One element often overlooked when creating the perfect outdoor space is the choice of composite deck boards. Composite decks have surged in popularity, offering a durable and low-maintenance alternative to traditional wood.

But what makes a composite deck truly stand out? The answer lies in the intricate details of its profiles and sizes, which play a crucial role in your outdoor space’s overall look, feel, and functionality.

What is composite decking

composite decking

Composite deck boards are a remarkable innovation in the world of outdoor living. They are crafted from a blend of recycled wood fibers, plastics, and various additives, expertly combined to harness the strengths of each component. This unique concoction yields a material that boasts the visual appeal of wood without its downsides.

Traditional wood decking, while attractive, often falls victim to the relentless forces of nature, including moisture, insects, and decay.

Composite decking, on the other hand, is designed to weather the elements with ease. Its superior durability means that, when installed properly, it can last for decades, requiring minimal maintenance.

Click to learn: What is Composite Decking? Pros, Cons, and Installation Process

The importance of deck contour and dimensions

The importance of deck board profiles and sizes is multifaceted. It affects the aesthetic appeal of your deck, its functional capabilities, and the ease of installation and maintenance.

  • Aesthetic Considerations: Decking profiles and sizes significantly influence the overall appearance of your outdoor space. They dictate how light and shadows interact with the surface, which can enhance or diminish visual appeal. A deck with the right profile might offer a different aesthetic effect, potentially detracting from the charm of your backyard retreat.
  • Functional Implications: Beyond aesthetics, deck profiles, and sizes can profoundly impact the functionality of your deck. For instance, the choice between a solid or hollow profile can affect how your deck handles weight, expansion, and contraction.

These factors may impact its ability to support heavy outdoor furniture, a hot tub, or even a large gathering of friends and family.

  • Impact on Installation and Maintenance: The ease of installation and long-term maintenance can make or break your decking project. Profiles and sizes determine how boards fit together, the substructure requirements, and the fastening methods you’ll use. Choosing the wrong profile or size could lead to unnecessary installation challenges and maintenance headaches.

Common composite deck profiles

The profiles of composite deck boards define their visual appeal, functionality, and installation requirements. There are three main profile types: solid, hollow, and embossed or grooved.

Solid Decking Profiles

composite decking

Solid profiles are exactly what they sound like – solid throughout. They resemble traditional wood planks and are often chosen for their classic aesthetic.

Solid profiles are consistent in thickness and density from edge to edge. These boards offer strong surfaces that can handle heavy weights, making them perfect for busy areas and bulky outdoor furniture.

Pros and Cons of Solid Profiles


  • Classic appearance, similar to traditional wood.
  • Excellent load-bearing capacity.
  • Reduced flexing and bouncing.
  • Sturdy for heavy outdoor furniture and accessories.


  • Heavier and more challenging to install.
  • Greater material usage and cost.
  • It may have reduced thermal expansion/contraction tolerance in extreme weather.

Hollow Decking Profiles

Hollow profiles are characterized by a hollow core, resulting in a lightweight and cost-effective choice. They have a hollow, cylindrical shape inside, which reduces their weight while maintaining strength. They are often more cost-effective due to less material usage.

Pros and Cons of Hollow Profiles


  • Lightweight and easy to handle.
  • Cost-effective due to less material.
  • Efficient thermal expansion/contraction tolerance.
  • Easy to install and may require fewer substructure materials.


  • Potential for reduced load-bearing capacity.
  • Hallow sound underfoot may be less appealing.
  • Reduced stability for heavy furniture and high-traffic areas.
  • Embossed or Grooved Decking Profiles: Embossed or grooved profiles offer a blend of visual appeal and enhanced functionality. These boards have textured surfaces with grooves or embossments for practical and aesthetic purposes.
  • Enhancing Slip Resistance: Embossed or grooved profiles improve slip resistance, making them a preferred choice around pools or in regions with frequent rain. The texture creates additional traction, reducing the likelihood of accidents.
  • Aesthetic Considerations: The embossed or grooved patterns serve a functional purpose and add dimension and style to your deck. They can replicate the look of natural wood grain or offer unique patterns that enhance the visual appeal of your outdoor space.

Know deck dimensions

Choosing the right size of deck boards is a pivotal decision that can impact the aesthetics and structural integrity of your outdoor deck.

Thickness Considerations

The thickness of your deck boards has a substantial influence on how they perform and how they look.

  • Impact on Durability: Thicker deck boards often translate to increased durability. They can better withstand heavy loads and harsh weather conditions. Thicker boards are also less prone to flexing and warping.
  • Visual Aesthetics: The thickness of your deck boards can affect the overall visual appeal of your deck. Thicker boards can have a more substantial, solid appearance, while thinner boards have a sleeker, more modern look. Your choice should align with your design preferences and the overall theme of your outdoor space.

Width Variations

Deck board width is another dimension to consider. It can significantly influence the visual aesthetics of your deck.

  • Standard Widths: Most composite deck boards come in standard widths, typically ranging from 5.5 to 7.25 inches. These widths offer a balanced look and accommodate various design styles.
  • Customization Options: Some composite manufacturers offer custom width options, thereby allowing you to create a unique and tailored appearance for your deck. Custom widths can be particularly useful when you have specific design goals or want to create a distinctive pattern.

Length Options

The length of your deck boards impacts the efficiency of installation and the overall appearance of your deck.

  • Standard Lengths: Most composite deck boards come in standard lengths, such as 12 or 16 feet. These lengths are designed to minimize waste during installation and ensure that boards align neatly without excessive cutting.
  • Considerations for Longer or Shorter Boards: If your deck design calls for longer or shorter boards, it’s essential to carefully plan and account for any additional framing or substructure support required. Longer boards provide a seamless look, while shorter boards are necessary to accommodate unique design elements.

Choose the right shape and size

composite decking

Choosing the right profile and size for your composite deck boards is a crucial decision that greatly affects how much you’ll enjoy your outdoor space.

Factors Influencing Profile Choice

Choosing the right profile depends on several key factors:

  • Intended Use of the Deck: Consider how you plan to use your deck. Will it primarily serve as a gathering place for family and friends? Or do you intend to install a hot tub or outdoor kitchen that requires substantial weight-bearing capacity? Solid profiles may be better for high-traffic areas and heavier loads, while hollow profiles can work well in less demanding applications.
  • Design Preferences: Your design preferences and the aesthetic you wish to achieve should also guide your profile choice. Solid profiles may be your preferred option if you desire the classic look of traditional wood. Conversely, hollow profiles might be the way to go if you want a modern, lightweight feel.
  • Budget Considerations: Your budget plays an important role in the profile selection process. Hollow profiles are generally more cost-effective due to reduced material usage, making them an attractive choice if you’re looking to minimize expenses.

However, your budget should also account for other factors like installation and maintenance costs.

Factors Influencing Size Choice

The choice of deck board size is equally important and depends on several key factors:

  • Structural Considerations: The structural integrity of your deck is a top priority. The size of your deck boards should align with the load-bearing requirements of your project. Thicker boards provide increased stability and support for heavy loads, while thinner boards may be sufficient for less demanding applications.
  • Aesthetic Preferences: Consider the visual impact you want your deck to have. Wider boards can create a more substantial and classic look, while narrower boards may offer a sleeker, modern appearance. Customization options allow you to precisely tailor your deck’s appearance to match your aesthetic preferences.

Installation Precautions

 A well-thought-out installation plan is crucial for the success of your composite deck. Profiles and sizes influence various aspects of the installation process. Installing composite deck boards involves several key steps:

  • Substructure Requirements: Your deck’s substructure plays a critical role in its longevity and performance. Ensure that the framing, joists, and supports are built to accommodate your chosen deck boards’ specific profile and size. Solid profiles typically require more support due to weight, while hollow profiles may be more forgiving.
  • Fastening Methods: Selecting the appropriate fastening method is essential to secure your deck boards. Different profiles may require specific fastening approaches. Consult the manufacturer’s guidelines to determine the most suitable method for your chosen boards.

Installation Tips for Specific Profiles

Each profile type has its installation considerations:

  • Solid Profiles: When installing solid profiles, ensuring that your substructure can support the added weight is crucial. Secure the boards in place using manufacturer-recommended fasteners and spacing. Adequate ventilation is also essential to prevent moisture buildup.
  • Hollow Profiles: Hollow profiles are lightweight and easy to handle. They often require less support, making them suitable for various substructures. However, ensure the framing and supports are spaced according to manufacturer guidelines. Be cautious when securing fasteners, as over-tightening can cause deformation of the hollow core.
  • Embossed or Grooved Profiles: Take advantage of the textured surface for added slip resistance for embossed or grooved profiles. Ensure that the grooves run in a direction that minimizes water buildup, especially for outdoor decks exposed to the elements.

Click to learn more about our articles: How Composite Decking is Installed

Maintenance tips

composite decking

Composite deck boards are celebrated for low maintenance requirements, but that doesn’t mean they’re entirely maintenance-free. Proper care ensures your deck remains beautiful and functional for years.

  • Cleaning Procedures : Regular cleaning is the primary maintenance task for composite decks. Follow these steps to keep your deck looking pristine:
  • Recommended Cleaning Agents: Use a mild soap or specialized composite deck cleaner, warm water, and a soft-bristle brush or broom. Don’t use rough cleaning tools or strong chemicals because they can harm the surface.
  • Frequency of Cleaning: How often you clean your deck depends on your local climate and your deck’s unique conditions. A thorough cleaning once or twice a year should suffice. However, more frequent cleaning may be necessary in areas with heavy rain, high humidity, or surrounded by trees.
  • Repairing Damaged Boards: Despite your best efforts, accidents can still occur. If your deck boards become scratched, stained, or damaged, follow these steps for repair:
  • Filling Cracks and Scratches: Small scratches and cracks can often be repaired with a composite repair kit. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to fill and blend the damaged area for a seamless look.
  • Addressing Structural Damage: In cases of severe structural damage, consult a professional for an assessment. Replacing a damaged board may be necessary, but the overall integrity of your deck should be the priority. Regular care and quick fixes keep your composite deck boards looking good and working well in the long run.

If you have anything else you don’t understand, please feel free to consult us at EVODEK. We have professional staff to answer your questions.


The world of composite deck board profiles and sizes is a vibrant landscape of innovation and choice. Your deck isn’t just an outdoor platform; it expresses your style and is a testament to modern durability.

Solid, hollow, or grooved profiles offer many options to suit your unique needs, while different sizes cater to structural robustness and aesthetics.As you navigate this exciting realm, remember to let your lifestyle, taste, and budget steer the ship.

With easy maintenance and ever-evolving designs, the future promises sustainable, beautiful decks as impressive as they are enduring. So, embark on your decking journey confidently and enjoy the great outdoors at your doorstep.

Related reading: How to Clean Composite Decking?