Guide to maintenance-free decking. Should you choose composite, kebony or other types?
If you want to build the terrace yourself, you have the option to choose in a sea of different decking – including maintenance-free decking.
The four main options are composite boards, thermotre, kebony and untreated wood of larch, kjernefuru, oak or robinia.
The main reason for choosing one of these press-impregnated wood is the environmental aspect, but some of the alternatives also offer less risk of cracking and have lower requirements for maintenance, says researcher at the Norwegian Wood Technology Institute, Audun Øvrum.
Of these alternatives, it is the composite shelves that have the longest durability and which also require at least care because the color stays out of time.
Dimensions on decking
The dimensions, that is the thickness and width of the floorboards, have a lot to say for how long the patio will be fine.
Thin planks of 21 mm are less dimensionally stable than planks of 28 mm. Having the dimensions also meant when comparing square meters or gauge prices.
– Both Kebony and the heat-treated products available on the market today are so new that we have no documentation of the duration of practical use as a terrace. But we think that, due to its dimensional stability, these are even more durable in terms of developing cracks, compared with pressure impregnated wood and wood grades that can be used untreated, “says Øvrum..
Basically, none of these materials require maintenance beyond normal terraced cleaning. Nevertheless, it may also be advantageous to apply suitable oil once in a while.
– Cracking and flaring is probably the main reason for people to replace the patio floor, and by oil every season, this process will be delayed. In addition, oil treatment will ensure that the wood preserves its original color and does not cry, “he says.
As regards kebony and heat treated wood, producers point out that oil treatment will only have a cosmetic meaning.
What’s it? Planks made of recycled plastic and wood chips. Beachboard, Trex and RCK are well known product names. Available in multiple colors, rifled or with patterns that imitate real wood.
Benefits: Longest durability. Does not tile and does not crack. Good friction, even on wet days. Do not damage earth contact. Changes color to a small extent.
Be aware of: High purchase price. Appears as something artificial compared to solid wood .
Price: From 380 SEK / sq. m (hollow variant) and 600 kr / sqm (massive planks)
Also read: Terrace oil or
Kebony decking table
What is it? Pine or hardwoods impregnated with a liquid extracted from biofuel. In the waste phase, Kebony can be treated as plain untreated wood.
The material contains no poison, and is the only impregnated option that has been awarded the Swan label.
The technology has been developed and patented in Norway.
Benefits: Environmentally friendly alternative with many possibilities for different aesthetic expressions, including close resemblance to tropical woods.
Be aware of: High purchase price.
Maintenance: Needs no treatment beyond normal cleaning. Similar to other treated and untreated wood products, Kebony will also grayish if it is not surface treated afterwards.
Price: From 360 kr / sqm (28 mm Nordic pine) and 560 kr / sqm (22 mm North American pine).
Also read: How to build your own living space to the terrace
What is it: Woods such as larch, oak and robinia, and pine kernelwood contain high levels of natural oils and therefore do not require further treatment to resist raid attacks.
Benefits : Genuine natural materials. Requires little energy in the production phase.
Be aware : High purchase price. Not always available. Some maintenance for maximum duration.
Maintenance: Normal cleaning with water and terraces. Special oil should be used for increased surface protection and extended service life.
Price : Lerk (28 mm) from 340 kr / sqm, oak (22 mm) from 265 kr / sqm.
Also read: How to paint the house’s façade
What is it? Three that have been exposed to temperatures of around 200 degrees to resist cataracts. Examples are swan-labeled Lunawood consisting of pine or spruce.
Heat-treated bamboo is now also available as a decking.
Advantages: Non-toxic, no additives. Genuine natural materials.
Be aware : High purchase price. Certain order item.
Maintenance: Needs no treatment beyond normal cleaning.
Price: Thermogran and thermoask from Moelven respectively. 330 kr / sqm and 950 kr / sqm, bamboo 695 kr / sqm.