there is a few arguments that composite decking sellers use to create the false impression that you should better chose composite decking over wood decking. In short these arguments are:

1) cheaper, better price decking - FALSE

2) now maintenance - FALSE

3) 100% eco friendly because you can recycle it – FALSE

 

1) Brazilian ipe hardwood decking comes in the United States as low as $1,90 per linear foot. also include the lifespan of the decking into the equation: ipe decking lasts from 40 and up to 100 years while composite decking most is guaranteed for 10 years. While installation costs is 50% of your total decking costs, it is easy to conclude the ipe decking is much cheaper then any composite decking.

 

2) Composite Decking Manufacturers stopped using “Maintenance Free” when describing their products early on after law suits. Nowadays they refer to it as “Low Maintenance”. The maintenance of the composite decking is very simple; you cannot refinish a composite deck; you simply replace it. 5 years from now, your composite deck will look like a 5 year old composite deck, with scratches and stains. Instead, in the worst-case scenario, your ipe decking can be sanded over and over and a brand new deck appears.

 

3) To the contrary to what those composite decking companies want you to believe, a composite deck is not environmentally friendly. They like to say that you can recycle the plastic. This is the theory, in reality when their deck eventually breaks down or needs to be replaced, they simply throw it in a landfill. The environmental impact of throwing out that much plastic is clearly damaging. And, when you consider that, given how many problems composite decks have, you can imagine just how many composite deck boards are being tossed into landfills all across the country. When buried in a landfill, composite decking may very well last forever. They say a plastic shopping bag will last 1000 years underground, I bet the composite decking will also do just as well.

 

If you want some further reading, please visit www.roquevalente.com/composite_decking.htm

 

Below some further pictures of examples of why it is better NOT to buy composite decking

This page is Sponsored by Exterior Decking supplying the UK with "Millboard Decking"...

"Its not plastic, its Millboard..."

Tags: WPC, composite, deck, decking, eco, friendlyness, hard, ipe, maintenance, millboard, More…plastic, price, wood

Views: 28652

Attachments:

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Oh dear Roque

I do feel that you have got the wrong idea about this Network. It is a Timber and Composite Decking Network and not "the world must bow down to Roque and his superior knowledge"

Your images do nothing to corroberate any testimony to back up your argument, two of the images look like a pile of what could be anything and the other does look like the rotten substructure could just as well be to blame and also shows the age of the structure.

 

Whilst I agree some products are better than others; this site is not for you to showcase your products in high regard by being derrogatory to other products. 

If you have had an issue with a manufacturer then by all means show the product and explain why you think that it has failed, thus leaving reasonable room for a reply in order to either agree or justifyably disagree.

Whilst I also agree that Ipe is probably one of the most stable and durable it does have a down side, it goes grey over time and needs maintenance, thus without a great deal of maintenance will not look at good as it did when installed. To the same note I also refute your argument about "All" composite decking is not a good Idea; when in absolute fact in some cases and some products it is specified over timber by knowledgeable Architects, Designers, installers more so than timber

By all means argue the facts but do be specific and demonstrate your eveidence for an equal and honest debate.

With reference to your assumptions on costings, I would really like to see an exact comparrison, you quote $1.90 per linear foot - in the UK we would compare cost by either referring to linear metres or square metres. The cost of Ipe in the UK is always going to be more than that of the Americas - transportation, logistics, profit, company overheads make for a comparrison of $1.90 = £1.23 per foot or per linear metre £4.02 compare to the UK at about £8.00 plus vat and delivery.

The labour is at least £150 to over £200 so to convert to $232 to $310 so again I don't think you could really compare in a reasonable debate that your perception of composite to Ipe is cheaper, It may be for you but for the UK market it is a different story.

Composite has moved on in recent years, there are still rogue companies out there but for the most there are standards that many companies up hold. The techniques have vastly improved and there are far more manufacturers than you could ever think of...I bet you have never heard of Millboard...

The debate is far from over and we won't solve the differences in a few words, may over the next 25 years or so perhaps...

I do hope you haven't upset too many people...

Karl

 

hello, discussions are not to make people upset but to set forward believes and especially pro's and cons. The forum (as I see it) is like the parliament where different viewpoints are given and people then make up their own mind. I am well aware that per labour costs (at least in Belgium/ Germany etc) is around 50 euro/m2, it doesn't really matter whether it be ipe deck or composite deck. What does matter is that once installed, the maintenance needs to be minimized because of these same costs. That is why eventually cheap stuff ends up expensive.

You wont get a firmer believer than me with regard to your statement "cheap stuff ends up expensive" thats why I created this network to show others that a correctly constructed deck designed and installed by a professional will represent good value for money.

 

I am sure you will fit right in....enjoy

 

Karl

Roque Valente said:

hello, discussions are not to make people upset but to set forward believes and especially pro's and cons. The forum (as I see it) is like the parliament where different viewpoints are given and people then make up their own mind. I am well aware that per labour costs (at least in Belgium/ Germany etc) is around 50 euro/m2, it doesn't really matter whether it be ipe deck or composite deck. What does matter is that once installed, the maintenance needs to be minimized because of these same costs. That is why eventually cheap stuff ends up expensive.

Here is my two bob's worth on this subject.  First let me declare my position so that I may be accused of bias, which is only partially true.  I supply decking materials from my own factory in China, but I have had quite a bit to do with composite products here because I have clients who have asked me to check them out.  There are many manufacturers here.  

The difficulties with composite decking material come down to two issues; ingress of moisture and UV degradation.   The UV issue is the easiest to address - in theory.  You simply add more UV blocker to the formula.  However, the difficulty is knowing whether or not your supplier is doing this.  The blocker is expensive and so there is a temptation in a highly competitive market to cheat on this.  

On the moisture ingress problem, it comes down to both the formula of the resin and the kind and volume of wood powder used as filler.  This is not an area where I can comment in detail, but different fillers have different propensities to absorb moisture into the composite and also different properties of expansion and contraction.   What I can say is that it is very hard to know whether the factory is doing the right thing or not.

To balance things up, regarding wood that it is not all good news.   Whatever the species no sapwood is durable, for example, and no wood is without its particular characteristics.  However, the advantage with wood is that the "formula" is knowable i.e. you can research a species and have a fair idea about its properties and so you can reduce risk to known parameters.  You don't need to particularly know and trust the supplier.

(OFFENSIVE WORDS REMOVED)  ipe hardwood decking is so dense that it naturally resists, mildew, mold, fungus, and insects. To the contrairy, your composite decking because of the mixture between vinyl and pulp wood, it absorbs moisture, then dispels it this creates a pocket within the vinyl that soaks up moisture every time it gets wet. Over time your composite decking will face black mold, like an un-vented shower stall and it will never subside. Cleaners may make it look alright for a few days—but it will always come back. Apparently they still have issues. If composite decking contains wood it may be prudent to steer clear of the product. Warrantees offered by Composite decking companies are notorious for pointing out their tragic flaws. Pool chemicals, mechanical wear, mold growth are most often not covered by their limited lifetime warrantee!

Roque

OK so it is clear that you will support your natural products over the "Generically called" Composite.

If you insist on persuing this generalisation be aware - in simple terms you can't. It's like saying all timber has knots in it, all metal goes rusty and a grizzly bear never takes a dump in the woods! - when it clearly these statements are wrong.

If you have a particular manufacturer of a product that is offering a warrenty and you are suggesting that this individual manufacturer is falling short, by all means, show your evidence and be specific about one product and stop generalising.

I am sure that any worthy manufacturer will prove to the contrary.

okay, here is my proof:

- http://prodeckdoctor.com/news.phtml to see a law suit

- see pictures that I poste initially

- see reaction also by Terry Newman, as a manufacturer he is quite an insider in this matter

Conslusion: so there are Mercedes cars that also break down and so do Lada cars, however, my opinion is indeed that Mercedes cars break less down then Lada cars. So not all Ladas break down. Please remind that in this example Lada cars are much cheaper which is sometimes not the case for composite decking.

 

I have posted this issue by the way because I see very often misleading and false claims from composite decking suppliers in respect of eco friendly ness, "maintenance free" and price. This is just not true and my goal is to balance off these misleading claims on their product and put it in perspective.

 

 

Roque

there are more holes in your argument than in the composite examples you posted that had been blown to bits. Whilst i suspect most people would agree Ipe is second to none for hardwood decking it is not for every one. And your argument for Ipe requiring less maintenance simply is not true , you obviously have not spent much time in the north of England. I have installed many composite decks over the last few years but have stuck to the very high end products and have not had reason to report any failings. I think you may forget that some people prefer one product from another and as such it does no harm to offer a range of quality products expertly installed so there is little if any chance of a failing

by the way my Uk and overseas suppliers make no false claims as to their eco friendly ness. Be selective and you wont have any problems!

Well, I suppose I should write a few words in defence of the composite decking manufacturers such as ourselves!

 

Firstly, in response to your 3 claims:

 

1) cheaper, better price decking - FALSE  - I don't think anyone has ever stated that composite decking is a cheap option - it isn't! Its comparable (in the UK at least) to a cheap hardwood but much more expensive than most softwoods.

 

2) no maintenance - FALSE – Wrong, the actual material itself does not require any maintenance in order to survive the 25 year warranty we offer – it will not become structurally un-sound (in normal environments) even if it is never maintained. However, it does need cleaning to keep it looking good and it’s always a good idea to maintain drainage/expansion gaps. But we would still uphold a warranty claim 24 years from date of install even if it had never been ‘maintained’. Also – in order to keep Ecodek looking good, the amount of time spent cleaning & caring for the deck is generally a lot less than for any timber decking.

 

3) 100% eco friendly because you can recycle it – FALSE – Wrong again, that’s complete rubbish when talking about polyolefin based composite decking products. You have obviously never been in a composite decking factory! We recycle all returns & scrap, we use HDPE as our base polymer which is recyclable many times. Even 25 yr old Ecodek scrap could be 100% recycled – Fact. (All the decking we have supplied to the Olympic Stadium will in fact be recycled and re-used by us at some point within the next 10 years.)

 

On a separate note, regarding your pictures. 2 of those pictures are of the same deck and that is a HOLLOW deck. Hollow decking is widely known as being inferior to solid composite decking due to the narrow wall sections, increased surface area and ability to trap water inside the boards. (see http://ecodek.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Solid-vs-Hollow-nopic.pdf )

There is also no way of knowing what base polymer was used, whether it contained UV additives, or most importantly, what wood percentage was used! I could show you plenty of pictures of warped/rotted/distorted timber decks if that’s what you want?

 

Your other photo is of TREX decking and they did have many problems in the early days due to using very poor quality polymers and also not having enough compression during the extrusion process.

With any new product development, mistakes are made which the manufacturers then learn from. (You seem to think that Mercedes are a quality product, well the cars they made  in the late 90’s are now total rust buckets due to a lack of chassis rust proofing during manufacture!)  There are still some manufacturers, especially in the Far East that do make inferior composites and every time I see their products, I despair. But if you buy a quality SOLID decking product from an established and well-known manufacturer, you will not have any problems.

 

One last point, it is always interesting to me when people such as yourself use negative marketing techniques to sell their products – All it does is show up the flaws in your own marketing strategy when the only way you can publicise your products is to slag off your competitors rather than shout about the merits of your own product.

 

If you’re ever in the area, I would be delighted to show you around our production facility and hopefully then you could understand that composites and timber both have their places in the market – we never sell our product as a wood ‘look-a-like’ it’s just an alternative.

 

Best regards

Alex Collins

Technical Director

Vannplastic Ltd, manufacturers of Ecodek wood/polymer composite profiles – The UK’s longest established and most successful composite decking manufacturer.

 

Alex you said everything i was thinking but after the first bottle of wine thought i had better hold back. Maybe we can have a chin wagg at some time

regards 

Leon



Alex Collins said:

Well, I suppose I should write a few words in defence of the composite decking manufacturers such as ourselves!

 

Firstly, in response to your 3 claims:

 

1) cheaper, better price decking - FALSE  - I don't think anyone has ever stated that composite decking is a cheap option - it isn't! Its comparable (in the UK at least) to a cheap hardwood but much more expensive than most softwoods.

 

2) no maintenance - FALSE – Wrong, the actual material itself does not require any maintenance in order to survive the 25 year warranty we offer – it will not become structurally un-sound (in normal environments) even if it is never maintained. However, it does need cleaning to keep it looking good and it’s always a good idea to maintain drainage/expansion gaps. But we would still uphold a warranty claim 24 years from date of install even if it had never been ‘maintained’. Also – in order to keep Ecodek looking good, the amount of time spent cleaning & caring for the deck is generally a lot less than for any timber decking.

 

3) 100% eco friendly because you can recycle it – FALSE – Wrong again, that’s complete rubbish when talking about polyolefin based composite decking products. You have obviously never been in a composite decking factory! We recycle all returns & scrap, we use HDPE as our base polymer which is recyclable many times. Even 25 yr old Ecodek scrap could be 100% recycled – Fact. (All the decking we have supplied to the Olympic Stadium will in fact be recycled and re-used by us at some point within the next 10 years.)

 

On a separate note, regarding your pictures. 2 of those pictures are of the same deck and that is a HOLLOW deck. Hollow decking is widely known as being inferior to solid composite decking due to the narrow wall sections, increased surface area and ability to trap water inside the boards. (see http://ecodek.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Solid-vs-Hollow-nopic.pdf )

There is also no way of knowing what base polymer was used, whether it contained UV additives, or most importantly, what wood percentage was used! I could show you plenty of pictures of warped/rotted/distorted timber decks if that’s what you want?

 

Your other photo is of TREX decking and they did have many problems in the early days due to using very poor quality polymers and also not having enough compression during the extrusion process.

With any new product development, mistakes are made which the manufacturers then learn from. (You seem to think that Mercedes are a quality product, well the cars they made  in the late 90’s are now total rust buckets due to a lack of chassis rust proofing during manufacture!)  There are still some manufacturers, especially in the Far East that do make inferior composites and every time I see their products, I despair. But if you buy a quality SOLID decking product from an established and well-known manufacturer, you will not have any problems.

 

One last point, it is always interesting to me when people such as yourself use negative marketing techniques to sell their products – All it does is show up the flaws in your own marketing strategy when the only way you can publicise your products is to slag off your competitors rather than shout about the merits of your own product.

 

If you’re ever in the area, I would be delighted to show you around our production facility and hopefully then you could understand that composites and timber both have their places in the market – we never sell our product as a wood ‘look-a-like’ it’s just an alternative.

 

Best regards

Alex Collins

Technical Director

Vannplastic Ltd, manufacturers of Ecodek wood/polymer composite profiles – The UK’s longest established and most successful composite decking manufacturer.

 

Would love to Leon!

Alex

Leon Atkins said:

Alex you said everything i was thinking but after the first bottle of wine thought i had better hold back. Maybe we can have a chin wagg at some time

regards 

Leon

Reply to Discussion

RSS

© 2014   Created by Karl Harrison.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

Related Posts for Decking NetworkRelated Posts Plugin for Decking Network ForumRelated Photos Decking Network