Synthetic outdoor flooring also known as technological flooring is a composite of wood and plastic polymers, WPC (Wood Plastic Composite), resistant and highly durable. The use of this material is not limited to floors, but is also frequently used as a facade covering.
It is a product that keep evolving and improving. Furthermore, there are important differences between what was marketed years ago and the current product. Many consumers are prejudiced against problems that have been largely overcome. For example, heating slats, stains or slips.
In this sense, we must also be aware of differences in quality and prices. You cannot ask for the same benefits of a very cheap synthetic floor brought from China without some minimum technical specifications like the ones we buy in specialized stores.
Sustainable and 100% recyclable product
It is not just a product that at the end of its useful life can be recycled, but in large part recycled materials are used for their manufacture. Waste from the timber industry is used, as well as recycled wood.
Easy installation and low maintenance
One of the great attractions of the external synthetic floor is that it practically does not need maintenance. Regular cleaning with high pressure water will be more than enough. It is not necessary to apply varnishes, waxes …
As for installation, the blades are sold already mechanized and with their click, anchor or clamp system. Therefore, installation is no more complicated than that of a natural solid wood floor. In addition, they can be worked, cut or machined as if they were wood.
- Leveling the terrain. The floor, in addition to being level, must be stable to avoid deformation of the plates.
- Slat spacing. In high traffic areas, the spacing between the slats should be reduced to 20-25 cm compared to the 35 that are recommended for normal use.
- Separation of the shutters. Each manufacturer details the necessary spacing between the blades in their technical sheets. Usually, the anchoring systems or clips provided are designed to address these gaps.
- Water stagnation. One should avoid, for example, positioning the slats in the direction of water flow.
The price of synthetic flooring
There are many variables that affect the price of synthetic flooring:
- Composition. Not all materials used to make this type of floor have the same cost. The higher the proportion of polymers and plastic binders, the higher the price.
- Solid or alveolar. It is common to find technological platforms with a hollow interior, in this case, they should be cheaper. This does not mean that it is a product of inferior quality, in fact, it is discussed which is the best, solid or honeycomb, and it is not at all clear.
- Different finishes.
- Origin or provenance. We know that the same rules are not respected in all countries.
This is not an expensive option, It is slightly inferior to the solid wood used for outdoor decking. Although, on the other hand, it is not as low as that of cheap wood treated for this use, with autoclaved pine.
If we take into account that it is not necessary to renew the finishes periodically, we can say that it is much cheaper in the long run.
Is synthetic flooring waterproof?
yea are 100% waterproof, although not submersible. That is, there is no problem in being continuously wet and drying, they are designed for that. Another issue is to make installations where they are always submerged in water. This is a use that manufacturers advise against.
Appearance and aesthetics
Because it is a synthetic material, the options are practically endless. They can be made in any color and texture. In fact, if we search the internet, we will find everything, including colors like yellow or red.
However, the normal thing is that when going to a store the options are much more limited. We can find them on the one hand smooth or striated. And in terms of colors, those that imitate the tones of wood and gray predominate.
It is possible to leave these options, although they are personalized orders that usually increase the price.
Do they slide?
The answer to this question is ambiguous. It will depend on the type of synthetic flooring we buy. The slip resistance index is usually specified. This resistance is divided into four classes according to the Technical Building Code, from 0 to 3, with class 3 presenting the greatest resistance to slipping.
It is easy to find among the quality synthetic flooring products with class 3.
Are they hot from the sun?
Yes, all products, without exception, heat under the action of the sun. Another problem is that they get so hot that walking barefoot is uncomfortable. This problem was frequent and continues to occur on low quality synthetic pallets. Fortunately, however, the manufacturers that do their job well outperformed it.
Do they change color in the same way as natural wood?
The solid wood floor changes color over time. It is a natural process typical of living material.
The synthetic floor also changes color, but unlike wood, it is a more predictable and much smoother process. If for some reason we have to replace or add some strips, the new ones will not initially have the same color. In some months, the tones should match, which is not always the case with solid wood.