Outdoor living spaces remain sought-after home upgrades, with ever-increasing numbers of homeowners installing backyard patios and decks. Composite decking delivers an ideal blend of beauty, durability, and sustainability. However, consumers looking to build composite decks face a critical decision – should they opt for hollow or solid composite boards?
This choice impacts everything from cost efficiency to structural integrity and aesthetic appeal over the lifetime of a deck. By grasping the nuances of hollow and solid composite constructions, homeowners can make informed selections aligned with their budgets and performance expectations.
Hollow Composite Decking – Lightweight Convenience
Hollow composite decking revolutionized the market with its patented production process centering on a voided interior column sandwiched between rigid exterior shells.
This hollow space significantly reduces weight compared to solid wood and composite alternatives, allowing for easier transport and handling. Even full-length 16-foot deck planks can be lifted and fastened into place by homeowners without heavy equipment.
Despite the inner cavity, structural stability and integrity remain superb through the dense bonded outer layers that resist moisture, UV fading, mould, and everyday wear-and-tear.
Hollow composite boards maintain the opulent visual qualities of natural hardwoods with variable grain patterns and rich colouration options from warm chestnuts to coastal greys.
The hollow design utilises fewer raw materials in fabrication, substantially reducing manufacturing costs. This makes quality hollow composite decking boards an excellent value purchase.
Solid Composite Decking – Robust Heavy-Duty Performance
In response to demand for premium decking capabilities, major manufacturers developed non-hollow composite alternatives constructed from advanced polymers and compression moulding technology.
Proprietary solid core boards withstand over 2,000 lbs of distributed weight per square foot, resisting damage from crowds, hot tubs, planters, and storm debris that cause hollow boards to crack or buckle.
Speciality composites like Ecoscape offer structural warranties – lasting up to five times longer before sagging or splintering than cheaper hollow or wood boards.
Capped composites add a protective polymer sleeve around solid cores, shielding the deck from environmental factors like spilled liquids, excess moisture, and tree debris that ruin uncovered boards.
Deep embossing and multi-tonal variegated finishes further enhance solid composite boards with an unmistakably upscale, hand-crafted aesthetic.
Comparing Key Characteristics of Hollow and Solid
When evaluating the superior choice of decking for your particular backyard vision and household needs, critical factors bubble to the surface.
Structural Strength and Durability
Hollow composite decking suffices for most residential settings with periodic rearrangements of outdoor furniture and family gatherings. Solid composite endures practically punishing loads equivalent to commercial flooring – proving the wiser investment for elevated decks, roof gardens, and lively communal spaces.
Both hollow and solid composites mimic premium hardwoods across a spectrum of graining and rich colour palettes. Solid boards offer more durable protective polymer caps and dimensional designs like deep embossing. But hollow composites still provide pleasing wood-alternative visuals suitable for most homes.
All composite decking contains recycled plastic, wood fibres, and reclaimed content. But due to lighter weight and highly efficient manufacturing, hollow boards utilise fewer overall raw resources. Both varieties ultimately divert waste from landfills and conserve natural forests.
When planning a new or replacement deck, homeowners must decide between affordable convenience with hollow boards or robust heavy-duty performance from solid composite. Patented hollow fabrication allows for accessible DIY installation and complexity-free upgrades down the road. Meanwhile, solid composites promise enduring structural integrity worthy of oceanfront properties and desert climates.
Take time to accurately evaluate the outdoor space and forecast how your family will utilise it for years to come before committing. Whether you crave a weekend project or a lifelong investment, composite boards now cater to every preference. Your perfect outdoor oasis starts here.