What are the differences between hollow and solid composite decking?

By Galen |

Composite decking is very widely used, and you may have some idea about composite materials. But what are the differences between hollow and solid composite decking for the same composite decking?

Most composite decking manufacturers in the United States produce only solid boards. Is this because solid decking is superior to hollow decking? No, the real reason is that solid decking is simpler to manufacture. As you may already know, COOWIN® offers composite trim boards in both hollow and solid profiles. So how do you choose? Our answer is “it depends on your needs”.

In fact, solid composite decking is easier and faster to extrude than hollow decking. Most WPC manufacturers do not bother to put in the extra effort and time to make hollow panels. Hollow profile decking actually has its own irreplaceable advantages and today we will delve into it.

Solid Composite Decking

What is solid composite decking?

Solid composite decking is made of wood fiber and recycled plastic. It does not have a hollow hole in the middle. Solid composite decking will be stronger and can withstand heavier weights. If you are considering adding heavy-duty outdoor furniture to your deck. You should choose solid composite decking to make your deck more sturdy. You will find two main classifications of solid composite decking. Covered composite decking, and uncovered composite decking.

Uncovered composite decking

composite decking

Uncovered composite decking is usually more affordable. Because of the short manufacturing time and the exposed wood fibers. So uncovered composite decking has a shorter lifespan than covered composite decking. Uncovered composite decking can last about 20 years. And uncovered composite decking is more susceptible to mold, wear and tear, or scratches. So in the long run, uncovered composite decking is less durable. However, uncovered composite decking is relatively cheaper. And like covered composite decking, does not require as much maintenance.

Composite decking with cover

Solid composite decking with a lid is more expensive. But covered composite decking offers more advantages. They are manufactured with a protective layer, which makes them more resistant to stains and damage. Solid composite decking with a cover will not warp, crack or wear easily. And with a life expectancy of 25-30 years, it is a quality choice for high-traffic areas.

It looks more like solid wood.

Because more wood fiber material is added, solid composite decking looks more like natural wood. If you like the grain and look of traditional wood but want your deck to be more durable. The solid composite decking is more suitable for you.

Weighs more

Solid decks are somewhat heavier than hollow decks and may take more time to install and transport. In extreme weather conditions, solid composite decking is more likely to shrink and expand than hollow decking. Another fact you should be aware of is that they are more expensive.

Stronger and more durable.

This solid composite decking requires more materials to be used in the making of the decking, so it will also become stronger and more durable. Solid composite decking will not easily crack, rot or damage the deck. It makes your outdoor space more secure. And solid composite decking can last longer, it can last about 30 years under normal circumstances.

Types of composite decking

Hollow composite decking

What is hollow composite decking?

Hollow composite decking is a newer decking material. It offers a cheaper solution for outdoor spaces while providing you with a rich look and functionality. Compared to solid composite decking, it is more affordable. But like solid composite decking, hollow composite decking doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. It is also very durable and has a much longer life than traditional wood decking.

Hollow composite decking has multiple hollow channels through the center, so less material is used. This manufacturing method reduces costs and is not harmful to the environment. But don’t worry, hollow composite decking is as durable as solid decking. It does not compromise the durability and longevity of the deck.

Lighter weight

Hollow composite decking is also lighter in weight because it is made of less material. Hollow composite decking is easy to install and carry, which means it can save you more time and effort. It can also save you more money on your purchase, so if you don’t have a big budget, choosing hollow composite decking must be a good decision. And since it is lighter in weight, it will also cost less to install than a solid composite decking.

Less shrinkage and expansion

Although solid composite decking is more durable, they are more susceptible to extreme temperature fluctuations. In extreme weather conditions, it can cause fasteners to loosen and warp the board. Hollow-core floors, on the other hand, react more gently to this and can last longer in extreme weather conditions. If you live in an area where extreme humidity and temperature fluctuations are expected, hollow core flooring is the best choice for you.

Introduction composite decking

Affordable and more cost-effective

Hollow flooring is one-fifth cheaper than solid flooring. Because it’s light, it’s easier and faster to install, which means there’s no need to hire a professional, so you can expect to pay less in labor costs.

Wiring is easier

If you prefer outdoor lighting on your deck, hollow decking can be wired more easily.

Hollow decking is less resistant to violent impacts. In high traffic areas, solid trim boards with extreme impact resistance are recommended.

That’s the difference between hollow and solid decking. It’s time for a summary. Solid decking boards are suitable for situations where heavy traffic is expected and high impact resistance is required. On the other hand, when you want more flexibility to upgrade your deck and extreme weather conditions are the norm, hollow decking is the way to go.

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Galen Content Writer
Galen is a content creator and decorator with five years of experience designing home decor. In his daily life, Galen is constantly on the lookout for the latest, great examples of house design and further optimizes his solutions. Additionally, he writes articles related to outdoor design, interior design, and architectural decorating materials to help brands build more engaging relationships with their audiences.

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