Coming Attractions: Composite Decking Trends for 2018
Here’s a quick look at what’s trending in the composite decking category for 2018.
Clean, Sleek and Simple Finishes
The ‘knotty pine’ look may still be popular inside a rustic camp, cabin or lakeside retreat, but the trend for outdoor living spaces continues to incorporate a much more simple, clean and elegant look. This has been one of the driving forces behind why consumers are choosing composite decking over traditional lumber. Composites not only virtually eliminate the rough appearance caused by cracks, warping and splintering of wood, they also are produced using precision machinery to create an even, uniform surface.
In addition to the smooth, clean look and feel of the composite decking itself, homeowners are also looking to incorporate more modern, flat surface areas into other elements of their outdoor deck design plans. For example, the new DuraLife Rockport Railing system features beautiful, architecturally pleasing clean lines. Rockport™ Railings are also constructed with a hidden aluminum reinforced core and stainless steel mounting hardware to meet both International Building Code (IBC) and International Residential Code (IRC) commercial requirements for structural integrity.
Clear, Unobstructed Views
It seems that consumers have become tired of feeling like a prisoner while relaxing at home on their outdoor deck. Rather than looking through column after column of balusters, increasingly homeowners are choosing to install other types of rail systems that provides a much more open line of sight to the world beyond the deck.
Clear and unobstructed views of your backyard can be created by installing narrower vertical balusters (made from metal, tempered glass or composite material) or by selecting a deck rail system that uses horizontal cable railing instead.
While the precision required to install a cable rail around your composite decking may seem intimidating to some homeowners and decking installers alike, manufacturers continue to develop products to make the process simpler.
A typical 16-post railing installation with 9 cables per section will require over 500 precise points to be drilled in the supporting posts and balusters. The sheer number of holes – and the interrelated consequences of drilling a single hole in the wrong spot – can certainly make any installer sweat. Instead, consider using a cable-ready composite deck rail system, such as the Rockport Railing from DuraLife, that arrives on-site with its holes pre-drilled.
Homeowners may no longer want to be responsible for all of the cleaning, scraping, sanding and staining that comes along with maintaining a wooden deck, but that doesn’t mean they want a bland and boring surface underfoot either.
When they were first introduced years ago, the general look that many composite decking manufacturers were producing were clearly trying to differentiate themselves from traditional wood decking by making their products look nothing like wood whatsoever. While these early innovators certainly accomplished their goal – no one would ever mistake a cream color composite plank for a piece of real wood – most manufacturers have come full circle and are working to make composite decking products that actually look like wood.
Improved manufacturing equipment, along with better materials have allowed composite deck makers such as Duralife to produce eco-friendly composite decking with variegated coloring and a wood grain patterns that mimic the real thing so well, it can be difficult to tell them apart. For example, the DuraLife Hardwood collection is available in four unique colors; Golden Teak, Garapa Grey, Brazilian Cherry and Tropical Walnut.
Custom Deck Lighting
Outdoor living areas are no longer being enjoyed only when the sun is shining. With advances in low-energy lighting, decks are now the perfect spot for relaxing with friends and neighbors, too.
New LED light technology makes it easier than ever before to add light to practically any outdoor living area. Super energy efficient, long lasting and cool to the touch, LED lighting can be integrated directly into decking hardware, such as post caps, railings and stair treads, or added into the landscape as stand-alone devices. Hollow composite and extruded PVC railings and post sleeves provide a perfect conduit system for hiding unsightly electrical wires and connectors.
Many outdoor lighting systems are now available as plug and play systems that require little to no additional wiring. Additionally, solar powered lighting products can provide endless hours of clean, green outdoor use.
This article is made possible by DuraLife. DuraLife’s unique polypropylene and hardwood composite decking materials simply outperform all other wood and composite decking products. More solid and safe under foot, DuraLife decking is backed by a 25-year warranty. It is stain and fade resistant, mold and mildew resistant, and is available in the colors and deck railing options you want. Get Samples, try our Composite Deck & Railing Visualizer, or contact DuraLife now to learn more.