This Might Be the Best Composite Decking—Find Out Why
Learn why one of our editors thinks that NewTechWood should be every contractor's number one choice for composite decking.
A deck is an extension of a home, typically the place for outdoor entertaining and relaxing. Building a deck is an expensive project, so choosing the right decking is obviously very important. But which product should you choose? Real wood is an option. It looks great, but most people don’t appreciate the maintenance required to maintain wood decks.
Low maintenance decks built with composite decking are much more popular these days. It’s much easier to maintain and even easier to mistake for real wood until you get up close. But which product should you choose? There are a bunch of different manufacturers making decking in a bunch of different colors, textures, and material. I’m a huge fan of NewTechWood Ultrashield Naturale, a composite decking that’s been around since early 2004. Let me tell you why this specific brand is my number one choice for decking.
Best capped composite in the industry
NewTechWood is a composite decking that is fully capped in a layer of proprietary blended plastics. This cap is what protects the board from moisture, UV rays, and staining. Very few other manufacturers fully wrap the entire board. Most products are wrapped just on the top and sides, leaving the rest of the board exposed to the elements. Some products are only wrapped halfway down the side, and some manufacturers even cut the fastening grooves on the side of the boards right through the capped layer.
Deck colors and grain
NewTechWood decking comes in six colors that range from dark to light.
- Peruvian Teak Brazilian IPE
- Spanish walnut
- Hawaiian Charcoal
- Westminister gray
- Roman Antique
Another great aspect of the engineering design of this decking is the grain. There are two different styles of grain: One side of the board has a natural varied wood grain, and the other side has a straight grain. The natural looking colors and realistic grains were two of the main reasons I chose the product.
Best deck hidden fastener system
Have you ever been on a deck that has massive spacing on the deck boards? They are not comfortable to walk on in bare feet, dangerous to walk on in high heels, and if you drop something like a phone between the boards on a ground level deck you might as well kiss it goodbye. A lot of decking manufacturers require large gaps because of their fastening system, but not NewTechWood. They have designed a system with stainless steel clips that allows an amazingly narrow 3/64-inch gap.
Also, NewTechWood recommends using their fasteners with teeth (above) to hold the center of the board in place. The rest of the board is then secured with standard fasteners, which allow the board to move, on either end. That way, when the board expands or contracts (like all deck boards do) it will expand in both directions, keeping the gaps consistent on each end.
Hidden deck fasteners on the border
Like other manufacturers, NewTechWood offers hollow decking. They also offer solid boards called the Columbus Series that are usually used for the borders (in case the end grain is exposed). The Columbus Series has one distinct advantage over other boarder boards. There is a grooved notch on the underside of the board for keeping the fastening point concealed, so there is no need for any fasteners to be visible anywhere on the whole deck. Many other deck systems incorporate hidden fasteners, but not on the boarder boards, so you end up with visible fasteners all along the borders.
Long deck board lengths
Seams are ugly, so when it comes to deck boards the longer the better . NewTechWood deck boards can be ordered in various lengths starting at 8 feet, all the way up to 20 feet. Building a deck with 20-foot boards will guarantee few seams if any all.
NewTechWood prices vary depending on where you live, but in our area it can be bought at Home Depot or your local lumber supply for $5 to $5.50 per square foot. Comparable products typically start a $10 per square foot.
So, if you’re looking for an affordable, high quality decking product, check out NewTechWood Ultrashield. They also makes products for:
- Deck tiles
- Planter kits
Next, check out this story on deck fasteners.