Looking for decking that is low maintenance and environmentally friendly? Are there other alternatives to wood decking or wood base composites like Trex? You may have come across a decking option, rick husk composite decking. Yes, decking made from rice husks instead of wood!
Well, that’s something new.
What Is Rice Hulls Based Composite Decking Made Off?
Rice hull composite decking is made of rice hulls fibre and plastic. The plastic is recycled high-density polyethylene (HDPE), which provides the low maintenance characteristics of composite decking.
The use of rice husk is a key environmental feature of Rice hull composite decking. Every year the rice industry produces 100 million tons of “waste” while growing and processing food that feeds millions. At the same time, giving us amazing food to enjoy.
But all this rice produces hulls, or husks, that surround and protect the rice grain on the plant. But become waste when stripped during the harvesting and refining process. In the past, this waste was incinerated.
But through recent advancements in building technology, this waste has been turned into a valuable building product for your backyard.
The rice hulls are grinded down to a fine, dust-like powder and then mixing that powder with plastic binding them together. The end result is a putty-like substance that can be shaped into usable products like low-maintenance decking.
Which Companies Make Rice Hull Composite Decking?
One of the rice hull composite market pioneers was Resysta, who introduced the wood substitute back in 2014. Recently, more companies have developed rice hull composites, increasing availability and decreasing price.
Companies that make rice-based composite decking are.
- Modern Mill
- TruNorth Deck
These are just a few brands that offer rice-based composite decking with its many advantages.
The Advantages of Rice Hull Composite Decking
Rice hull composites have their advantages, over and above the obvious ecological and sustainable benefits.
Rice Hull is Resistance to Water
This is a natural strength of rice hulls you may have observed when looking over photos of the Rice Paddies in the East, dreaming of a day you can afford to holiday there. Rice is grown in water. Meaning the rice is naturally resistant to being damaged by water.
This hydrophobic property is still part of the rice hulls after being ground into fibres and turn it into planks Resulting in decking that hardly absorbs any moisture.
TrueNorth rice hull composite decking swells less than 0.08%. Now that is a good thing.
Rice Hull Don’t Grow Mould or Mildew (Rot)
Perhaps a by-product of its natural water resistance, rice hull composites are not prone to rotting.
Rice hulls contain silica, an enemy of mould and mildew. Naturally reducing the risk of rot.
Resulting in a longer-lasting decking.
Decking that will not grow mould or fungi which weakens the decking and increases how slippery the decking is.
If fact, DuxxBak is one of the highest-rated composite decking for slip resistance when wet. Letting you enjoy your deck safely, even around pools and other water sources.
Rice Hull Composites Handle Like Wood
When I say that rice composite “handles” like wood. Working with rice hull composite decking is no different than working with wood. You can use all the same tools in your garage that you use for wood to install rice-based composite decking.
No having to buy a specialized mitre saw blade to cut the boards to length. Or drill bits. If it works for wood, it will work with the composite decking.
Rice Hull Composite is Lighter Than Wood-Based Composites.
Composite decking varies in weight, both rice and wood-based.
But many wood-based composites, including Trex and Fiberon, weigh more than 2lbs a lineal foot. Not Duxxbak rice composite decking. It weighs less, 1.8 lbs a foot, to be exact. Making moving your decking around during construction that much easier.
The Disadvantages of Rice Hull Composite Decking
Although rice hull composite has a lengthy list of pros, it also has a few cons that you need to be aware of before jumping in.
Cost of Rice Hull Composite Decking
The composite decking brand will affect the price, but all quality composite decking will cost more than pressure-treated decking. This includes rice-based composite decking. Expect to pay 2 to 3 times more.
Unnatural Decking Appearance
It’s not wood. It’s not even wood-based. So don’t expect it to look like wood because it won’t. Rice based-composites are no different. Even TruNorth, one of the better-looking rice composites, is still noticeably a composite.
Unlike wood, composite decking has limited structural value. In fact, most will say none. Meaning that ends must be supported by blocking. This adds to construction time and costs.
These cons are shared with most composite decking. Rice hulls are no exception.
Rice Hull Composite Vs. Wood Composite Decking
Water, the greatest enemy of your deck, is minimized with composite decking, but rice hulls go one step further in protecting your decking.
Unlike wood which can absorb water and will grow mould and mildew, rice does not. Making rice hull composite better than wood composite decking.
Better in its level of durability.
Composite decking has come a long way in protecting its core from water with capping. But replacing the wood fibres with rice hulls reduces the potential for failure. Because rice husks naturally are not damaged by water.
Rice hull or rice husk composite decking is made by processing the rice hulls after a harvest into a paste-like substance and moulding it into boards. These boards can be formed into different patterns and finishes.
In addition, rice hulls are naturally water-resistant, making the boards equally resistant to absorbing water.
Rice hull decking also has improved UV and rot resistance.
However, keep in mind. that not all rice-based composite decking is the same. It will help to do your research to find the right brand and board for your deck.
You can start by checking out our reviews of composite decking. Click the link.