What is Composite Decking made of? 

While timber porches and decks have always looked beautiful, over time builders, architects and homeowners have become increasingly frustrated with the amount of maintenance required to keep them looking pristine. Timber decking requires regular sanding, staining and treating to keep it strong, solid and attractive while also protecting it as much as possible from the elements. Without this maintenance, timber quickly deteriorates and can warp, rot, split and crack, making the deck surface unpleasant – and in some cases dangerous – to use.

Plastic decking boards solved many of these problems and were a much more practical choice but had one main drawback – they looked like plastic, which was no match aesthetically for beautiful natural timber.

And so composite decking was born. Combining the benefits of both wood and plastic, the attractive, durable and low-maintenance material is perfect for creating beautiful, long-lasting deck boards. So how is it made?

Timber & Plastic

Our composite decking is made by mixing wood and plastic along with colour additives and bonding agents. Designed to offer better longevity than timber while looking more natural than plastic, the wood and plastic combine to make a stronger, denser, heavier, lower-maintenance material than wood, while emulating it’s naturally pleasing finish.

Dino Decking composite deck boards contain a mix of 55% recycled wood and 40% recycled HDPE plastic along with 5% additives which include colour, bonding agent etc.

Wood fibres come from recycled Poplar chippings, and are sourced from a range of timber businesses such as furniture makers, floorboard factories and sawmills. A variety of particle sizes are available – composite decking can be made from fine wood powder particles up to larger sawdust and wood chips.

We use HDPE plastic in our composite deck boards. This can often come from recycled packaging – used and discarded milk containers, food cartons and detergent bottles are melted down and mixed with the wood particles to create a strong composite.

Some decking boards, known as ‘capped’ decking, have an extra protective layer wrapped around the outside. This additional layer is a polymer sleeve which creates a thin waterproof shell around each deck board to increase stain resistance, durability and longevity. Dino Decking’s capped composite decking features a Dino Shield™ polymer sleeve, which is the thickest protective layer in the UK.

An eco-friendly and sustainable material, the composite used to make our decking boards uses recycled wood products which reduces the amount of timber required and places less demand on forests. The HDPE plastic used is also recycled, saving the used and discarded plastic waste from going into landfill.

Manufacturing Process

The recycled wood fibres, recycled plastic, colour and bonding agents are combined and are then put through either extrusion or compression processes

Extruded composite decking boards are made when the composite mix is heated until the plastic melts and then the mixture is forced through an opening which forms the size and shape of the decking board. When the material cools the shape is maintained, resulting in a composite decking board.

Compressed composite decking boards are made by combining the same raw materials in a shaped mould, and the mix is heated under pressure to take on that shape when cool.

The result in both cases is a finished decking board in the required shape, size and colour. Manufacturers use advanced techniques to create a choice of finishes and can make attractive ridges, textures or wood patterns on both sides of each board.

Strength & Beauty

Combining the strength and durability of plastic with the natural beauty of wood, composite decking is the ideal material for building long-lasting, environmentally friendly, low maintenance decks to enhance your outdoor space.