Is Composite Decking Hot for Your Feet? Tips for a Cool Summer Deck

When summer rolls around, and you’re eager to spend those long days outdoors on your deck, the last thing you want is to scorch your feet on hot decking. You may wonder if composite decking hot as traditional wood decks or patios. In this article, we’ll address this concern and provide you with essential tips to keep your deck cool even on the hottest days.

Composite Decking Hot

Is Composite Decking Hot to Walk On?

composite decking hot for bare feet

In the past, composite decking, especially older generations installed before 2009, could become uncomfortably hot to walk on. However, recent advancements in composite decking materials have made them much less sensitive to heat. Yet, even modern composite decking can become too hot under certain conditions. The speed at which this happens depends on factors like the weather and the individual’s tolerance for heat.

Generally, you should have no problem walking on composite decking with shoes or socks. However, if you prefer going barefoot, be cautious as some people find it uncomfortable between 110°F and 115°F. This caution is especially important if you have small children or sensitive feet.

Understanding Heat Transfer

Here’s an interesting fact: heat transfers more quickly between your feet and composite decking compared to wood. When you step onto composite decking, it may initially feel much hotter than wood. However, if you stand in one spot, your feet will gradually absorb the heat, and the deck surface will begin to cool.

In contrast, wood decking retains heat longer. The longer you stay in one spot on a wooden deck on a hot day, the warmer it becomes underfoot.

Is Composite Safe for Pets?

It’s not just our feet we should be concerned about; we should also consider our furry friends’ paws. Surfaces above 120°F can be very uncomfortable for pets, and temperatures exceeding 130°F can lead to burns, permanent damage, and scarring.

Before allowing your dog to walk on your deck, check its temperature by placing the back of your hand on the surface for at least 7 seconds. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s also too hot for your pup’s paws. Consider placing a blanket or bed on your deck to give your dog a comfortable spot to relax if the surface gets too hot.

How to Keep Composite Decking Cool

During the scorching summer months, you have several options to keep your composite deck cool:

Choose a Lighter Shade: Opt for lighter shades like grey or brown for your composite decking. Lighter colors don’t retain as much heat as darker ones.

Install a Pergola: Adding a wood, vinyl, fiberglass, or aluminum pergola to your deck provides shelter and shade. You can also hang a shade cloth or climbing vines to further cool the area.

Use Awnings & Umbrellas: Retractable umbrellas and awnings offer mobility and shade, allowing you to move them as needed to keep your deck comfortable.

Strategic Deck Placement: If you’re still in the planning stages, consider building your deck in an area that receives mid-day shade from trees or buildings.

composite decking hot

Composite decking, like wood and other patio materials, can become hot in the scorching summer sun. While lightly-stained wood and some pavers may be slightly cooler, the key factor influencing your deck’s heat is the color you choose. Considering the many advantages of composite over other decking materials, a minor difference in heat is a small price to pay for a beautiful, low-maintenance deck that enhances your outdoor living space. Enjoy your summer on your deck with confidence, knowing you can keep it cool with the right precaution

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