Composite Decking Information
What is it made of?
Fiberon composite decking is engineered from recycled domestic Maple wood by-product recovered from flooring and furniture combine with recycled plastic. There is no toxic preservatives used at all in preventing rot, split or greying for the composite decking boards. Fiberon is also naturally resistant to all species of wood eating insects like termites.
Unlike PVC, the plastic consists of High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) providing superior physical and mechanical properties. Maple provides superior workability and dimensional stability and contains minimal tannin and minimal lignin, which reduce extractive bleeding stains. The high percentage of Polyethylene limits the dimensional variations of the wood. Fiberon’s composite material is more expensive than wood, but offers a higher quality product overall.
Cost of composite material compared to timber
Solid core composite decking prices are slightly more expensive than hard wood but it is a more stable, durable and safe material that requires minimal maintenance especially for outdoor application like decking. No painting is ever needed, saving cost of staining oil and labour time. Cost of treatment oil can range from £20 to £40 per 5 ltr depending on type and you would need to do this regularly for a wooden deck, typically around once a year. Added to this are many other benefits that are not possible with timber.
Is there environmental concern?
Fiberon diverts over 33,800 tons of used wood and plastics from landfills and incinerators each year. 98.5% of all material waste is recovered from the manufacturing process. Closed loop water cooling systems prevent excessive usage of water.
Tougher & Stronger
HDPE has higher tensile strength for denser, more durable products that withstand higher temperatures better than lighter weith LDPE. The HDPE encapsulates the wood to resist harsh weather, warping, splintering and decay.
Safe for home & environment
Fiberon composite is free of urea formaldehyde. No toxic chemicals are used during manufacture.
More crucially, the deck surface is safer when wet because of its high slip resistance compared to timber which can be dangerously slippery when it is wet. This benefit can be physically seen or tested to see the difference but SEAC commissioned a slip test to be done in the UK (BS7976-2 by Grip Potential UK), this is in addition to the one already done in the US. To see details, click for report here.
As Fiberon composite decking does not split nor splinter, it also makes it safe for bare feet and hands. You will also not have a punctured rubber tub if you drag it on this surface!#
Composite vs Timber
The most important benefits are:-
- No staining ever needed, deck looks good all year through.
- No split or splinter, making it totally safe for bare feet and for using rubber tubs on it.
- Not dangerously slippery when wet, making it safe to step out after the snow or rain.
- Hidden Fasteners can be used.
- Does not rot, comes with warranty of uo to 25 years.
Solid core vs hollow core board
Fiberon only makes solid core boards because there have been known problems with hollow core composite boards that are in the market. Commonly known problems are pest infestation or water trapping in the hollow core when the fascia or end caps of the boards fall off. Fiberon’s solid core boards have been in the market (in particular USA) for many years now and there has not been any complaint of problems. The boards are extruded with or without grooves to the sides
Ease of Installation & Smooth Finish
The boards with grooves to the sides enable Hidden Fasteners to be used whereas the square edge board uses screws or nails to hold them to the joist in the supporting structure. The square edge boards are also can also be used as fascias to the edges or sides of the deck. All of Fiberon boards have same appearance on both sides except the ProTect, Terranova Xtreme and Terranova, which offer a grooved look on the other side. Two identical faces minimise unusable boards and reduce waste by up to 15%.
Variation of style, colours & specs
Composite material can be tailored to any requirement in particular surface appearance (style), variety of colours and cap/skin or non-cap/skin (specification) as shown in images below. Fiberon offers a variety of these in different range with the highest end being the capped products (Horizon & ProTect) which comes 25-yr warranty on stain and fade resistance. Please click here to see full comparison of ranges.
View our guide which includes a feature comparison of all our decking.