Composite Decking FAQ’s

We have compiled these composite decking UK faqs to help you with any questions you may have about using UK composite decking wide and whether it is the right product for you to use with your composite decking project.

Q: What is the appearance of Composite Decking UK Product?
A: Composite decking has a similar appearance to wood but without the grain. It does not have the appearance, like some other composite decking, of plastic .

It is an alternative to wood, just like paving slabs are. It’s a new form of decking, not a wood substitute. Unlike cheap decking boards AT® composite decking is tough and durable and has a quality feel.

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Q: What is Composite Decking made from?
A: Composite decking is approximately 55% hardwood fibres (re-claimed from saw mills, i.e. top quality, kiln dried material) and 45% high density polyethylene (we use both post-consumer and post-industrial feed stocks).

Other ingredients are a high quality colour pigmentation system, a wetting/bonding agent and a high-tech ultraviolet light inhibitor package. Unlike cheap decking boards available on the market.

Q: Are your composite decking boards hollow?
A: AT® composite decking boards are solid and have a substantial feel (heavy and durable…mind your toes!!)

Q: Can you screw and nail it like you can with wood?
A: Yes, screws just like wood will it also has better screw/nail retention than wood; nails will not pop out over time. (We recommend screws rather than nails.)

Q: Can you use normal wood working tools?
A: Yes, no specialist composite material equipment is required, you can even saw it by hand. You can use the same tools and equipment as you would on cheap decking boards

Q: Will it fade over time?
A: There will still be some fade visible over the first few months (the speed of this fading dependent on the weather conditions) giving a more textured appearance.

Only the wood fibres fade, the plastic content holds its colour. Any initial colour difference between boards is due to the natural colour variance in the wood fibres and once weathered, the boards will all be a similar colour tone.

The most weather resistant colours are Dark Grey, Dark Brown and Black

Q: Can you use it for load bearing applications (i.e structural)?
A: Same as you would not use cheap decking boards it is not recommended to use composite decking boards in structural applications although it can be used, it’s a job best left to a structural engineer to design any load bearing structures.

Q; Can you paint / stain it?
A: Yes but is not necessary. Composite decking is a low maintenance product and by painting it you making work for yourself.

If you have an overwhelming desire to paint or stain it, it will take oil based or epoxy based paints and stains very well.

The only downside to painting it is that it will need re-painting periodically just like wood does.

Q: Can you bend it?
A:It can be heated up and bent, but this is a job best left to a professional composite decking uk installer or done at the factory during the production process.

Q: Is your composite decking uk fire retardant?
A: There is no UK standard that we can currently achieve for this material.

This is a very solid product with no air pockets inside (unlike wood) it will require an industrial type flame to ignite, and when it does catch, if the heat source is removed from it, it will self- extinguish very quickly and will not drip molten material like plastic does.

Unlike cheap decking boards available on the market that will ignite with the slightest flame.

Q:How do you repair it if it gets damaged?
A: AT® composite decking is very tough and as such is difficult to damage under normal circumstances.

If it gets marked or damaged by garden furniture etc, then the marks can be softened and blended back into the deck using either Danish or Tung Oil. (Please see our Maintenance Guide for more details.)

Q: How does the price compare to softwood?
A: Initially, AT® composite decking uk product is more expensive than most softwood decking, but about the same price as a low or middle of the range hardwood.

What you must remember is that due to the reduced maintenance requirement, the life cycle cost of AT® composite decking is considerably less than that of softwood decking.

It is a much superior quality material than softwood and it is uniform, whereas softwood decking is often warped, contains knots and is inconsistent in density.

Q: What material is used for the sub structure?
A: The cheapest option (applicable to free draining, relatively dry conditions only) is to use treated softwood.

The softwood sub structure will obviously become slimy/mouldy over time, but this is usually acceptable as it is not seen.

We can also supply a composite sub structure profile (see price list) which is useful in damp conditions or areas with low air circulation.

In particularly damp conditions where the deck is over 1 metre off the ground, we recommend the use of galvanised steel box section beams or GRP slim-line profiles (please contact our technical department for more information on this).

Q: Does it become slippery when wet?
A: As with the majority of flooring products, composite decking will lose some slip resistance when wet, but still meets the minimum “low potential for slip” requirement as set by the HSE. (In order to maintain adequate slip resistance, it is important you keep your deck clean and free from debris.)

Q: Is there any way of fixing the product without the screw heads showing?
A: We supply a range of purpose made stainless steel composite decking screws that are available in colours to match the decking.

Once fitted, they sit flush with the deck board and are aalmost unnoticeable.

Q: How easy is it to clean?
A: After the composite deck has been constructed, there is likely to be some pencil marks, these can be removed with a normal eraser.

The simplest way to clean the deck itself (which should be done periodically) is to use a power washer and a deck cleaning solution (see the maintenance schedule pdf for more information) you may need a sponge or soft brush for stubborn stains (do not use a scourer or stiff brush as this will leave marks on the deck).

Q: What standards does your composite decking meet?
A: Wood fibres used comply with FSC standards this means the wood used in its products are sourced from responsible producers.

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Wood fibres also meet PEFC standards which is the world’s largest forest certification system.