Although heavy wood timbers such as oak, redwood, and cedar are beautiful materials for outdoor decks, they may not be a good choice when it comes to balancing costs, longevity, and looks. There are also other issues with wooden decks, such as the sustainability of the wood material that is being used, as some wooden decks may come from trees that are classified as endangered. Some of the wood that is being used even comes from illegally logged forests which raises ethical questions. One of the solutions that are used to address this issue is the use of plastic decking. However, some clients prefer the natural, earthy look of wood and eschew plastic altogether. Plastic decking made from fossil fuels also raises its own environmental and ethical issues. An attempt to balance the issues brought about by wood and plastic decking is by mixing the two materials together in what is called composite WPC decking made out of wood-plastic composite boards.
What is a wood-plastic composite (WPC)?
A wood-plastic composite is a material made of varying amounts of wood flour/wood fiber and thermoplastics such as polyethylene, polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride, and other plastics. WPC decking is sometimes called WPC timber due to its close resemblance to actual wood. WPC deck floorings are more durable than most timber floorings except the ones that use the most premium hardwoods and are more beautiful to look at than plastic deckings.
Form factors, uses, and types of WPC decking
Because of their inherent properties, WPC deck products like WPC deck tiles, WPC deck boards, and WPC hollow decking open up avenues of style that have not been done before. For example, builders usually shy away from placing hardwood tiles on the ground to be used as pavers due to the risk of rotting, but this is less of an issue with WPC deck tiles on the soil. Wood-plastic composite boards, being such a resilient material, also find a use for WPC pool decks, imparting a premium look to pool sides while at the same time keeping maintenance and replacement costs well within reasonable bounds.