A History of Composite Decking

Here at Lewdeck, we’re obviously big fans of composite decking. We’re a family business and for us to put our name to it, we’ve really got to be 100 per cent behind a product. But what exactly is composite decking? Well, buckle up for a brief history of this cost effective and snazzy looking product.

Ah the 90s.  Home of Toy Story, The X-Files and Friday nights down Blockbusters. Whilst most people were out getting a ‘Rachel’ hairdo or convincing their sibling not to join a grunge band, the  clever folk at Mobil Oil were busy figuring out how to make decking out of plastic waste and wood scraps, creating a composite that wouldn’t rot, splinter, or require some form of maintenance every other weekend.

In the early days, the future looked pretty rosy for builders, home-owners and composite decking merchants as they now had access to a environmentally sustainable product (most of the plastic in composite decking is made of plastic that couldn’t be recycled in any other way) which didn’t need staining, needed the bare minimum of attention, and wouldn’t fade during the UK’s tumultuous weather.

Unfortunately, as with most revolutionary new products, there were a few teething products to begin with.  The first composite decking boards weren’t as sturdy as the wooden ones they were trying to replace and the wood filling often weathered and become unsightly in a matter of years, not decades as had been promised. Usually these new plastic affairs came in at a pretty sky-high price. That coupled with the fact it was pretty difficult to actually fix the decking boards securely meant it was back to the drawing board for the engineers.

Roll on the Noughties, with widespread panic about a bug that spelled damnation for humanity (but which ended up just causing a few lightbulbs to flicker in Japan), the birth of the smartphone, and the collapse of the global economy. As the world stumbling through the opening chapter of the 21st century, composite decking was taking great strides forward. Thanks to the introduction of PVC, the boards were now tougher, stronger and held their colour and shape like never before. There was also a new screw that was specially adapted for composite decks which meant they now fitted together like a dream with no chance of snags, warping or coming loose..

Although the last decade has probably seen one of your favourite artists pass away (RIP Bowie), the going has been good for the composite decking industry. Manufacturers are constantly working to evolve composite decking towards its Omega point and today’s boards are unparalleled when it comes to weatherability, colour hold and resistance to decay. Fitters feel comfortable to offer extended warranties on their new decks and an explosion in popularity has meant that there’s a wider range of options than  before, all at evermore affordable prices. There’s never been a better time to buy.

Why not pop by and have a informal chat with us? We can let you know all there is to know about our products and more importantly, what’s best for you.