Once your subframe is in place, laying your composite boards is the next natural step. While some principles of installing composite decking and timber remain the same, there are some key elements that you need to follow when wanting to correctly lay composite decking.
The key thing to note when installing composite boards is that the material will expand and contract. Unlike timber that expands and contracts with exposure to moisture, composite deck boards expand mainly as a result of temperature change.
Allowing for this expansion and contraction isn’t rocket-science though and we outline the two key elements you should stick to below:
Laying Composite Boards Using Purpose-Built Fixings
NeoTimber’s range of purpose-built fixings are designed to work in conjunction with our composite decking boards. Designed to allow a secure fixing, the clips create adequate expansion gaps from board-to-board, while providing a discreet finish.
Our purpose-built fixings are comprised of a Starter Clip, two types of FastClips, and a range of colour-coded decking and trim screws:
Starter Clip: Fixing your first run of boards securely and discreetly.
FastClips: Two differing clip types (3mm metal and 6mm plastic) that fix the majority of your decking boards to your frame and allow for adequate spacing between boards.
Decking Screws: Designed to fix your final run of boards. Fixed through either the face of the deck board or the grooved-channel.
Trim Screws: Designed to securely and discreetly fix our range of trim options.
Allowing For Expansion Gaps
Allowing for expansion gaps when laying composite decking is vital. While side-to-side expansion gaps are created with the purpose-built decking clips outlined above, it is important to allow correct expansion gaps at both the butt-ends of the boards and between perimeter boards and any surrounding fixtures – such as walls or fences.
Expansion gaps for boards at butt-joins: Allowing for an expansion gap of between 1-6mm is advised (this gap is dependent on the outside temperature).
Expansion gaps for perimeter boards: Allowing a gap of at least 8mm between the edge of your deck and a solid fixture is advised.
More guidance on expansion rates and the guidelines we recommend can be seen in the pre-installation guide here.