Composite Decking Review: NewTechWood
Josh is a huge fan of NewTechWood composite decking for a whole lot of reasons. Let him explain why.
A deck is an extension of your home used for entertaining and relaxing, and building a deck is an expensive project, so choosing the right product is important. But which product? Real wood is an option. It looks great, but most folks don’t appreciate the maintenance required to maintain wood decks. Low maintenance decks are most popular these days. And these days, it’s easy to mistake composite decking for real wood. But again, which product to choose? There are a bunch of different manufacturers making decking in a bunch of different colors, textures, and material. I’m a huge fan of NewTechWood Ultrashield Naturale, a composite decking that’s been around since early 2004. Let me tell you why I chose to install it on my own deck. Plus: Check out some of our best tips for building a deck yourself.
Best capped composite in the industry
NewTechWood is a composite decking that is fully capped in a layer of proprietary blended plastics. This cap is what protects the board from moisture, UV rays, and staining. Very few other manufacturers fully wrap the entire board. Most products are wrapped just on the top and sides, leaving the rest of the board exposed to the elements. Some products are only wrapped halfway down the side, and some manufacturers cut the fastening grooves on the side of the boards right through the capped layer.
Deck colors and grain
NewTechWood decking comes in six colors ranging from dark to light.
- Peruvian Teak Brazilian IPE
- Spanish walnut
- Hawaiian Charcoal
- Westminister gray
- Roman Antique
Another great engineering design of this decking is the grain. There are two different styles of grain: One side of the board has a natural varied wood grain, and the other side has a straight grain. Natural looking colors and realistic grains were two of the main reasons I chose the product. My wife was much more impressed with the NewTechWood samples than most of the others she looked at. And I’ll take a win with the wife whenever I can get one. Plus: Check out tips for working with composites here.
Best deck hidden fastener system EVER!
Have you ever been on a deck that has massive spacing on the deck boards? They are not comfortable walk on in bare feet, dangerous to walk on in high heels, and if you drop something between the boards on a ground level deck you might as well kiss it goodbye. A lot of manufactures require large gaps because of their fastening system, not NewTechWood. They have designed a system with their stainless steel clips that allows an amazingly narrow 3/64-in. gap. I have not come across clips that result in a gap that small.
Also, NewTechWood recommends using their fasteners with teeth (above) to hold the middle of the board in place. The rest of the board is then secured with standard fasteners, which allow the board to move, on either end. That way, when the board expands or contracts, like all deck boards do, it will expand in both directions keeping the gaps consistent on each end.
Hidden deck fasteners on the border
Like other manufacturers, NewTechWood offers hollow decking, which makes sense because less material = less money. The also offer solid board called the Columbus Series, which are usually used for the borders in case the end grain is exposed. The Columbus Series has one distinct advantage over other boarder boards, they have grooved notch on the underside of the board for keeping the fastening point concealed, so there is no need for any fasteners to be visible anywhere on the whole deck. Many other deck systems incorporate hidden fasteners, but the boarder boards on most of these systems require to be fastened through the face of the board, so you end up with visible fasteners all along the borders.
Long deck board lengths
Seams are ugly, so when it comes to deck board,s the longer the better . NewTechWood deck boards can be ordered in various lengths starting at 8 feet, all the way up to 20 feet. Building a deck with 20-ft. boards will guarantee few seams if any all. Next, check out our favorite modern deck building tips and shortcuts.
NewTechWood prices vary depending on where you live, but in our area it can be bought at Home Depot or your local lumber supply for $5 to $5.50 per square foot. Comparable products typically start a $10 per square foot.
So, if you’re looking for an affordable, high quality decking product, it would be silly not to check out NewTechWood Ultrashield. (NewTechWood.com) Thye also makes products for:
- Deck tiles
- Planter kits
Next check out this story on deck fasteners.