Having a deck on your property is something that many people look forward to, and one of the best ways to enjoy it is by using low maintenance WPC Decking with wonderful aesthetics to boot. If you’ve never heard of this type of material, you’re in for a surprise. Read on to learn more about its materials, manufacturing process, and other benefits when it comes to your decking needs, especially the bit about you not needing to spend much time maintaining it!
You’ll be amazed by the list of advantages it can provide when it comes to building a deck.
In many situations, WPC products have replaced traditional wooden boards. Firstly, in comparison to wood decking, it requires much less maintenance and has a much longer lifespan, and in comparison to 100% PVC plastic decking, it has superior material qualities and is a more sustainable product. Many professionals now advise good quality composite decking over all other choices. It can look and feel like real timber, is installed on the subframe the same as timber, but has so many advantages after installation.
In terms of colour, there are many options to choose from so it matches your home aesthetics, so that is covered off on as well.
WPC decking is also easier to maintain, as you only need to sweep it off regularly rather than cleaning and staining it like you would with a traditional wooden deck.
You may be wondering what the options are for various WPC composite decking products or in comparison with other options such as wood decking. We’ll cover off and that too.
WPC decking is also commonly called composite decking. It is a type of synthetic outdoor decking made out of various combinations and percentages of wood pulp, recycled plastic resin, natural timber fibres but also other natural fibres such as bamboo, cottonwood bark extract (cork), milk protein concentrate (milk) and soy-based resins. It also contains additives to protect it from sun damage caused by UV radiation.
WPC Composite Deck Vs Wood Deck
While traditional wood decking has always been popular, many homeowners have begun considering WPC composite wood decking. While wood has always been the most attractive choice, both composite and PVC decking has improved in appearance in recent decades with the advent of more advanced manufacturing technologies and material formulas.
Today, high-end composite decking is available with finishes that are close to or identical to wood. This allows homeowners to enjoy both wood and plastic on their decks while minimizing maintenance. A comparison of WPC vs wood is important in the context of comparing the new kid on the block to the older traditional option.
Briefly, the reason why WPC is becoming a real competitor to wood is the following:
WPC is easy to install, as it features grooves on the sides. This makes installation a breeze. Hidden clips slide into the grooves on the boards. This process reduces the time needed to complete a deck.
It also reduces the cost to the customer. Unlike traditional timber decking, WPC can be installed without nailing, screws, or glue.
Also part of the cost equation over the life of the product, it also doesn’t require annual attention such as re-surfacing, staining or oiling as wood decking does – all of which costs additional funds every year or so.
So WPC composite decking can be a great option for many homeowners. Whether you live in a cold or warm climate, these decks will provide many advantages over traditional wood options. However, not all WPCs are created equal so it’s important to do your research before making your final decision. In the end, it does come down to getting what you pay for.
When it comes to the best quality WPC products, there are lots of great reasons for choosing it as decking for your flooring needs.
A top-quality WPC product is a composite decking that has a premium, timeless look and comes with hassle-free quality without staining or painting.
The best of these WPC decking boards even boast 15-year limited residential fade and stain warranties! Wood plastic composite decking is an excellent option for the swimming pool, patios, and other outdoor living spaces including landscaping, decks, fencing, public spaces, tourist attractions, public walkways, just to name a few.
Material Blend In Wood Plastic Composite Decking
The material that makes up WPC is a mixture of wood and recycled plastic. WPC is the abbreviation for wood plastic composite, and it has an attractive appearance that can look similar to real wood but requires little to no maintenance, making it a great substitute to types of wood decking.
Approximately equal amounts of recycled wood fibers and recycled plastic are combined to make WPC decking.
A Bamboo Based Variant
There is a variation of WPC manufacturing when bamboo and plastic are combined instead of wood fibre and plastic. This product is sometimes called BPC decking.
How Is WPC Decking Manufactured?
Wood-plastic composite, or WPC, is largely a recycled material. It is a material made from approximately 60% recycled timber fibers, 30% HDPE, and 10% additives. Different manifacturers use slightly different ratios of raw materials, depending on cost considerations and market forces. Ultimately, the aim is to produce a composite material that mimics the look and feel of wood decking.
History Of WPC Manufacturing
The WPC material was first developed in 1996 by engineers at Mobil Corp. when a process was developed to combine wood flour and recycled plastic grocery bags. They later formed the Trex Company, the first commercially available WPC boards. Despite their higher initial purchase cost, WPCs are durable and attractive and have since become a billion-dollar industry. There are currently more than 30 manufacturers competing for the North American market.
The wood fiber and plastics in WPC are extruded at high temperatures using a specialist extruder machine.
Hollow And Solid WPC Versions With Wood Grain Designs
Both hollow and solid decking board surfaces can be printed with a wood grain design that closely mimics a natural wood effect, including making the surface largely non-slip.
Additional Agents Added
With the addition of anti-UV agents, WPC decking has a long service life. This long life is also enhanced by the use of top-quality materials and superior manufacturing formulas.
WPC Product Categories
WPC board, WPC wall cladding, Composite Fencing, and composite Railing are just some of the categories of WPC products.
WPC Decking Board Specification Variations
The formula of WPC decking or other WPC Products is varied depending on the requirements of the final product, including cost.
Different manufacturing companies use different formulas, so it is important for a consumer to choose products that are a compromise between quality and cost. A good WPC product must contain at least adequate amounts of certain antioxidants, anti-ultraviolet agents, etc., to protect the product throughout its useful life.
In WPC DECKING, wood dust makes up around 55%, HDPE plastics around 35%, and additives about 10%.
The non-wood components of WPC decking come from both new and recycled plastics. The types used are generally combinations of mono-resin polyethylene (HDPE and LPDE), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polystyrene, or PP (Polypropylene).
Benefits Of Composite Decking
Designed for maximum durability, composite decking is built to last. In addition, it won’t fade, stain, scratch, or mold, and won’t rot, crack or warp. Additionally, it is insect-proof and splinter-free, bringing a higher level of safety and comfort to families with children and pets. This is especially true in the case of capped decking board.
No need to sand, stain, or paint composite decking. Just an occasional soap-and-water cleaning is all that’s needed to maintain stability and beauty for decades to come. The warranty on many wpc decking products is up to five years, ensuring that they will continue to look and perform as they did when they were first put in place.
WPC decking has some excellent environmental credentials. Manufacturers claim that the decking made of composite material has the look and feel of wood without much of the environmental impact associated with using native hardwood species for decking. Deck boards are also made using recycled plastic from everyday items like shopping bags and plastic bottles, along with reclaimed industrial wood scraps.
WPC Decking Solutions: Great For Outdoors And Indoors
This alternative to wood decking is not only great for outdoor living, but they also make a perfect addition to your interior design and style. They are available in a range of wood grain designs and WPC decking tiles but have no oily smell so you can use them in any room indoors and there is never the need for priming or painting either.
WPC Composite Deckings Green Credentials
Wood-plastic composite (WPC) decking is a great option for environmentally-conscious homeowners. This type of decking combines renewable wood fibers and recycled plastics to create a strong, durable material. Wood fibers are typically obtained from waste wood that lumber producers would otherwise throw away. This means that no new trees are cut. Wood plastic composites melt at much lower temperatures than pure plastics, reducing energy consumption during the manufacturing process.
Expanding on the environmentally friendly aspect, being made from 95% recycled board, means that plastic component is being diverted away and put to good use.
Some claim that WPC decking is a greener substitute than using solid wood, but that depends on what solid wood you are comparing it to – sustainably grown and harvested hardwood would be more eco-friendly compared to WPC.
But there are still eco benefits to be had from using it. It contains 50% recycled wood and a mixture of virgin and recycled petroleum-based polymer. This type of decking is also more affordable than wood, costing about $5.80 per square foot. In contrast, hardwood like mahogany is far more expensive than composite decking per square foot.
Its eco-friendly benefits also include the fact that its production does not involve the use of natural resources. Wood plastic composite decking will reduce the amount of timber consumed in construction projects, and the plastic will be used to make other products. This is in line with modern society’s needs. It can even replace some types of plastics used in the construction industry.
In addition to its environmental benefits, WPC decking is a more stable and reliable material than timber alternatives, and it has superior installation properties.
WPC Decking Maintain Appearance
The WPC decking products have high durability and maintain the vibrant color and luxurious finish, regardless if there is scorching sun or the odd red wine spill. They’re resistant to both UV sunlight degradation AND stains caused by mild acid substances like coffee & fruit juices (or even blood). The most durable ones boast a 15-year limited residential fade and stain warranty.
Available Colours Of WPC Decking
Grey, black, brown, and teak are some of the colors of composite decking. The color is embedded in the material itself so no staining is required to get the look needed in applications such as balconies, swimming pools, outdoor flooring, park pathways, wharves, gardens, and tourist attractions.
WPC Decking Easy Maintainance
In terms of ongoing maintenance, no staining, no sanding, or painting! You maintain your deck with soap & water instead of harsh chemicals like paint strippers which can be hazardous to your health as well as the environment in general (avoid ‘volatile organic compounds’ when possible).
WPC Decking Cost And Ease Of Installation
Wood-plastic composite decking boards are cheaper over the long term and easier to maintain than timber, with the added benefit of being able to work them like timber using standard hand tools. So most people will not need any special equipment or skills. When it comes to tools or techniques for installation, composite decking requires nothing in addition to regular timber decking processes.
WPC Decking Suitability For Harsh Conditions
The best of the WPC decking products can be used in saltwater locations, and withstanding harsh coastal climates. A special treatment is required for this to work as it won’t have been designed specifically or tested accordingly but there are many other areas where you would never need that level of protection so one board type will typically suffice, just add the extra treatment where needed.
The best WPC decking products have a surface that is scratch-resistant. This means they are more durable than timber and can withstand both high traffic situations or outdoor living with little worry about wear over time, meaning you will not need to replace them as often either!
There are two types of board – hollow or solid core construction. Solid boards are less prone to moisture damage, but the hollow core is lighter in weight and easier to install.
Two Main Types Of WPC Decking: Solid And Hollow Core
When choosing WPC decking for your home, you may find yourself confused between Solid Vs Hollow WPC Decking. Both types have their own unique qualities and advantages. Before choosing one, you should understand why each is best for specific applications.
Solid and Hollow WPC decking come from the same composite manufacturer, and they are designed to give you a choice that matches your needs and preferences.
While both materials have their advantages and disadvantages, solid composite boards are heavier than hollow composite boards. It is more difficult to move solid composite boards than hollow composite ones, and you will likely need at least two people to do so. On the other hand, hollow composite boards are easier to move and install. Much is the same regardless of what option you choose, for example, you don’t have to worry about rotting or warping. Check out our article on the differences between solid and hollow core composite decking here.
WPC Hollow Core Composite Decking
Characteristics of WPC Hollow Decking
- Weighs half as much and lasts three times longer than regular wooden materials, which is an excellent choice for remodeling.
- Highly dense, highly strong, clean, and beautiful, three times longer in service than regular wooden materials, and totally recyclable.
- Waterproof, acid and alkali corrosion resistant, anti-fungus, and anti-bacterial, can be used outdoors.
- You can reuse them for second use; they’re easy to saw, nail, drill, and dig. And don’t have to be painted. You can also customize their shape, color, and size to suit your needs.
WPC Solid Core
Solid boards are heavier but offer more protection against the elements too, so it’s worth considering which might be best for your situation before deciding on whether or not you want a board with hollow core construction.
Solid WPC decking replaces wooden decking and wood-preserving decking to be practical for all types of landscaping and municipal projects such as exteriors, ports, dock, seasides, wetlands, water platforms, park roads, and many more landscaping and municipal projects.
So if you’re looking for an alternative to traditional wood, this could be it!
Of course, WPC products as a material are suitable for application in many building products such as fencing alternatives where it has excellent performance characteristics.
Capped WPC Decking Vs WPC Decking Tiles
The most significant difference between capped WPC decking tiles is their protective layer coating. Capped composite decking has a layer of plastic that protects its surface from water absorption, while uncapped composite decking does not have such a layer. Capped boards with a protective layer are highly resistant to sunlight, stains, mold, mildew, and bacteria.
Generally, capped composite decking is produced using a co-extrusion process, which protects the core of the deck from the elements by using outer armor.
While both are durable, capped WPC decking is a more attractive option. Whether you choose capped or uncapped composite decking, the choice is completely up to you.
Although capped WPC decking may be the most expensive, it will last for decades.
They can be an alternative to the use of ceramic tiles. Ceramic tiles are attractive and can endure pool chemicals in a pool setting. However, they are prone to being slippery. So while ceramic tiles can be slippery, WPC decking is not.
Wood plastic composite decking is an excellent alternative, as it is both safer and more environmentally friendly than wood-based decks.
While composite decking is more expensive, it requires much less maintenance than timber. This means you can spend more time on other aspects of your life. WPC decking will last much longer than timber, meaning fewer replacements. Just remember to use proper substructure and drainage for WPC decking. You’ll be glad you did! So, what are the advantages and disadvantages of using WPC?
Other WPC-Based Products
There are a number of other uses for composite decking besides decking. Fences, railings, outdoor furniture, decorative panels, and railings, just to name a few.
WPC Decking Products FAQ
Are wood plastic composites environmentally friendly?
It eliminates the need to continually apply environmentally harmful paints, sealers, and stains because WPC doesn’t fade, warp, or splinter like wood.
Eco-friendliness is a feature of Wood Plastic Composite boards. It is made from a blending of wood and plastic – 95% of it is recycled.
Will WPC decks and railings lose their color?
Many materials that are exposed to UV radiation will fade over time. WPC decking and railing solutions are formulated with UV-inhibiting pigments and high-quality raw materials to minimize discoloration and produce products that are consistent in color. All products will fade evenly.
Which accessories do you use to install decking?
Stainless steel clips or plastic clips, nails, expansion screws, and skirting are some of the decking accessories available.
What are the characteristics of WPC?
It has a high density, is durable, anti-impact, wear-resistant, and looks like natural wood. Also, it has good color stability and high UV resistance. High resistance to moisture and termites is also an important attribute. Furthermore, it requires no painting, gluing, or ongoing maintenance. It is also easy to install along with low labor costs.
How much will WPC cost you in the long run?
Painting and staining are not necessary on WPC decks since it never rots or warps. However, these costs do add up over time on pressure-treated wood decks. When you own a WPC deck for four years, you will save the same amount of money as if you had a pressure-treated wood deck. Wood offers far less value over the lifetime of the purchase than WPC. Just keep it clean twice a year and you’re good to go, so you can enjoy your outdoor living space instead of maintaining it.
Is WPC anti slip?
Wood-plastic composites are designed to prevent slipping indoors and outdoors regardless of the weather, wet or dry. WPC deck boards are anti-slip year-round, unlike hardwood and softwood decking, which become inherently slippery in moist weather.
Why buy WPC in place of timber?
No staining or oiling is required to maintain the beauty of WPC and it is available as a concealed fix. With WPC, you are guaranteed that there will be no splinters, sap or tannin runs, no rotting, and it is also resistant to termites with white ants.
Why choose WPC as an outdoor building material?
Engineers and designers of modern products require modern materials. Plastic wood materials are a sustainable, economical, and environmentally friendly solution for decking, fences, and garden areas.
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