The pros of composite board decking

Summer is the perfect time to start using your deck again. In Northern VA, we are already experiencing summer like temperatures leading to an evening spent on the deck reading or sipping a cool cocktail.

Decks are great places to spend time and socialize but can be a pain to take care of. Wood rot, re-staining, and splinters are just a few of the headaches that come with owning a deck.

There is another option.

What is it?

Composite board is a modern material, wood alternative for decks that was created in the 1990s. It doesn’t rot or splinter. It is tough and doesn’t need staining to protect it from the elements.

Composite boards are made up of waste products: sawdust, milk jugs, shopping bags. It used to come only in gray, but now there are an array of colors to choose from.

Equal parts of wood fiber and plastic are mixed with pigments, ultraviolet inhibitors, and borate preservatives, then usually heated and extruded. The texture, if any, is embossed onto the warm surface before it cools.

Various Profiles

There are a lot of different composite board profiles to choose from:

  • Slotted – grooves on the sides with hidden fasteners
  • Solid – has two usable sides and can be fastened on the face or the edge
  • Open flange – hidden fasteners
  • Scalloped – heavy, one sided that fastens like a solid board
  • Hollow – stiff, light that fastens like a solid board


There are a lot of positives to replacing wood deck boards with composite boards.

  • Low Maintenance – The maintenance for composite boards is much less than for traditional wood boards. At a minimum, just washing it once a year.
  • Long Lasting – Unlike wood, composite board is not going to get infected by termites, attract rot, or get warped. Because of this, it will last much longer. Additionally, there is minimal fading. It will turn a little lighter at first because of the sun, but then will not fade anymore.
  • Environmentally friendly – Composite board is made up of either wood (ground up wood) or plastic (milk jugs and shopping bags) waste.

Tune in next month for a blog on composite board installation and additional maintenance. In the meantime, call Color Expressions Painting today for a consultation on making this practical home upgrade!