A deck for the whole family, kids included, is the dream of many of us. There is a lot that goes into making a deck great for the kids. One thing that all decks have in common is decking.
With this new generation, we have another decking option, composite. But is composite decking a good choice for a kid-friendly deck?
Composite decking is safe for kids being made without toxic chemicals, does not develop splinters or grow mould. Composite decking is also kid-friendly, providing good traction and a high level of water resistance and can be installed without hurtful protruding fasteners.
In this article, you will learn about what composite decking is, how to make it even safer, and why composite decking is safe for kids.
Before I rave about how good composite decking is for kids, let’s talk a little about composite decking.
What is Composite Decking Made From?
Composite decking materials are made from wood pulp and recycled plastic. It uses high-density polyethylene plastic, commonly used in buckets, detergent bottles, and milk jugs. These materials ensure that the deck is resistant to moisture and bugs and allow for more style variation.
The amount of both the wood pulp and recycled plastic will vary greatly depending on which brand you purchase the decking from. These materials make composite decking safe for kids.
Is Composite Decking New?
Composite decking was introduced in the late 1990s. Trex (1996) was one of the first innovators and still dominates the market. To the point that often, people will call all composite decking Trex. When if fact, there are many different brands of composite decking.
The biggest reason for introducing composite decking is maintenance. Composite decking is designed to not require staining and all the other upkeep of a wood deck. Giving you more time to chase your kids around the yard and play hide and seek.
But more recently, Fiberon added a polymer cap to their composite decking. Now almost every manufacturer of composite decking does. The cap improves both the appearance and performance of composite decking.
Meaning the composite you knew as a kid, may not be the composite available for your kids. It is that different from the 1990s decking.
Now we know what composite decking is, how it has changed, let’s get to the business of kids and composite.
In no particular order, here are some reasons to consider composite decking for the kids.
No Protruding Screws or Nails to Cut Your Childs Feet
There are many different types, but with grooved composite decking, you can use hidden fasteners. Removing any chance of a screw head cutting your kid’s feet as they skid across the deck. And yes, they will skid across the deck.
Also less ripped socks. Because if your kids are anything like mine, running outside in their socks is the norm. Out on the deck with hidden fasteners, the socks will not snag and rip.
Composite Decking is Great for Kiddies Pools
Composite decks are a great place to set up a wading pool for the kids to cool off in the sun on those hot days. And the fact that water provides hours of fun.
Setting the pool up on one side of the deck, and you can sun on your lounger on the other end. Now that’s a day at the beach for a young family.
The advantage of a composite deck for a kiddy pool is water-resistant. Unlike wood which can have serious consequences if soaked in water, composite decking is fine with water. Absorbing very little of the water that is splashed all over it.
For more kid-friendly deck ideas, click the link.
Won’t Stain and Easy to Clean Decking
What kid doesn’t enjoy a hotdog or ice cream while soaking up the sun?
I must admit I still enjoy both even when the sun isn’t shining, but more to my point.
Kids will spill ketchup, drop ice cream cones and anything else you put into their hands.
This is where composite decking really excels. With how easy you can wipe it up. A cloth and a little water, and the mess is gone as if it never happened.
Many composite decking companies like Fiberon, Trex and TimberTech will warranty against food stains for a full week. If you spill it and don’t catch it till next weekend. No big deal, wipe it up, and your back to enjoying your deck. Except I must admit, dried-up ketchup will take a little more water to clean off.
The real superhero here is Zuri PVC decking. Not a true composite, but they warranty against staining for a full 30 days. Forget next week. We are talking a full month.
One exception. Sunscreen lotion. You don’t want the kids to burn but apply the suntan lotion in the house or yard. There is something about that UV blocking lotion that can work a number on composite decking.
Doesn’t Composite Decking Get to Hot for Kids?
Well, yes and no. Composite decking does get hot in the sun like all decking material or flat reflective surfaces. Stepping from the grass unto your deck, you will notice an immediate temperature change. Which can make composite decking a poor choice for kids on a hot day.
There are some composite boards that are cooler than others. Another advantage of composite decking is generally it holds less heat compared to wood. Meaning even on a hot day, if you shade the decking, it will not get hot. Designing a deck with a pergola, awning, or privacy wall can dramatically change the temperature of the decking. Or set up an umbrella for the same cooling effect.
Final Thoughts on Child-Friendly Decking
Composite decking is an excellent choice for your family’s deck, from what it is manufactured from to safety and years of enjoyment. When building your deck, consider how it can not only be a space for you to enjoy the outdoors but also your kids. Then the deck will be the favourite place for both you and the kids.