What Are the Different Types of Composite Decking?

So, you have decided to install composite decking in your backyard, erh? But which composite decking boards to use? What are the different types of composite decking? Solid vs hollow vs grooved vs ungrooved, which is composite decking is the best? This article provides answers to those questions. 

What to Consider When Installing Composite Decking?

There are several things to consider when installing composite decking. One is the cost of buying the materials, and how to install the decking is another. If you want cost-effective decking, you should know the difference between hollow and solid boards. 

And if you want a seamless installation, you should know the difference between grooved and ungrooved boards. Solid vs hollow vs grooved vs ungrooved, which composite decking is the best?

What Are the Differences Between Hollow and Solid Composite Decking?

Hollow Decking Boards

Solid Vs Hollow Vs Grooved Vs Ungrooved, Which Composite Decking Is Best?

The picture above shows a board with holes or channels that run from one edge to the other. That is a hollow board. Hollow composite decks have holes between the boards that run from one end to the other. Those holes are not visible when you look at the board from the top but from the front when you place it on the ground. 

What makes hollow decks unique? They are made with fewer materials, meaning they are cost-effective when building a deck. Also, hollow deck boards are lightweight, making installation quicker. The little setback of hollow boards is that they will not absorb much weight; hence they are not too good for commercial settings. 

Also, you can’t drive screws through the boards. But that is not much of a setback because hollow boards will last longer and offer a cheap option when installing a deck. 

Solid Decking Boards

solid composite decking boards

The picture above shows a solid composite decking board. Unlike hollow decks, solid composite decking doesn’t have holes or channels that run from one end to the other. Instead, it has a 100% solid structure. What makes solid composite decking boards unique? 

The boards are strong, making them the perfect option for commercial areas or heavy-traffic places and if you want to place heavy objects on your decking. The little setback of solid deck boards is that they are heavier than hollow decks. Also, solid deck boards are more expensive than hollow ones. 

Solid Composite Decking Hollow Composite Decking 
Stronger, and doesn’t have holes in the center. Lightweight, easy installation, have holes in the center.
More expensive but better for high-traffic areas.Cost-effective decking boards, better for low-traffic places,
Can support heavy weights.Uses fewer materials and requires the use of clips and fasteners. 

So, which decking boards should I use? Well, that depends on where you want to install your decking. If you want to build your deck in your house, hollow deck boards are the best options. You can build a floating decking with hollow boards. But if you want a deck in a commercial setting or a place with high traffic, solid boards are the perfect option because they can withstand heavy loads. 

What Are the Differences Between Grooved and Ungrooved Composite Decking?

Grooved Composite Decks

grooved composite decking boards

Grooved deck boards have channels at the sides that run from one edge to the other. The picture above clearly shows a deck board with a grooved side. What makes grooved boards unique? 

How you install grooved decking differs from how you install other kinds. The grooves at the sides make it possible to hook it down to the joist with clips and fasteners. This gives your decking a seamless appearance when viewed from the top. 

Ungrooved Composite Decks

ungrooved composite deck

Ungrooved decks don’t have channels or grooved sides. The picture above shows an ungrooved decking. What makes ungrooved decking unique? It is similar to a wood deck and can be installed with screws. If you want to build your deck without clips and fasteners, then ungrooved decks are the best options. 

Grooved Decking BoardsUngrooved Decking Boards
The sides are pushed inward to form a channel that runs from one end to the other. Do have grooved sides.
Can be installed with clips and fasteners.Can be installed with screws.
A perfect option for building an attractive decking.The screw tops appear on top of the decking but can be covered with paint.

So, which one should I use between grooved and ungrooved decking? If you want attractive decking, grooved boards are the best material. While ungrooved boards are less attractive, you can always cover the screw tops with paint. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Why Do Some Composite Decking Boards Have Grooves?

Grooved boards enhance the appearance of your deck. People choose grooved decks over ungrooved ones because they don’t want to see the screws when they walk on the surface. Since grooved decking uses clips and fasteners, it creates a clean-looking deck surface without visible screws. 

Is Hollow Decking Any Good?

Well, that depends on how you want to use your decking. Hollow decking is a great choice if you want to build a flush decking with no load. But if you want a deck that can sustain heavy weights, solid boards are perfect. Anyway, hollow boards offer a cost-effective way of building your composite decking. 
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