Blog

How to Cut Composite Decking

You have questions about cutting composite decking, so our experts are answering. Learn how to cut MoistureShield® SolidCore™ composite decking and get one step closer to a deck that defies ordinary.

Can composite decking be cut?

Yes, you can cut most composite decking just like wood — no special tools required.  Please check the manufacture’s recommendations before starting your project.

Do you need a special saw blade to cut composite decking?

Circular saws and miter saws are the best tools for cutting composite decking. The best blades to cut MoistureShield decking products are:

  • Low tooth count Carbide-tipped saw blade for smooth cuts
    • 20 tooth count for 6” size
    • 24 tooth count for 7.25” size
    • 40 tooth count for 12” size

Keep in mind that a fine blade will slow down the cutting process. In addition to cutting tools, you will also need:

  • Tape measure
  • A pencil or blue chalk reel. (Red chalk is not advised as it can stain the boards.)
  • Eye and ear protection

Do you need to sand composite decking?

No, sanding composite decking could cause damage and void the warranty. MoistureShield’s built-in protection stands up against weather and wear. Our Elevate and Vision series feature a protective polymer cap to resist fading and staining. The Vantage series has an uncapped composite board, allowing you to cut, rip, or route without damaging its integrity.

How long does it take to cut composite decking?

The time it takes to cut composite decking will vary based on the complexity of your deck design. For reference, installing deck boards on a pre-framed rectangular substructure (size 12’ x 16’ with 16’ grooved boards) using a hidden fastener system takes approximately 4 to 5 hours. This time estimate does not include installing the substructure or any railing, stairs, or built-ins.

What additional supplies will I need and how much will they cost?

Composite decking supply prices will vary, but you can expect a range of between $1,610 – $2,810. To estimate costs with better accuracy of your composite decking project, use our budget calculator.

Low Range:

DESC QTY PRICE EA TOTAL
Composite Deck Boards 30 $45 per board $1,350
Hidden Fasteners 4 boxes of 50 SF $65 per box $260
TOTAL   $1,610

High Range:

DESC QTY PRICE EA TOTAL
Composite Deck Boards 30 $85 per board $2,550
Hidden Fasteners 4 boxes of 50 SF $65 per box $260
TOTAL     $2,810

The estimated installation range is for materials purchased through a home improvement store and assumes you do not need to purchase power tools or common hand-held tools. This does not include cost for the substructure or any railing, stairs or built-ins.

Can composite decking be cut to size?

Yes, composite decking can be cut to size easily. Follow these steps or use our installation guide.

Step 1: Prep

Store your deck boards before installing:

  • Cover to ensure boards stay clean and free of debris, as well as protected from uneven weathering.
  • Store in flat bundles for ease of handling.

Step 2: Edge

Use the speed square and pencil (or chalk reel) to mark and cut 1/8” off one end of your board to ensure a clean, square edge. You do not need to seal the edge. See step 4 for cutting instructions.

Step 3: Measure

Measure the board length needed based on your substructure.

Step 4: Cut

Use the speed square and pencil (or chalk reel) to transfer your measurement and cut the board to length:

  • Line up the saw blade on the side of your mark away from the piece you plan to keep.
  • Ensure hands are away from the blade — use any safety equipment provided by the saw manufacturer.
  • Pull the blade carefully through MoistureShield’s composite material with a smooth gesture.

Step 5: Install

Install the boards with hidden fasteners following the directions provided with the fastener system. Repeat to fill the deck space. Now it’s time to let your client (or yourself) enjoy a deck that inspires life.

These directions assume the installed boards overhang the frame edge and need one long finished cut. A do-it-yourselfer will likely need to hire a professional to achieve this. We advise cutting each board to length and installing it.

Do you need to hire a professional?

Cutting and installing composite decking — or any type of decking — will likely be easier for professionals than do-it-yourselfers. If you’re not a professional installer, we highly recommend hiring a professional contractor because they offer many benefits, including:

  • Expertise in designing a beautiful deck to fit your space and lifestyle.
  • Add elements like decorative curves & patterns, built-in seating, railing, stairs, etc.
  • Secures permits to meet local requirements, like building codes. 
  • Completes the project faster because of the experience and tools to work efficiently.
  • Gets the best pricing because of access to materials through multiple suppliers.

You can find one of our licensed MoistureShield contractors to help with your composite deck installation here.

The Solid Core Difference™

MoistureShield is the only wood composite board that you can install in the ground, on the ground and underwater. Every board is equipped with proprietary Solid Core — a barrier that prevents rot, insects and other harm.

Is just the thought of walking on a deck on a hot summer’s day burning your feet? Get even more comfort with CoolDeck, a technology that reduces heat transfer from the board by up to 35% compared to conventional capped composites in similar colors.

Plus, MoistureShield is made from 95% recycled content and is backed by an industry-leading 50-year transferrable warranty. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance, environmentally-friendly solution, you’ve found it. Now, start cutting. Find where to buy MoistureShield products at a local retailer near you.