed for the long term, if in doubt ask as suppliers would prefer to answer technical questions at the beginning rather than rectification work at the end.

Happy decking

Our helpful hints are for guide only, if you would like to speak about our own ranges we are happy to advise or click on the link for free samples of Composite Decking installation our experts will be glad to assist.

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