five different types of composite decking material
Photo: Ted Morrison
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The Importance of Profiles

Composites are made in a range of profiles to make boards lighter, easier to install, or both. The profile you pick determines how your deck will be fastened down, which affects its look (do you want to see screw heads or not?); the installation speed; and how much you'll pay for the fasteners (see slides 19-22).

1. Slotted. Grooves along both sides accept the hidden fasteners specified by the manufacturer. 2.5 pounds per foot. Starting at $4.60 per square foot; latitudesdeck.com

2. Solid. Can be face-fastened or edge-fastened and has two usable sides. 2.5 pounds per foot. Starting at $4.60 per square foot; evergrain.com

3. Open flange. Saves weight without loss of stiffness. Uses only hidden fasteners. 2.2 pounds per foot. Floorizon, $5.90 per square foot; timbertech.com

4. Scalloped. As heavy as a solid board but with only one usable side. Fastens like a solid board. 2.5 pounds per foot. Starting at $4.70 per square foot; choicedek.com

5. Hollow. Stiffer and almost 25 percent lighter than a solid board. End caps stop bugs from nesting inside. Fastens like a solid board. 1.9 pounds per foot. $6.90 per square foot; geodeck.com
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