What is better than stroll out your backdoor with bare feet out on to your deck? Effortlessly transitioning between your house and your backyard all without having to but shoes on. But when the summer heat comes out, will your composite deck burn your feet? Sending you running back into the house, your feet burning from the composite deck.
Composite decking is hot on bare feet in direct sun, but some composite decking boards are cooler on your feet even in the sun.
The temperature of your decking is critical in summer. If the decking is too hot to walk on, you cannot enjoy being outside on your deck in summer, leaving your shoes inside. Destroying the very reason you built your deck in the first place. To enjoy the sun on your deck in the most comfortable way, bare feet and free. Relaxing in the sun,on your deck.
When composite decking was first being released, a common complaint was heat. The composite deck boards quickly heating up in the sun, so much as they were uncomfortable to walk on. Especially with bare feet.
This is no longer the case for most composite decking. Most manufacturers now are making boards better designed to enjoy the summer on. Deck boards that are cooler to the touch, holding less heat than earlier generations of composite decking. But still, selecting the right composite decking boards is key to having a composite deck that can be enjoyed in the summer heat, with bare feet.
But before discussing what to look for in composite decking. Let’s address a general problem with decking. All Decking!
Both Wood and Composite Decking Are Hot in the Sun to Walk On
All decking will be hot to the touch. Steps can be taken to reduce the decking temperature, but it will still be hot to the touch. Meaning that regardless if your decking is wood or composite, it will be hot in the sun.
This is mostly to do with the science of heat and reflection. Decking is a flat surface reflecting the sun’s heat more than cool grass in your yard. Making the decking hotter in the sun than elsewhere in your yard.
A little aside, but the benefit of having grass in your yard. The Lawn Institute research has shown a healthy grass yard has a maximum temperature of 88°F (31 °C), which is considerably cooler than the decking heat in the sun. Which is why, it’s so refreshing to run through lush green grass.
Just another reason to surround your deck with vegetation. Not only grass but flowers and trees. The leaves not only providing shade but will also cool the air around and on your deck.
So, regardless of what decking you choose, you will need to take steps to reduce the heat in the summer. Decks are great for enjoying summer days, but they will get hot. Without additional accessories to reduce the temperature of the deck. For recommended deck comfort and cooling accessories, click here.
But back to selecting the right decking for your summer deck.
Wood and Composite Decking Transfer Heat Differently to Your Feet.
The heat of composite decking is on the surface of the decking. Also, composite decking transfers heat quicker than natural wood decking. Making the initial contact with composite decking feel hotter to the touch than wood decking. As your foot makes contact with the decking, it will instantly feel the heat, but if you remain in place. Standing on the composite decking. Once your foot absorbs the surface heat, it will start to cool below your foot.
The opposite is true with wood decking. Stepping on wood decking will heat your foot slower. I am talking fractions of a second, but as you stand on the wood deck, the heat trapped in the wood will continue to warm your foot. As the heat from the core of the decking continues to heat your foot.
Meaning a wood deck can be hotter than most composite decks. As the wood absorbs and collects more heat than the composite decking. Raising the overall temperature of the deck. This difference in heat retention can be further increases by composite deck board selection.
Cooler Composite Deck Boards To Walk Barefoot On
Not all composite decking is the same, which is excellent for designing and building decks as individual as the people who enjoy them. I love the wide variety of colours and designs of composite deck boards on the market, like an artist blending colour on their palette to draw your eye into their painting. Contrasting colour to emphasize one area of the picture over another.
The same can be done with composite deck boards. The many decking colour options provide limitless deck options. Creating not only an outdoor room to be enjoyed but a work of art to enjoy.
The Colour of Composite Decking Impacts How Hot They are on Your Feet
I have the joy of raising four kids. Each one has had the same experience in elementary school. They come to me all excited about what they have learned. Black is hotter than white. To the extreme that they asserted that they insist that they don’t need on a jacket in the winter because they are wearing a black shirt.
The same is true with composite decking. The darker the colour, the hotter the decking. Lighter the colour, the cooler in the sun. Basic science.
TimberTech Pro Whitewash Cedar™ is an example of a lighter, almost white composite decking, that is cooler in the sun. Being lite in colour, basically white, it’s promises to be a cool deck board. Great for enjoying with bare feet.
But we don’t all want white decking. That’s a little too extreme.
TimberTech is still there for you. They make it easy by highlighting their cooler deck boards. Guiding you to quickly see which deck boards will work best in the sun. TimberTech Azek’s entire Harvest Collection® is labelled as a cooler decking option.
Of their Vintage Collection®, they recommend Coastline®, Weathered Teak® and Cypress® as cooler deck boards. All three are lighter deck boards. Especially when compared to Dark Hickory, its name says it all.
With both the Vintage Collection® and Harvest Collection®, it is not only the colour that is making the difference when walking on but also the material. Made with a PVC core, it heats up less than most composite decking containing wood. PVC decking has lower heat retention. Making the decking cooler under your feet.
PVC decking is not the only cool decking option.
Composite Decking Cooler For Feet by Design
MoistureShield has also designed composite decking that is cooler to walk on. Not only has MoistureShield innovated composite deck boards that will not be damaged by water. The number one destroyer of decking. They also invented CoolDeck® Technology, to make composite decking even more enjoyable.
“Helps create more comfortable outdoor living environments by reducing heat by up to 35%”CoolDeck® Technology
By design, they are cooler than other composite decking of similar colour. Allowing you to enjoy your deck more with bare feet in the summer.
Unfortunately, just like TimberTech and all composite decking, in fact, are still limited to lighter colours. MoistureShield decking with CoolDeck® Technology is currently limited to three colours, Cathedral Stone, Mochaccino and Cold Brew, which are intentionally lighter. Absorbing less heat, decreasing the temperature of the decking.
Beyond which decking you install, you can also make your deck more bare feet friendly by design.
Increased Under Deck Ventilation Reduces How Hot Composite Decking Gets
There are many reasons to ensure that there is proper ventilation under your deck. But for our focus, sufficient ventilation will cool down the decking and deck.
This is more helpful with lower decks, one less than 2′ (0.6m) from the ground. Utilizing the cooling effect of both shade and heat-absorbing ground cover material.
The shade created by the decking naturally makes the air cool under the deck. Proximity to the cool earth or, even better, drain rocks that absorb heat from the midday sun. Creates a cooler space under the deck.
Just the cold air under the deck will help cool the deck boards, with the bottom of the deck boards drawing heating out of the deck boards. Working for both wood and composite decking.
But ventilation can do even more with this cool air.
The deck’s side ventilation helps to push this cool air out from under the deck up through the gaps between the deck boards. Creating a natural air conditioner. With the hot air around the deck squeezing the cool air under the deck. Pushing the cool air out between the deck boards’ gaps, cooling the deck with cool air from under the deck.
Deck Shade Lowering the Temperature of Composite Decking
Of course, the best way to cool decking is with shade. Deck umbrella’s or pergolas are excellent deck cooling options. Remove the burning sun’s glare, and the boards will cool down. Allowing your to enjoy your deck barefoot in the summer heat.
A deck wall casting shade over the decking will also cool the decking while still allowing you to enjoy the sun’s warmth on your skin. The best of both worlds. Getting a tan without sandle’s lines.
Conclusion of Cool Composite Deck Boards To Walk Bare Foot On
I hope this helps you in designing a deck that can be enjoyed all summer long. Regardless of how hot it gets outside, your deck still calling you to come outside. Enjoying the sun, the breeze and everything your deck has to offer, all without shoes.
But if you need more ideas about how to cool down your deck. Here are 15 Ideas to cool down your deck.