What does ecodek® alternative decking look like?
ecodek® has an appearance that is very similar to wood but without the grain (more importantly perhaps, it looks nothing like plastic).ecodek® is an alternative to wood, just like paving slabs are. It’s a new form of decking, not a wood substitute.
What is ecodek® made from?
ecodek® is a wood polymer composite, which means that it’s a blend of recycled wood and recycled plastic. The composition of ecodek® is approximately 55% hardwood fibres (re-claimed beech from saw mills, i.e. top quality, kiln dried material) and 45% high-density polyethylene (we use both post-consumer and post-industrial feed stocks) – otherwise known as recycled plastic milk bottles! Other ingredients are a high-quality colour pigmentation system, a wetting/bonding agent and a high-tech ultraviolet light inhibitor package. Perfect for your wood composite deck.
Can you screw it like you can with wood?
Yes, ecodek® will take screws just like wood and it also has better screw retention than wood, so you don’t find that screws pull out over time. (ecodek® screws are the recommended option.)
Can you use normal wood working tools?
Absolutely. No specialist woodworking equipment is needed, you can even saw it by hand.
Will it fade over time?
ecodek® is made from hardwood fibres in order to minimise the fading (softwood fades far more than hardwood), but there will still be some fade visible over the first few months (the speed of this fading depends upon the weather conditions) giving a more textured appearance. As with any timber based product, some fade will occur but the plastic content holds its colour. Any initial colour difference between boards is due to the natural colour variance in the wood fibres and once weathered, the boards will all be a similar colour tone. The most fade resistant colours are Slate Grey, Dark Brown and Black.
Can you use it for load bearing applications (i.e structural)?
It is not recommended to use ecodek® in structural applications although it can be used, it’s a job best left to a structural engineer to design any load bearing structures.
Can you paint / stain it?
ecodek® is a low maintenance product and by painting it, all you are doing is making work for yourself. Yes, it will take oil based or epoxy based paints and stains very well. The only downside to painting it is that it will need re-painting periodically just like wood does.
Can you bend it?
ecodek® can be heated up and bent, but this is a job best left to a professional decking installer.
Is it fire retardant?
There is no UK standard that we can currently achieve for this material, but due to the fact that it is a very solid product with no air pockets inside (unlike wood) it takes an awful lot to get it to light, and when it does catch, if the heat source is removed from it, it will self- extinguish very quickly and will not drip molten material like plastic does.
Can you get lengths other than those listed on the price list?
We can cut material to any specified length, from 1.5 metre to 6 metre lengths are available for no extra charge, up to 9 metre lengths are also available but these will incur a 10% handling charge. Please also be aware we do make all boards slightly over-length to allow for cutting on site.
How do you repair it if it gets damaged?
ecodek® is very tough and therefore, difficult to damage under normal circumstances. If it gets marked or damaged by garden furniture etc, then the marks can be softened and blended back into the deck by rubbing a walnut over the mark! (Please see our Maintenance Guide for more details.)
How does the price compare to softwood?
Initially, it is more expensive than most softwood decking you can buy, but about the same price as a low or middle of the range hardwood. What you must remember is that due to the reduced maintenance requirement, the life cycle cost of ecodek® is considerably less than that of softwood decking.
It is a much superior quality material than softwood and it is uniform, whereas softwood decking is often warped, contains knots and is inconsistent in density. ecodek® is the perfect alternative decking product.
What material is used for the sub structure?
The cheapest option (applicable to free draining, relatively dry conditions only) is to use treated softwood. The softwood substructure will obviously become slimy/mouldy over time, but this is usually acceptable as it is not seen. We can also supply a composite substructure profile (see price list) which is useful in damp conditions or areas with low air circulation. In particularly damp conditions where the deck is over 1 metre off the ground, we recommend the use of galvanised steel box section beams or GRP slim-line profiles (please contact our technical department for more information on this).
Does it become slippery when wet?
As with the majority of flooring products, ecodek® will lose some slip resistance when wet, but still meets the minimum “low potential for slip” requirement as set by the HSE. (In order to maintain adequate slip resistance, it is important you keep your deck clean and free from debris.)
Is there any way of fixing the product without the screw heads showing?
Yes, there are products on the market that allow you to use hidden fixings, these are however inferior in their ability to hold the deck down satisfactorily. We now supply a range of purpose made stainless steel screws that are available in colours to match the decking. Once fitted, they sit flush with the deck board and are hardly noticeable.
How easy is it to clean?
After the wood composite deck has been constructed, there are likely to be some pencil marks, these can be removed with a normal eraser. The simplest way to clean the deck itself (which should be done periodically) is to use a power washer and a deck cleaning solution (see the maintenance schedule pdf for more information) you may need a sponge or soft brush for stubborn stains (do not use a scourer or stiff brush as this will leave marks on the deck).
We have provided the following datasheets to help you choose, install and look after your ecodek®
If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us.
Last updated Thursday, 10th August 2017