Choosing composite wood for the construction of an outdoor terrace means reconciling aesthetics, durability and ease of maintenance. As its name suggests, composite wood results from the combination of different elements: sawdust, resins and pigments. Available in planks or slabs, composite wood is as resistant as exotic wood, but more affordable. It is placed on joists for slats or on pedestals for slabs and can be guaranteed for up to 30 years. The type of boards, their method of manufacture and their composition define the final appearance of the terrace and must be taken into account before making your choice. Also remember to arrange your terrace to make it a real living room. This is where choosing a composite deck builder for the right wood and elements is important.
Composite Wood, What Is It?
Composition: Composite wood combines wood waste (sawdust), polymer resins (polyethylene, polypropylene or PVC) from plastic recycling as well as pigments, which provide color. Manufacturers add additives to make composite wood stronger, such as antimicrobial or antioxidant treatments, which preserve the colors.
Aspect: Originally created to replace exotic wood species, today composite wood perfectly imitates natural wood, recreating its veins, splits and knots. It comes in the form of slats or slabs tinted in the mass and available in different patterns, textures and colors.
The Advantages of Composite Wood
Resistance and longevity
Rot -proof and waterproof, resistant to termites, stains and shocks, composite wood has a lifespan at least as long as exotic wood. Some composite wood slats are guaranteed for up to 30 years by the manufacturers.
Unlike natural wood, which requires regular cleaning, anti-grey treatment, oil or saturator every year, composite wood requires no maintenance. It can be cleaned with a mop and soapy water. Most often, a brush broom is enough.
Composite wood is non-slip, even when wet. It does not contain splinters and presents no risk of cracking. It is therefore a material of choice for installing a deck or a wooden deck around the pool.
An ecological material
Composite wood makes it possible to recycle wood offcuts from industry as well as plastic waste. Some ranges are made from 90% recycled materials! Composite wood is itself recyclable in most cases.
How to lay a composite wood deck?
A composite wood deck is installed like a solid wood deck. The installation is however much simpler since it is carried out by means of clips. The terrace can be laid on concrete, synthetic ground or on grass. Certain principles must be respected for successful installation:
- Prepare the ground so that it is flat and stable.
- Read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before installation.
- Get help. The laying of a composite terrace requires approximately 1h30 per square meter.
- Have all the necessary tools (drill, screwdriver, saw, etc.) within easy reach.
As for laying parquet or PVC flooring, store the composite wood slats on the ground 48 hours before laying, to allow the composite wood to adapt to the temperature and humidity of your region. Think about accessories such as outdoor lights (recessed spotlights, street lamps) and plan the necessary passages of electrical ducts.
To fix the composite wood slats, joists are required. On a concrete slab, prefer composite wood joists. For other types of floors, choose solid wood joists instead. If you have opted for composite wood slabs, prefer laying on pedestals. For a better visual effect, lay the boards lengthwise, that is to say parallel to your bay window or patio door.