Monday, September 10, 2007

Selling Vinyl Decks vs Composites

Jordan Thompson is from Westech Building Products & Vinpost International. He has over twenty three years in the vinyl building products industry. Jordao is CITP (Certified International Trade Professional) degree Licensed Carpenter - degree.

Vinyl decks are better, cheaper, longer lasting, better-looking over time, need less maintenance, and NOT AT ALL like the plastic you can't put in your microwave.

So much hoopla has been made about composite decking in recent years, that wood and vinyl manufacturers have felt like they have to get in on the market in order to capture their share. This, at the expense of all the marketing they have done in favor of vinyl. The Vinyl Institute, the Society for Plastics Institute (SPI) and other independent plastics portals have all made it clear that the advantage lies with vinyl.

  • Fire ratings are better with vinyls.

  • Toxicity ratings are better in vinyl than even in burning mashed potatoes according to one Vinyl Institute brochure with fire statistics.

  • Non-organic materials are used in virgin vinyls, reducing the incidence of interior moulds and bacteria (prompting one well known composite deck manufacturer to include two pages on how to remove unwanted – and unsafe – mould from their decking using bleach). Composite decking was found to blanch and need treatment, similar to wood decking did (marketing from the industry now says that: “of course, you will need to treat it, if you want to retain color, as it blanches in 16 weeks maximum”). Vinyl retains its color throughout its lifespan, perhaps dulling some in time.

  • Nails or fasteners are not exposed in vinyl decking where in composite lumber and decking it is only a novelty that there is some type of interlock system that allows the fasteners to be hidden, whereas, this was always the case with vinyl decking as early as since the days of Brock®.

  • Composite lumber cannot be supported on any structure more than 16 inches, 12 inches if you want to lay your boards diagonally or want even less sag. Most vinyl decking will not sag at 24” and has been tested to 32” spans.

  • Vinyl decking is cool to the touch in comparison to wood, stained or unstained, and even cooler than composite decking, especially those composites that use recycled products, plastics that heat up and creep like ABS or PET.

  • Vinyl does not expand and contract as much as these other composites with recycled products.

  • Vinyl decking appears to be on average 15 to 20% cheaper than Composite Deckings.
  • Vinyl carries 50 year to lifetime warranties, while composites typically offer 10 to 20 year warranties.

So, I ask, in this weblog, to any who can explain, why have composite materials had such exposure and acceptance in the deck market?

My own perception is 1. marketing 2. education 3. paradigms (mind-sets)

What do you think? Post a comment below.