Does Composite Decking Get Hot?

January 2024
Anton White

Does composite decking get hot? That's the burning question on everyone's mind when it comes to choosing the right material for their dream deck. At Ovaeda, we've put this query to the test, combining our years of expertise with thorough research to give you the answers you're looking for.

Yes, composite decking can warm up under the sun, but there's more to it than a simple yes or no. As you read on, you'll discover the factors that affect decking temperature and how you can enjoy a cooler deck experience, even on those sizzling summer days.

What this article covers:

Does Composite Decking Get Hot in the Sun?

Yes, composite decking can get hot in the sun. This is a common concern for many when choosing decking materials, but it's not a straightforward yes or no situation. There are a few factors that might affect this.

Let's dive in.

How Hot Does Composite Decking Get?

Based on our experience and various tests, we've noticed that in warm, sunny climates, composite decking can indeed become significantly hotter than the outdoor air temperature.

For example, on a day when temperatures soar to 32 degrees, the surface of a composite deck might feel even hotter underfoot (sometimes up to 2 to 24 degrees hotter in sunny climates).

However, it's important to remember that this isn't solely about the decking material itself. Factors such as the colour of the decking and its exposure to direct sunlight play crucial roles in determining just how hot the decking will get.

Why Does Composite Decking Get Hot?

Decking Colour

The colour of your decking plays a significant role in how hot it gets. Darker colours are known to absorb more heat compared to their lighter counterparts.

This is similar to wearing a black T-shirt on a sunny day, where you feel much warmer than if you were wearing a white one.

In the context of decking, a dark brown deck will absorb more solar energy and heat up more than a light grey or beige one. According to our research, this difference in heat absorption can lead to a noticeable temperature variation underfoot, especially during the peak hours of sunlight.

Sunlight Exposure

The amount of direct sunlight your deck is exposed to directly impacts its temperature. Decks that are in full sun for most of the day will naturally absorb more heat.

The intensity and duration of the sun's rays play a crucial role in heating the surface of your deck. This heat might also cause composite decking expansion. Decks with partial shade or those that receive intermittent sunlight will be cooler compared to those under constant exposure to direct sunlight.

composite decking heat resistant

Sunlight can have an impact on more than just the heat of your deck. Be sure to check out our guide on: does composite decking fade in the sun?

Decking Type

The specific type of composite decking material also affects how hot your deck will get. Modern composite materials are engineered to be more heat-resistant than older versions.

These high-quality composites are designed with advanced technologies that reflect more sunlight and dissipate heat more efficiently, resulting in a cooler surface.

This is a stark contrast to traditional wooden decks, which tend to absorb and retain heat, making them hotter under similar conditions.

The composition of these modern composites often includes materials that are less heat conductive, ensuring a more comfortable experience even on the hottest days.

How to Reduce Composite Decking Heat

Choose Lighter Colours

Selecting lighter shades for your composite decking is a key step in reducing heat absorption. Light grey composite decking, tans, or soft wood tones are excellent choices as they reflect more sunlight rather than absorb it.

This reflection helps in keeping the deck surface cooler, especially during the peak sunny hours. Lighter colours not only contribute to a cooler deck but also blend well with various outdoor themes, offering both aesthetic appeal and functional benefits.

Add Shade

Incorporating shade structures such as pergolas, awnings, or large umbrellas can significantly reduce the temperature of your decking. These structures provide relief from direct sunlight, thereby reducing the amount of heat your deck absorbs and helping you avoid any composite decking warping.

does composite decking get hot in the sun

A pergola with climbing plants, for instance, not only adds a natural, green touch to your outdoor space but also creates a cooler area underneath. Retractable awnings offer flexibility, allowing you to enjoy both sunny and shaded areas as per your preference.

Ensure Proper Ventilation

Proper ventilation is crucial, particularly for decks that are close to the ground. Ensuring that there is adequate airflow around and under your decking can prevent heat from becoming trapped, which in turn helps in reducing the overall temperature of the deck.

This can be achieved by designing the deck with sufficient gaps between the boards and ensuring unobstructed air movement around the perimeter.

Use Cooling Accessories

Incorporating cooling accessories like outdoor fans or misting systems can also help in reducing the heat on your composite deck.

Outdoor fans create a breeze that aids in dissipating heat, while misting systems provide a cooling mist that lowers the temperature of the surrounding area. If you're using a misting system, you might be wondering - is composite decking slippery when wet? The short answer is no, especially when using non slip composite decking.

These accessories can be particularly effective during gatherings or when spending extended periods on your deck.

Choose Heat-Resistant Deck Accessories

When furnishing your deck, opt for heat-resistant accessories and furniture. Materials like metal, certain woods, or outdoor fabrics designed for heat resistance do not absorb as much heat, making them more comfortable to use even on hot days.

Light-coloured patio umbrellas, outdoor rugs, and cushions can also contribute to reducing the surface temperature of the deck while adding a touch of style and comfort to your outdoor living area.

is composite decking hot in the sun


While composite decking does get hot, especially in direct sunlight and if darker colours are used, it's not a deal-breaker. By choosing lighter colours, adding shade, and ensuring proper ventilation, you can significantly reduce the heat of your composite deck.

Remember, all decking materials will heat up in the sun, but with the right choices and a bit of planning, your composite deck can be a comfortable, enjoyable extension of your home throughout the summer.

So, are you ready to build your dream composite decking with Ovaeda? Let's make it happen!

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