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Are Composites Possible To Work In The Same Way As Timber?
The short answer is yes. WPC (Wood Plastic Composite), decking can be used in the same manner as timber, cutting, drilling, and screwing. You won't need to use your nail gun.

Obvious Differences

Polyethylene is the plastic used in many composites. It has a density of 930 kg/m3.
The density of timber, however, can vary from 400 to 1200kg/m3. Therefore, composite sawing would be similar to sawing a more difficult piece of timber. We recommend that saw blades have 60-62 teeth.

You should not install the boards where there is a lot of water. We recommend sealing any cut or exposed ends of the boards around a pool or jetty with a sealant.


Temperature affects the length of the boards. They will shrink by about 1mm per metre. The installation guidelines for Nortwood includes a complete contraction and expansion table. These values must be considered when installing decking. This is why hidden fasteners are so important. They allow for the expansion and contraction of boards.

Fixing - Secret Clip System

Nortwood provides a hidden solution system that hides the clips between boards to give a clean, modern look. The clip is attached to the joist by sliding into the grooved edge.

Nortwood offers two (2) gap spacing options between boards: 5.5mm spacing or Mini-Gap 1mm spacing.
Standard spacing for decks is 5.5mm. For commercial installations, where safety is a concern, the Mini-Gap Clip system works well. The gap is smaller to prevent high heels from becoming lodged in it, as well as preventing leaves and tree nuts from getting stuck between the boards.


There may be variations in the maximum joist spans between brands of composite decking. Make sure to inspect the installation
Before installing the subframe, make sure you have the right number of joists to support the decking.

Composites can be fixed to either a timber frame or a metal frame. This requires special screws for each application - timber fix is for timber joists and the metal fix is for metal joists. You must also use screws specifically designed for composite material.

composite wood -fixing

Finishing boards can be used to "picture frame", or provide a fascia. These boards can be top-fixed as they don't accept a clip system. To match the board's colours, you should use coloured head composite screws for timber or metal fix.
To allow for expansion and contraction, top fixing (or face fixing) is not recommended.

When screwing boards, do not screw closer than 20mm to the edge.

Is it possible to glue composite boards together?

No. EXCEPTION: We recommend an adhesive that moves with the expansion and contraction of decking.
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