Composite garden decking…. Solid, or hollow??

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  • Composite garden decking…. Solid, or hollow??
  • DrP
    Member

    Any experience or concerns from either??

    Hollow is about £19 per 4m length; solid is £28 – not an insignificant difference.

    I’m looking to deck 2 areas in my back garden, and the cost difference in the two types of decking is going to be close to a grand….

    However, if people say ‘hollow decking is rubbish’, then i’d rather spend another grand than waste any money…..

    Cheers!!

    DrP

    mattyfez
    Member

    I would hazard that the difference is how long a run you have between supporting struts, hollow would be more fragile so it could bow or snap more easily if it’s unsupported from beneath.

    DrP
    Member

    I was planning on having 330mm C-C joists underneath… Decking timber is so cheap, that iven if I ran them closer, it would only be a few quid more for an extra length or 3…

    The decking manufacturers say that solid has ‘better sound deadening’.. ? Hmm!

    DrP

    blader1611
    Member

    If thats the case DrP then dont wear your stilletto’s on there then, the clip clopping will drive your neighbours mad.

    i see no reason to spend an extra grand just for solid, the hollow stuff is pretty strong so with the joist set up you mention it wont be a problem.

    Premier Icon jimdubleyou
    Subscriber

    Isn’t 330 centres overkill or is composite significantly heavier than wood?

    Our (wooden) deck joists are 600 (ish) with 150mm joists…

    Hollow stuff is used on a walkway in some wetlands near me. I’ve no idea what the centres are, but it does flex noticeably.  It also bows in where it is screwed down. You will also need to think about the ends as you’ll be able to see into the plank.

    I have no idea who built the stuff I walk on, so I cannot comment whether it is materials or workmanship where the shortfall is.

    Premier Icon psling
    Subscriber

    It’s not as simple as hollow vs solid – there are good and bad in both! I would say the higher quality hollow extrusions with thick outer and multi-chambered are best. You might expect to pay £30-£40 per 3.6-4.00m length ( x 145mm wide) for the best quality!

    Most manufacturers advise 300mm c/s for joists because composite or ‘plastic’ extrusions expand along their length in warmer temperatures – as much as 1.5-2.5mm per metre (wood tends to swell across its width with wet). If any warranty is offered with the product this is probably a requirement, It is also why clips are required for fixing for composites (to allow the boards to move longitudinally) rather than screws / nails through the boards. Again, probably a requirement of any warranty.

    avdave2
    Member

    Might seem like a stupid question but why are you using composite decking in the first place? It’s just that you appear to be attaching them to a timber sub frame so I don’t really see what you are gaining as that can rot away if it’s in contact with the ground.

    jim25
    Member

    Composite decking has its positives and negatives, one of them being the amount it will expand in the heat especially if you choose a dark colour, as most people do at the moment.

    I would advise using Balau  hardwood deck boards, very good for the purpose, used on ships for the decks and has a natural anyone slip property to it.

    jim25
    Member

    Should say *anti slip properties!

    DrP
    Member

    anyoneslip…. not really a selling point 😉

    We’re looking at light grey/lighter colours of decking. We’re south facing in one of the sunniest parts of the country, and one area to deck is a bit of a sun trap.
    I was using my IR thermometer on some sample pieces laid out in the recent sun – the darker colours got to 58 degrees.
    Even if they suited better aesthetically, my kids would melt their feet to the boards….!

    I like the idea of composite – i’ve had normal decking in a prev house, and it went green and sliey, adn i hate treating deck boards!

    DrP

    elgolfo
    Member

    Give these guys a call; I found them really helpful in explaining differences between different types of composite decking.  http://www.deckbrokers.co.uk/

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