Hollow vs. Solid core composite deck boards

Date: 2017-04-01

What are the Pros and Cons with hollow composite deck boards vs. solid core composite deck boards?

Most composite deck board manufacturers in the US offer only solid core boards. The main reason is due to the speed and ease in manufacturing those boards vs. hollow boards. It is much easier and faster to extrude solid composite boards than it is hollow. Most manufacturers don’t want to deal with the difficulty or expend the extra time to manufacture hollow boards.

So why does NewTechWood offer a hollow board?

NewTechWood is one of the only companies in the US that offers a hollow board, and we do so for a couple of reasons. Offering a hollow board cuts down the weight of 16’ board by as much as 32% or 10 pounds when compared to a solid board. This makes them easier to work with and if you’re retrofitting an older deck where the structure is sound and you just want to replace the surface boards, the hollow boards create less stress on that older substructure than do solid boards.

What’s the difference in the strength of the hollow boards compared to the solid boards?

Many people think that because the board is hollow it must be significantly weaker than a solid board. The fact is the arch structure of the voids in NewTechWood’s hollow board makes up for the use of less material in the core. The industry standard for maximum span as set by the International Code Council for the US is 16” on center. That means each joist in the substructure must measure 16” from the center of one joist to the center of the adjacent joist.

Most installation guides for manufacturers of solid boards require a span of 16” on center or less. T he hollow boards offered by NewTechWood are also rated by the ICC at 16” on center. That means NewTechWood’s UltraShield hollow boards will hold your hot tub just the same as the solid boards. NewTechWood also offers solid core boards as well. Those are recommended for stairs and other installations where you don’t want the grooves for hidden fasteners to show, or if you’re not installing a fascia board, and we also recommend them for commercial installations.

What’s the difference is price?

This is perhaps the most attractive reason for using NewTechWood UltraShield hollow boards over solid. Because the board is hollow, less material is used in the manufacturing process. This enables NewTechWood to pass the savings along to the consumer. The cost savings can be huge, as much as 22%.

For example, if you build a 12’ x 16’ deck, you save $363.00 on the cost of materials. That’s a significant amount for you to spend on other priorities for your home.

NewTechWood’s UltraShield hollow or solid boards are a great choice for your new or retrofitted outdoor space.

Contact us today for a free sample.
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