Wpc Deck Features
Our past tests showed that some synthetic decking didn't make the grade for rigidity, and some tonier wood products look worse for wear. Here are some more decking features and considerations:
Synthetics Resist Sun and Spills
All of the composite, plastic, and aluminum decking we tested kept its original color better than unfinished wood. Many also fended off mustard, wine, and other stains.
Some Decking Is Stiffer and Surer
Wood and aluminum resisted slips best in our wet and dry friction tests. Wood and aluminum were also excellent at resisting bending and sagging. Some plastics and composites came close in those tests, but several flexed or sagged noticeably.
Synthetics Offer a Range of Design Options
Many of the synthetic products are available in colors such as white, gray, and several shades of brown. Surface textures include smooth (like plastic lawn furniture, in some cases), subtle wood grain, ridges, and other decidedly nonwood-like patterns. Some composite planks are flexible enough to be easily curved into patterns or shapes that would be expensive to duplicate in solid wood.
New Fasteners Improve Looks and Ease Installation
Our screw is one brand of special-purpose screw intended for use with plastic and composite decking. It has coarse threads at the tip to bite into the deck's supporting joist and finer threads toward the head to stop the decking material from bulging out.
Invisible fasterners suitable for wood or plastics come in three types: metal clips with sharp prongs that dig into the deck planks and the joist, elliptical wafers that fit into a slot cut into the sides of the planks and are held with a screw driven into the joist, and strips that fasten to the joist and underside of the plank. When all the planks are in place, the fasteners don't show.
Snap-in-place fasteners are easy to install but unique to specific brands. One brand of aluminum decking we tested snaps together, much the way tongue-and-groove flooring does. A vinyl decking product we reviewed snapped in place over metal clips screwed onto the joists.