Does Aluminium Decking Scratch Easily?

In recent years, aluminium decking has become increasingly popular as a durable and low-maintenance alternative to traditional wood or composite decking. In the past, there were concerns over whether aluminium decking heats up too much and how companies price aluminium boards. These concerns have now been widely debunked and dismissed.

Today, the most common concern among homeowners and construction professionals considering aluminium decking is its susceptibility to scratching. So we decided to take a look and see whether these concerns are reasonable or overstated.

In this article, we explore the issue of scratch resistance and examine whether or not aluminium decking boards scratch easily.

Aluminium decking – the strengths

Aluminium is a naturally lightweight and strong material that is extremely well suited to outdoor applications. Its inherent strength and resistance to corrosion make it an excellent choice for decking, especially in areas with high moisture or salt exposure. It is also versatile and easily integrated into complex construction projects. Finally, it is non-combustible, making it an excellent choice for balconies and terraces where fire safety regulations dictate the use of such materials.

Aluminium decking boards and scratch resistance

Before we comment on aluminium decking’s scratch resistance, it is important to note that no decking material is entirely scratch-proof. Even the most durable materials will eventually scratch and all have a finite lifespan. We have yet to find or develop a material that will not degrade over time.

Aluminium decking typically consists of an aluminium alloy with a surface coating, such as an anodised or powder coating. These finishes enhance the aesthetic appeal while creating a slip-resistant layer that improves grip and the boards’ overall safety. It is the quality of the coating that determines how easily the boards scratch.

How aluminium decking coatings work

Powder coating is a popular choice for aluminium decking as it results in a durable, smooth, and attractive surface. The powder coating process involves applying a dry powder to the aluminium surface. This coating is then cured under heat to form a hardened layer that coats the aluminium alloy to improve slip resistance and achieve the desired aesthetic finish.

Powder coating is not intended as a protective layer and can be scratched or damaged if not treated appropriately. For instance, by dragging a large ceramic plant pot across the surface, moving furniture without lifting it or walking on the boards with a stone stuck in your shoe. Though powder coatings are not necessarily designed to protect, they are more or less scratch-resistant depending on the coating grade. 

Does aluminium decking scratch easily?

The short answer to this is – No. When covered with a high-grade powder coating, aluminium decking benefits from good scratch resistance.

The quality of a powder coating is measured in several ways. However, the most widely used is the Qualicoat standard. It divides coatings into three grades or classes. Qualicoat Class One coatings offer the least protection, while Qualicoat Class Three coatings provide the most. Class Two is typically twice as durable as Class One.

Typically, RYNO aluminium decking boards benefit from a Class Two powder coating. This ensures it is resistant to fading, chalking, blistering, cracking, marring, corrosion and gloss degradation. It also boasts excellent scratch resistance, even in areas of high foot traffic. Such is our confidence in the quality of our aluminium decking boards and their powder coatings that we anticipate a 60-year design life and offer a 30-year warranty (when used as part of a complete RYNO IGNO system).

Avoiding scratches on aluminium decking

To minimise the risk of scratching on aluminium decking, we advise you to take certain precautions. Using furniture pads or glides under heavy objects, sweeping the deck regularly to remove abrasive items and avoiding harsh cleaning tools or chemicals will help preserve the deck’s appearance and reduce the likelihood of scratches.

Aluminium is a low-maintenance material that does not require large amounts of regular upkeep. However, by taking preventative measures and performing little maintenance work often, you drastically reduce the likelihood of scratching and improve the appearance and longevity of your decking.

RYNO aluminium decking solutions

Aluminium decking may not be scratch-proof. But it is scratch-resistant. This is particularly true of aluminium boards that include a high-grade coating. RYNO aluminium boards are proven to be durable and scratch-resistant, making them the logical choice for any new build or remediation project.

At RYNO, we recommend aluminium decking boards for a wide range of purposes and supply aluminium decking boards that integrate with both our TerraSmart® Aluminium and BalcaSmart® Aluminium systems. They are a strong, versatile, cost-effective and scratch-resistant alternative to composite and wood, but also benefit from being non-combustible. At RYNO, we mark all our non-combustible products with the IGNO certification, so you can be sure the materials you choose comply with current regulations.

If you want to learn more about aluminium decking or speak to a terrace and balcony specialist about your project requirements, do not hesitate to contact the RYNO team at 0203 9673500 or via our digital contact form.

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