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Types of Composite Decking – Composition and Applications

As a long-lasting, low-maintenance substitute for conventional wood decking, composite decking has experienced tremendous growth recently. Composite decking has emerged as a top option for homeowners looking for a long-lasting outdoor decking solution due to its remarkable durability, resilience to the elements, and aesthetic appeal.

The several kinds of composite decking that are offered on the market, such as solid composite decking, hollow composite decking, and capped composite decking, will be covered in detail in this article. We will also look at the best uses for every type of composite decking.

There are two main types of composite garden decking available today: The second generation is often referred to as co-extruded decking or capped composite decking, and the first generation is known as wood plastic composite decking (WPC). The fact that WPC is considered “first generation” should not deter you; it is a fantastic product that has advanced significantly over time.

Note: 1st generation and 2nd generation both are available in solid and hollow.


The materials that make up Wood Plastic Composite Decking have been carefully matched. About 60% of it is recycled wood powder, 30% is recycled plastic, and 10% is made up of stabilizers and anti-UV chemicals. Large hoppers are used to carefully mix these ingredients together to produce a homogeneous mixture. The finished mixture is then extruded to create the composite decking boards, guaranteeing a reliable and long-lasting end product.

1. Solid Composite Decking

Composite Decking

Solid composite decking is crafted from a solid piece of composite material (wood and plastic) throughout its entire thickness. This type of decking offers substantial strength and durability, making it an ideal choice for high-traffic areas and heavy-use applications. Solid boards are less prone to flexing or sagging, ensuring a sturdy and stable deck surface. They are available in a wide range of colours, textures, and finishes, offering homeowners ample options to match their aesthetic preferences.

Advantages of Solid Composite Decking

  • Enhanced durability and resistance to wear and tear
  • Reduced flexing and sagging, providing a stable deck surface
  • Wide variety of colors and finishes to choose from
  • Low maintenance, requiring no staining or sealing
  • Resistant to rot, insects, and fading


Solid composite decking is well-suited for a wide range of applications, particularly in areas with high foot traffic and heavy-use requirements. Here are some ideal uses for solid composite decking:

  • Residential Decks: Solid composite decking provides a stable and durable surface for residential decks, making it perfect for entertaining, barbecues, and outdoor relaxation.
  • Commercial Settings: High-traffic areas such as hotels, restaurants, and public spaces benefit from the durability and strength of solid composite decking, which can withstand heavy use.

2. Hollow Composite Decking

Composite Decking

Hollow composite decking features a hollow core, which reduces the weight of the boards while maintaining structural integrity. The hollow design also allows for better ventilation and drainage, making it suitable for areas where moisture accumulation is a concern. Hollow boards are generally more cost-effective than solid boards and are easier to handle during installation due to their lighter weight. However, they may be more prone to flexing or sagging over time, especially in areas with heavy foot traffic.

Advantages of Hollow Composite Decking

  • Lightweight and easy to handle during installation
  • Better ventilation and drainage capabilities
  • Cost-effective option for decking projects
  • Low maintenance and resistant to rot and insects
  • Wide range of colors and finishes available


Hollow composite decking offers unique advantages and is ideal for specific applications. Consider the following scenarios where hollow composite decking is a suitable choice:

  • Residential Decking: Hollow composite decking is a great option for homeowners who prioritize cost-effectiveness without compromising on quality and aesthetics. It is especially suitable for residential decks with average foot traffic.
  • Lighter Load-Bearing Projects: If you are constructing a smaller deck or a platform that won’t be subject to heavy loads, such as elevated walkways or pool surrounds, hollow composite decking can be a practical and cost-effective solution.

3. Capped Composite Decking (Co-Extruded decking)

Capped composite decking is a type of composite decking that features an additional protective cap applied to the surface of the boards. This cap, usually made of PVC, provides enhanced protection against stains, scratches, fading, and moisture absorption. Capped decking offers superior durability and requires minimal maintenance, making it an excellent choice for homeowners looking for long-lasting, low-maintenance decking solutions.

Advantages of Capped Composite Decking

  • Superior resistance to stains, scratches, and fading
  • Reduced maintenance requirements compared to traditional wood decking
  • Enhanced protection against moisture absorption and mold growth
  • Longevity and durability, preserving the deck’s appearance over time
  • Wide range of colours, textures, and styles available


Capped composite decking, with its enhanced protection and longevity, is an excellent choice for areas requiring maximum durability and low maintenance. Here are some recommended applications for capped composite decking:

  • High-Exposure Areas: Capped composite decking’s resistance to fading, staining, and moisture absorption makes it ideal for decks exposed to intense sunlight, harsh weather conditions, and constant moisture.
  • Pool Decks: With its superior resistance to moisture and mold growth, capped composite decking is an excellent choice for pool decks, providing a safe, slip-resistant surface around the pool area.
  • Coastal Regions: Capped composite decking’s ability to withstand saltwater, humidity, and coastal climates makes it a preferred option for homeowners living in coastal regions.

Composite decking offers a range of benefits over traditional wood decking, such as low maintenance, durability, and resistance to rot, insects, and fading. Understanding the different types of composite decking available can help homeowners make an informed decision based on their specific needs and preferences. Whether you opt for solid composite decking, hollow composite decking, or capped composite decking, you can enjoy a beautiful, long-lasting outdoor living space that requires minimal upkeep, allowing you to relax and enjoy your deck for years to come.

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  1. Thanks for the article. I was planning to install WPC in my front garden.