How to Bend Composite Decking
Most residential decks are square or rectangular, as that is the easiest type of deck to build. But adding curves to your deck can help to make it truly unique. And although bending composite decking can take additional time, skill and money, it is a very popular design feature.
Below are the steps for bending composite decking:
1. Choose the right decking material
Not all composite decking can be bent, so you’ll need to do a bit of research or ask your deck contractor to find the right product. Vinyl boards typically bend better than composites.
2. Take proper measurements
Taking proper measurements is essential in any deck project, but it is especially critical if you intend to bend the material. If your measurements are not correct, you can waste a lot of time and money. When you have your measurements, you will need to multiply them two or three times to account for the number of curves you intend to install.
3. Heat the decking
To bend composite decking boards, you will need to heat the product prior to bending it using a heat gun (you can rent these if you don’t have your own). Use the heat to bend the material, being sure to work only one section at a time. It will take some patience to get the look that you want. Each product has a temperature at which it can be bent. Once the deck board is heating, bending must be done quickly before it cools. Board bending shouldn’t be attempted in extreme temperatures, whether that be cold or hot.
4. Use a support system while the decking cools.
When the decking starts to bend, you will have to create a support system to hold its shape while it cools. This can be done using rebar and plywood. You will also need more hands-on help.
Additional notes about bending composite decking
Adding curves to your deck can give it a unique and elegant look; however, it will also increase the cost of your project. A deck with curves can provide a spectacular and unique look, but be sure to add budget allowances if you are planning this type of deck.