Composite decking is a very versatile, durable material used instead of wood to build decks and similar structures. Its superior resistance to rot, insects, and other natural forces make it extremely useful in construction.
The primary use of composite decking is in the building of decks or floors, but it has a number of other less obvious uses. These uses include:
- Swimming Pool Decks
- Trash Bin Enclosures
- DIY Projects
- Bases for Sheds
In truth, there is nearly an unlimited number of uses for this material. As it was developed as a substitute for wood, it can be used—with a few exceptions—almost anywhere wood can be used. In this article, we’ll discuss a few of these options, leaving a few to the reader’s own imagination. But first, let’s dig in a little to learn some more about composite decking.
What’s All the Hype With Composite Decking?
Composite decking is a fast-growing trend in the home improvement market. More and more people are turning to composite decking to build their backyard retreats. It’s great for building a backyard deck, but it can also be used to build a great many other things.
The reason it is so popular is that it enjoys a number of distinct advantages over wood. Some of these advantages are listed below.
It’s Far More Environmentally Friendly
Composite decking is normally made from recycled wood fibers and recycled plastic film. They are combined together to form a material that is sometimes referred to as wood-plastic.
Because both the wood and plastic are recycled, composite decking spares the destruction of the trees that would have been used to make a normal wooden deck and helps to prevent large quantities of plastic from being discarded into landfills. Both are positive benefits to the environment.
It Is More Durable Than Normal Timber
As a result, it holds up better against the many elements of nature whether they be wind, rain, snow, or heat. Composite decking requires less maintenance than wood, and, over the long term, will save a homeowner money.
So, someone who is in the market for a new deck for their home is well-advised to take a look at composite decking. They won’t be disappointed.
What Is Composite Decking Good For?
First and foremost, as the name suggests, composite decking’s most common use is to build a deck for a person’s home, be it in the front yard or the back. It can also be used for flooring inside a home or inside a shed. Beyond that, it can be used in almost any way that wood could be used except, perhaps, as the support beams for buildings.
One can use it for a walkway, for cladding, for steps or railings, or even just to make a chair. Its weather-resistant nature makes it ideal for numerous outdoor projects. And its appearance with its rich color makes it an excellent substitute for real wood particularly since it requires less maintenance and has a longer lifespan.
We’ll discuss several of these options in the section below.
8 Handy Uses for Composite Decking
Here is a brief compilation of 8 handy uses for composite decking. Read, enjoy, and put to good use.
Building a Backyard Deck, a Porch, or a Floor
As we said above, the most common use of composite decking, as its name implies, is to build a deck for a person’s home. This can be a deck located in the backyard or in the front. Either way, the material should withstand the elements of nature quite well. It should hold its color and resist fading, rot, and staining even better than stained wood.
Solid boards of composite decking are sturdy, heavy, and reliable. They serve well in the floors of houses on the inside just as well. The only place composite decking is not used in construction is the support beams that form the frame of the house or building in question.
Of course, the fact that the solid boards are heavy is a drawback to using them. Another such drawback is the fact that they can expand and contract from extreme weather. This can lead to warping of the material or the loosening of fasteners in the area surrounding joists and such.
Pathways Through the Yard
Another way composite boarding can be used is to form a pathway through a yard. Some people don’t like walking on grass, particularly when it is wet. Elderly people, for example, might want to avoid wet grass or tall grass to keep from tripping. Composite decking can be used to provide a secure, anti-slip walking surface that mitigates that possibility.
An added plus to a path made from composite decking is the fact that it is mold and rot-resistant, so it will, generally, remain cleaner and more attractive than other types of pathways. Wood, for example, can rot, stain, and mold to the point where it just looks gross. Composite decking avoids all those problems.
It also comes in a variety of colors so that one can design a path to fit one’s liking and transform any yard or garden into a beautiful natural sanctuary.
A Swimming Pool Deck
Not too dissimilar from a basic porch deck would be a swimming pool deck. Composite decking is an excellent material for such a structure. As we’ve said, it is highly resistant to mold, rot, and staining. As a result, it can hold up well against the frequent splashing and other abuse that a pool deck normally endures.
The wood-plastic material offers better anti-slip traction than normal wood and is relatively easy to maintain. It makes a solid choice to put around the edges of a pool.
A Trash Bin Enclosure
Another excellent use for composite decking is to build a trash bin enclosure. Again, the durability of the material against the elements makes them the ideal material to keep something as inherently dingy as a collection of trash bins neat and tidy.
They’ll keep the dingy bins safely out of view for most of the time. And when the enclosure gets dirty—as it eventually must—they are relatively easy to clean. Generally, a garden hose is all that is needed to spray the walls down and do the trick.
Cladding or Siding on a House or Other Structure
Although they are not normally good for structural uses (like support beams and such), composite decking boards can be used for siding or cladding. This can make any structure look neat, clean, and classy.
Not only can it be used on an actual house, garage, or shed, it can be used on more playful structures like, for example, a man-cave, a child’s fort, a playhouse, or some similar item.
Benches for One’s Backyard and Gardens
Composite decking boards can be used to build beautiful benches for a backyard or a garden. The material rivals natural wood in beauty and it has the added bonuses of being warp-resistant and unlikely to break off in splinters. Two big pluses.
So, if someone is designing a garden and needs to set up someplace to sit and relax, a bench made of composite decking boards might be just what is needed.
Backyard DIY Projects
Some older varieties of composite decking lack the usual capping and covering that helps protect the material from the elements. As a result, this older material isn’t as resistant to molding, fading, and staining as modern composite decking. When used, it usually requires more regular maintenance than modern material.
Although not as resilient, this older stuff can still find use in a number of DIY (Do It Yourself) projects around the home and yard. To be sure, it makes an excellent choice of material for a birdhouse or a planter box.
The composite decking comes in multiple colors that can match most garden and deck layouts. And since it normally does not need painting, the result can be a beautiful addition to one’s garden décor.
A Base or Floor for an Outdoor Shed
Someone considering building a shed in their backyard to store tools and equipment might want to consider looking into composite decking. Although it is not recommended for the actual structure of the shed, it could be used for the floor or base of the structure.
It has a neat and clean appearance to give the shed a tidy look. It can provide a stable base so that the shed won’t lean. And, as mentioned previously, it comes in a variety of colors, so it is easy to match the general décor.
What Can I Do With Scrap Composite Decking?
Boards of composite decking are designed to be as workable as lumber. They can be cut, fastened, and drilled just like wood. So, if, after one has completed a major project, one has some scrap pieces of material left over, it’s not a time to be in a hurry to throw those pieces out.
It’s time to get creative, spare the recycling centers some work, and build something unique and intriguing to call one’s own.
Some options include:
- Cornhole Boards: The game of cornhole is an outdoor game involving throwing bean bags through a hole to score points. If the cornhole boards are made of composite decking, they can sit outside all year long. This frees up storage space elsewhere.
- Outdoor Furniture: Building outdoor furniture is another excellent use of composite decking scrap. An Adirondack chair, for example, made from composite decking will fare far better against the elements than one made of wood. It will last longer and will probably look a lot nicer after just a few short years.
- Shelves: Composite decking material also serves quite well as a shelf to store books, photo albums, or other treasures. They hold up well and they look nice.
- Name Plates: A small piece of composite decking scrap can be carved to make a nameplate or other similar purposes like displaying a building address or a room number.
Of course, the options aren’t limited to these. One is only limited by imagination and skill.
Composite decking boards are a remarkable result of advancing technology that can outperform natural wood in many critical areas. They are strong, beautiful, and very durable. They can be used to decorate all areas of a home—from the house itself to the swimming pool, to the garden, or just around the yard.
Someone planning on getting a deck or doing other similar work around their home is well-advised to look into composite decking. They won’t regret it.
At All Pro Decks, we understand that when working with composite decking, there are bound to be some scraps left over. Rather than letting these pieces go to waste, we have some suggestions on what you can do with them. Contact us to Get A Free Estimate Today!