The Ultimate Composite Decking Quiz


By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

The backyard deck you built several years ago was finished with wood decking. It's time to upgrade your deck and you're thinking that the new composite decking might be a better choice than wood. Take our quiz to see whether you have your composite decking facts straight.

If you construct a deck out of wood. what is the lest attractive feature of the finished product?

No matter which type of wooden decking you decide to use it will require regular care and maintenance. You should plan on sanding, staining and resealing your wooden deck surface every one to three years.


What is a revolutionary innovation in options available to install a decking surface?

Composite decking has become the most popular alternative to real wood decking. Consumers are offered a large selection of options when choosing composite decking.


Composite decking is typically made from:

Composite decking is typically manufactured with lumber byproducts and plastic formed to look like wood. Many composite decking products are earth friendly, because they use byproducts that were historically wasted.


How is composite material formed into a board-shaped length suitable for decking application?

Manufacturers mix the wood and plastic components with preservatives and pigments before heating it. After heating the mixture, it is formed into the proper shape and texture before cooling.


What is a distinctive character of composite decking compared to all-wood decking?

Composite decking typically weighs more than wood, but wood decking is stronger structurally.


What is the main reason that composite decking is more popular than wood?

Composite decking is low maintenance, requiring little care or attention over its serviceable lifetime. When properly installed you can expect a long and easy-care life from your decking.


Does composite decking require any regular care?

According to, composite decking can stain easily, so you have to make sure to clean up any spills as quickly as possible. You will need to hose composite decking down twice a year with a soap and water scrub.


In 2007, what manufacturer of composite decking had their decking recalled because it was breaking even when properly installed?

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall of composite decking manufactured by Kandant Composites Inc. because the product was breaking under normal use. The CPSC recommended that consumers check for visible cracks or whether the surface could be easily scratched with a fingernail.


How many types of composite decking are currently available on the U.S. market?

There are only two types of composite decking available on the U.S. market. Solid decking and hollow decking are the two types that may be found in a building supplier’s store.


What is the easiest way to tell the difference between solid and hollow composite decking once it has been installed?

Solid composite decking looks much more like real wood than equivalent hollow decking does. Solid composites are more popular because of their superior strength.


Is there a difference in the all weather performance of hollow composites when compared to solid composites?

Solid composite decking will expand and contract more with temperature changes due to its greater mass. Installation recommendations take this characteristic of solid composites into consideration by allowing more spacing for expansion.


What is important regardless to which type of composite decking you choose?

According to Forest Products Journal, even though composite decking combines wood and cellulose fibers with plastic, it must still be treated with preservative and fungicides during manufacture. When left untreated even composite decking will rot.


Some composite decking has wood content as high as:

Most composite decking products contain at least 40 percent wood fibers so it is important that the wood be processed with preservatives. Some composites are up to 70 percent.


What is a long-lasting wood preservative that is commonly used with composite decking?

A chemical compound called zinc borate is commonly used as a wood preservative in production of composite decking. Zinc borate is also popular as a fire retardant and smoke depressant used in a wide range of plastics.


How long can zinc borate remain active in composite decking?

Zinc borate can remain active for more than 20 years when used in the manufacture of composite decking. That is why zinc oxide is the wood preservative of choice by many composite producers.


How many types of composite decking material are there?

There are three types of composite decking materials in use today in the USA. The three types are polyethylene-based, polypropylene-based and non-wood plastics.


How can you be sure that the composite decking you are planning to purchase meets building code requirements?

Many products are labeled appropriately, but you can always double check by going to the Web site for a list of approved decking materials.


How do installation costs of composite decking compare to traditional wood decking?

Composite decking installation costs are about equal to the cost of installing wood decking. Both surfaces are applied to traditional pressure-treated wood framing.


If you are renovating an older deck that employed wooden decking, is there any special consideration?

Composite decking is weaker than wood so it will require more support underneath. You will have to reposition some joists so that you can add more joists to properly support the composite decking.


What is one final caution to anyone that is planning to install composite decking?

Any handy person can usually install composite decking by themselves. Nevertheless, be careful to follow the manufacturer’s directions to the letter to insure that you do not void warranty coverage.


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