(9) Qualities of the Best Grill Mats For Composite Decking

A gas grill sitting on a low-maintenance composite deck. A match made in heaven, or pretty close.

A deck that doesn’t require hours of maintenance, allowing more time to enjoy grilling on your deck. The only problem is grease and sauce dripping from the barbeque down onto your deck.

Raising the question, what can you put under a grill to protect composite decking?

A grill mat made from PVC will protect the composite decking from grease without damaging the decking. Avoid grill mats with rubber backing because they can cause the decking to become discoloured.

If you are busy and just need a solution for under your grill to protect your composite decking. I recommend these two grill mats for composite decking, plus an excellent one for wood decks.

Cuisinart CGMT-300 Premium Deck and Patio Grill Mat, 65” X 36

GrillTex 8D-075-36C-5.3 Under Grill Deck and Patio Mat, Black, 36″ x 63″

If you have five minutes to make a more informed decision.

Learn what makes a grill mat the best for composite decking.

(9) Qualities of the Best Grill Mats For Composite Decking

1. Weatherproof

Your deck is outdoors, requiring your decking to be designed for the elements.

Rain and Sun, 24/7.

A deck grill mat needs to do the same. Just like composite decking, it shouldn’t absorb water, causing mould issues. Or even rot on a wood deck.

Also, just like water and sun can damage the decking, the same can happen to the mat sitting under your grill.

Buy something that will last more than a year under your grill.

2. Slip Proof

There is no need for the grill to be rolling all over your deck or, worse, slipping and breaking a leg while your steaks burn on the grill. Just like you look for traction on your deckingOpens in a new tab.. The same is true for the mat in front of your barbeque. You want something that will keep the barbeque in its place while keeping you firmly on your feet.

No slipping, just grilling.

3. Heat-Resistant

This is not critical with gas or propane barbeques as they are designed to send the heat up towards the grill and burgers, not down to the decking. Still, you are cooking with fire. Best have something that will not melt.

Most composite decking is similar to Trex, which can withstand heatOpens in a new tab. up to 176° Fahrenheit (80°C). But a grill mat is about added protection.

Why not increase the decking protection from heat?

A heat-resistant grill mat does exactly that. Protect the composite decking from the heat of the grill.

4. Prevents Grease from Getting on the Composite Decking

This is critical. If the mat doesn’t prevent grease from getting onto the deck, it’s only decoration. A barbeque sitting on a matte black mat does look good but is largely pointless.

You can either place an absorbent mat under your grill or a non-porous.

An absorbent works like a sponge soaking up all that drips from the grill. 

A non-porous mat works like a tray, collecting the grease.

I prefer non-porous because it is easier to clean and will not soak up water when it rains.

5. Easy To Clean

The easier to clean, the better.

A dirty grill mat should not add hours to your to-do list. The easier to clean, the better.

The best is one that can simply be sprayed down. Being cleaned the same way you clean your composite decking. A few minutes with the power washer on low, and you’re done.

If you are a regular griller, a cloth and dawn should be all you need to clean the grill pad. A quick wipe after sharing a meal with family or friends. Grease gone, and you are back to relaxing in the sun.

6. Correct Size for the Barbeque.

Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini” may be fun, but not grill pads.

You want a grill mat that is large enough to fit under the grill with a bit of room to spare. An extra few inches past to catch excess grease or splatter is great. That way, the deck will be protected. Or grease splattering off the edges or running onto the decking.

7. Durability

Durability is a critical factor when it comes to the usefulness and lifespan of a grill mat.

A top-quality grill mat will withstand high temperatures without becoming damaged or degraded, ensuring consistent performance.

This durability also makes it cost-effective, as frequent replacements are unnecessary. Saving you money by not needing to replace the matt every barbeque season.

8. Grill Mat Warranty

You didn’t buy decking without a warranty. Why a grill mat?

Warranties are not always about how much you will get back if they fail.

But an assurance that the company stands behind their product. Ensuring you will be able to enjoy grilling on your deck for years to come.

9. Non-Rubber Based Grill Mat Safe For Composite

I should have mentioned this first, but saving the best for last. I can’t remember how many composite decking companiesOpens in a new tab. require this.

“Avoid the use of rubber-backed mats, … on the deck for any extended”

TimberTech AzekOpens in a new tab.

This is pretty standard with composite decking care and maintenance manuals.

“grill mats with a rubber, vinyl or latex backing can mark your deck. The marks can be removed; however, we recommend using high-quality polypropylene … to avoid the problem.”

FiberonOpens in a new tab.

And one more just to prove the point.

“Use caution when using rubber-backed mats (i.e. welcome mats, etc.) as these may contain substances that can sometimes discolor or lighten the decking surface.”

TrexOpens in a new tab.

Rubber mats make great grill mats, except not for composite decking. Composite decking will keep its beauty through almost anything you throw at it. Except for rubber mats.

Avoid Rubber Grill Mat like the Plague.

That way, regardless of where you use your barbeque, it will not leave an ugly mark behind.

Did you really protect your decking if it becomes discoloured from the grill mat?

Now that we know what we are looking for, which mats are the best for composite decking?

Best Mats for Under Grills on Composite Decking.

What I love about Cuisinart CGMT-300Opens in a new tab. Premium Deck and Patio Grill Mat

Compatible with composite decking. Also made from PVC, making it safe for composite decking.

Easy to Clean. Same as your decking, spray down with a hose, rinse and enjoy.

Definitely an excellent economical option to protect your composite deck. Not the cheapest but a good price for what it does.

What I love about GrillTex protective matOpens in a new tab.

Easy to Clean. Next to protecting the deck, easy to clean, is important. Which GrillTex is.A little wipe with a paper towel or spray down with the hose, and it’s looking brand new.

This easily could have been my number pick if it was compatible with composite decking. But it does not seem to be the case. I have seen and heard too many times of damaged composite decking after using the GrillTex mat on composite decking. Yes, some of it is because of using a mat too soon. If you let the decking “age” for a summer before using a grill mat, it will reduce the chance of being damaged, but not enough for me to recommend.

If you have a wood deck, this one is great. It has great value and protection, and it looks good with its curved front corners. Or if you never plan to move your grill from its spot on the deck.

But still a great grill pad, just not for composite or PVC decking. I wish I could say differently.

One Last Tip for Grill Mats on Composite Decking

If you are like me, you want to set it and forget it. Find the ideal spot for your barbequeOpens in a new tab. on your deck and never move it again. But this is not a good idea with a composite deck.

Composite decking fades.

Yes, I know all the quality ones are guaranteed not to fade beyond 5 Delta E, but it still fades. If you leave the deck mat for an extended period in one spot on the deck. As the rest of the decking fades slightly in the sunOpens in a new tab., the area under the pad will not. Then, when you finally move the grill, it will leave a mark.

Just like how the carpet under your couch is so darker than the rest of the room.

It will only be slight but still noticeable.

Moving the mat and grill around will allow the decking to fade equally. Keeping the decking colour consistent.

Another solution is to wait a few months or one season.

Most of the fading will happen in the first few months. After that, leaving the mat in one location will not be nearly as noticeable.

Ryan Nickel

A Red Seal carpenter, passionate about building decks to be enjoyed.

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