Seeking your advice, please.
I have already built a lower profile deck over the concrete (approx 5m x 5m) and was planning to install Merbau in the first place (Please note that this is my first-time DIY deck). However I am having second thoughts of going for Composite material or not (E.g Ekodeck). While there are pros and cons in terms of prices, maintenance etc, my biggest question is whether Composite is easier to install or not. Also, I have seen a few How-to videos in this space and noticed they come up with various brackets and wondering whether they are strong enough compared to screwing Merbau boards in?
Thanks, everyone in advance.
Let me extend a very warm welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community. You've joined a community of many clever and creative members who are sharing helpful advice and inspiring projects on the site every day.
If you search for the term Ekodeck using the search bar above you'll see that members have shared many composite decking projects with the community. You'll also find composite decking projects as part of our Top 10 most popular deck projects on Workshop.
Thank you for sharing your query about composite or natural decking.
Let me answer some of your immediate questions. Composite decking does not need to be stained or painted as it is manufactured in its actual colour. Installing Ekodeck is quite convenient now as they use a few types of quick-fix mounting kits. It is estimated that you save 30% of your time using the quick-fix kit. When installed the kit provides a pre-determined gap and saves you from having to do it manually. There is no need to drill into the Ekodeck as it is manufactured with mounting channels at the side. Ekodeck is a much more stable product and will not cup, twist or warp.
Timber decking is generally cheaper in the initial outlay but needs regular maintenance and repair which costs time and money over the life of the deck. However, composite decking gains this back with its low maintenance features and no need for yearly staining. Saving you time and money.
Here is a handy link to Ekodecks FAQ: Ekodeck
Once you've decided, we would love to see your deck project when you begin.
Over the years I think I've used just about every conceivable material for decking so...
The composite decking that uses a fitting system between the boards is pretty easy to install. Realistically however with the right tools it's not easier or harder than installing hardwood.
My main marks in the 'against' column for composite would be that it gets very, very hot underfoot and I'm not too comfortable with the waste material it produces when sawing etc. Seems to me that instead of generating sawdust it creates what is effectively something that will become micro-plastic waste.
And just a tip... I've found one of these (in the appropriate size for your screws) to be the most awesome decking tool. Just have two drills, one with this bit, the other with your screwdriver bit & you'll whip through it and make it look seriously professional.
Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and insights on decking material. The countersink drill bit you recommended is definitely a time saver as I've used it on many of my own projects.