The future has come for your next deck construction project. At Harbor Exports, we carry the industry’s leading composite brands to help you build better, stronger, and more beautiful decks.
Composite decks have come a long way since the ‘80s. Using state-of-the-art engineering and recycled post-consumer content, composite decks now last decades longer than organic marine lumber structures. And with fade-resistant color options, your team can build decks that will stay beautiful for longer, too.
Wood vs. Composite Decking
- Color & Wood Grain. Thanks to advancements in composite technology, modern-day synthetic decking companies feature a wider range of color variations and textures than ever before. Many brands now carry lines with textures and color variations that mimic natural wood grains.
- Durability. Synthetic decking is typically more durable than organic fiber wood. It never splinters, doesn’t scratch easily, and is also incredibly nature resistant—even when exposed to storms and harsh ocean waters.
- Maintenance. Composite does not require staining, sealing, sanding, or pest treatments. Artificial decks are ideal for commercial marinas, outdoor gathering spaces, and other high-traffic areas because they can withstand more wear and tear than natural wood. Just be sure to give composite a good scrub once a year.
- Water & Decay Resistance. 100% PVC or HDPE boards are completely waterproof and will not rot or develop mold like natural wood fibers. Boards made of wood-plastic composite are usually capped with artificial materials to reduce the chance of water penetration and decay.
- Bug & Pest Infestations. Artificial decks are less likely to attract bugs that feed on wood fibers. The strength of the artificial materials within the composite boards also helps them withstand marine borers and other pests that would make decks their home.
- Environmental Friendliness. Many higher-end composite brands use up to 100% recycled materials in their boards. Companies like Trex repurpose artificial materials like recycled plastic bags and plastic film in addition to reclaimed wood to create deck boards that are strong enough to last a lifetime.
Composite Decking Materials
Manufacturers create composite boards from a combination of artificial materials, recycled wood particles, and other additives to provide reinforcement. Some brands use entirely artificial materials to eliminate the opportunity for rot and decay.
Here are some of the most popular composite decking materials used today.
High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is a heat-reflective, waterproof, and incredibly durable material used on its own and as part of a wood-HDPE blend for deck boards. Many manufacturers recycle their HDPE from plastic shopping bags, milk jugs, and other sources of used materials.
Over the years, HDPE technology has evolved to result in stronger, better-looking synthetic decks. HDPE requires no staining or painting and is often designed to resemble the natural color and grain variances of natural lumber. Additionally, HDPE decks require less treatment for cracks and weathering than traditional wooden decks. Lastly, because HDPE-only boards contain one-hundred percent synthetic material, they won’t rot or attract pests.
LOW MAINTENANCE • MOLD, MILDEW & PEST PROOF • MIMICS REAL WOOD APPEARANCE
Capped Composite: HDPE & Natural Fibers
True composite deck boards are made of a combination of recycled natural timbers and HDPE. We stock capped composite, meaning the natural core of each board is surrounded by a protective shell of HDPE plastic. Capping on all sides of each board with artificial materials results in a nearly impenetrable shell against pests.
Despite containing natural fibers, capped composite decks feature many of the same benefits as full synthetics structure—including little-to-no maintenance (no staining or sanding required), an extended lifespan, and a wide range of realistic colors and grains.
RECYCLED PLASTICS & WOOD • REALISTIC WOOD GRAIN • LOW MAINTENANCE
Synthetic boards made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) contain no natural wood fibers, making them completely resistant to rot, decay, pests, and splinters. PVC decks are an incredibly low-maintenance option for a deck as they require no staining, sealing, or sanding.
Our PVC deck boards brands are created with UV inhibitors to resist sun bleaching and color fading. Additionally, 100% PVC boards are also completely impenetrable to liquids and will not absorb ocean water—or drinks spilled above-deck!
LIGHTWEIGHT • LOW MAINTENANCE • WIDE COLOR RANGE