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Bending Decking for Decorative Inlays

The ability to heat-form synthetic boards on site paves the way to designs that can set a deck apart

Although synthetic decking is becoming more and more popular, one of its advantages over wood has not been exploited much: its ability to be heated and shaped into curves. Author Kim Katwijk, a deck installer in Washington state, spent several years trying various methods of heat-forming synthetic decking. None of them worked to his satisfaction until he tried a system from Heatcon. Now he uses this system on both cellular-PVC and composite decking. In this article, he describes the steps he took in order to include a Celtic-knot design in a deck made from PVC: marking the frame, blocking the curves, building the bending jigs, heating and shaping the boards, and prepping the decking for the inlay. In a sidebar, he describes the Heatcon kit that makes this process possible, and he provides a chart that indicates the heat-forming ability of various brands of synthetic decking.

Bending Decking for Decorative Inlays
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