What does Ecodek alternative decking look like?
Its appearance is very similar to wood but without the grain (more importantly perhaps, it looks nothing like plastic). It is an alternative to wood, just like paving slabs are. It’s a new form of decking, not a wood substitute.
What is it made from?
Its composition is approximately 55% hardwood fibres (re-claimed 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). 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 and nail it like you can with wood?
Yes it will take nails or screws just like wood will, it also has better screw/nail retention than wood, so you don’t find that nails pop out over time. (Screws are the recommended option.)
Can you use normal wood working tools?
Absolutely, no specialist wood working 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. Only the wood fibres fade, 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 weather 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?
It can be heated up and bent, but this is a job best left to a professional decking installer or done at the factory during the production process.
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 using either Danish or Tung Oil. (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. Its 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 sub structure will obviously become slimy/mouldy over time, but this is usually acceptable as it is not seen. We can also supply a composite sub structure 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 is 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 some literature that will assist your experience with ecodek. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us
Installation & Advice
Latest Product Updates:
January 2012: Ecodek is 10 years old this year and to celebrate we are freezing our prices there will be no price increase from us!!
March 2011: Ecodek is about to launch Eco-Fence, a self assembly vertical panel fence system that will come with a 20yr warranty and never need painting. Perfect for complimenting your composite deck.
September 2010: Ecodek launches a new Stadia-specific deck board designed for the most elite of sport stadiums.
April 2010: Ecodek launches a new 138mm wide cladding/fascia board.
.May 2009: Span data updated to reflect improved deck board strength – Boards can now be laid 455mm between centres. (Please see Technical Data for further Information.)
October 2008: Ecodek now available in lengths of up to 9 metres (by special arrangement only).
August 2008: Ecodek decking now made from hardwood fibres to give improved strength, improved appearance and reduced fade.
May 2008: Luminous strip developed that heat fuses into decking.