Solid vs Hollow composite decking

With composite decking experiencing a sharp rise in popularity over the last decade or so, it’s no surprise that more innovations are being introduced when it comes to the boards themselves.

Traditionally, composite decking has been seen as the premium choice when it comes to outdoor decking products, compared to natural hardwood or plastic decking. Therefore, it has often required a decently-sized budget to incorporate in outdoor spaces. However, with demand continuing to increase over recent years, the industry has found ways to make composite decking more accessible to those, who in the past, may not have been able to afford it.

This has seen new board styles being introduced to the market that allows landscapers, garden designers and homeowners to purchase and install composite decking into their outdoor areas and experience all of the outstanding benefits that it offers without having to worry about a huge dent appearing in their back pocket.

One of these many innovations that we have seen introduced is hollow composite boards as opposed to solid composite boards. What’s the difference? Let’s take a look!


Solid Composite Decking

Solid composite deck boards have been the longest-serving within the composite decking world and come in a wide range of styles and colour. The two style options you have here are capped or non-capped.

Capped composite boards are simply boards that are manufactured with a protective polymer sleeve, either on all four sides or three. This sleeve helps to keep moisture away from the patented composite core, allowing the boards to last much longer than traditional decking types such as timber. It also enables the boards to possess extremely low-maintenance properties, with the ability to be wiped clean as opposed to needing a deep clean when dirty. Combined with high resistance to all scratches, abrasions and fades, capped boards are the standout when it comes to composite decking. Non-capped boards are slightly different in that they do not offer as much protection against moisture as their capped counterparts, however, they do offer extreme durability whilst providing a long-lasting aesthetics that need very little upkeep.

Solid composite decking provides a sturdier, more robust underfoot feeling, making it a great option if you plan to house garden furniture or a barbeque on top of it. Equipped with impressive warranties, brown composite decking boards are the perfect choice for anyone looking for a traditional deck that will last a lifetime.

Hollow Composite Decking

Hollow composite decking boards, on the other hand, provide homeowners and garden designers alike with a cheaper alternative. The obvious difference between hollow and solid boards is, of course, the multiple hollow channels that run through the body of the board. This is what makes hollow composite decking boards a more cost-effective option, in that fewer materials are required for production.

As well as being cheaper than solid boards, hollow boards also offer a more sustainable option as a result of fewer materials being used. Both board types are made with recycled materials which make them more environmentally-friendly than regular decking products, however, hollow boards take a slight edge here – perfect if you’re looking to create a sustainable outdoor area!

Despite their composition, hollow composite boards still offer an inherently sturdy flooring option as well as providing all of the same fantastic low-maintenance qualities as solid boards. The main drawback of hollow boards when compared to solid is their warranty offerings, which are usually a lot less than solid boards. Nevertheless, they still offer a great alternative when budgets are tight as well as quirky designs and styles, like this reversible grey composite decking option!


Which board is right for you?

The benefits of each board speak for themselves. Solid composite decking offers a premium decking option that can last up 30 years, whereas hollow boards offer a more cost-effective and sustainable option but last up to 10 years. When it comes to choosing the board for you, it ultimately comes down to style, budget and personal preference. Either way, you will be getting a quality decking product that is sure to impress!

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