How to Choose your Wood Plastic Composite Deck Board - Silvadec


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I would like to welcome you to this presentation from Silvadec on WPC or wood plastic composite. We will have a closer look at the WPC decking boards.


Who are Silvadec?

Let me first introduce our company with some key numbers. Today Silvadec has two industrial plants, one in France and the other one in Germany. We produce over 1,000,000 square metres of WPC per year and have a workforce of 80 people. We are also an award winning company. Silvadec is constantly innovating and regularly receives awards and prizes at top international trade fairs. Gold medal Lyon d'Or a trade fair gold medal for innovation Batimat innovation award garden and landscape fair. Originality trophy swimming pool trade fair. Innovation award garden fair Prague. Innovation prize timber show Nantes France. During the seventh women in the industry awards Benedict jazzical Co-founder of Silvadec won the female entrepreneur of the year award. Silvadec has a turnover of 30,000,000 euro.


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Silvadec was set up in 2001 by launching a new product on the European market for axial wood composite. It is the first company to have manufactured wood composite in Europe. The founders Bénédicte Jézéquel and Philippe Crez approached the leading reference company in North America to develop a unique wood composite formulation. As a pioneer manufacturer Silvadec has over 15 years’ experience in this technology and, over 25 years through its North American partner. By putting the emphasis on innovation and the capturing of new markets Silvadec has become the European leader in wood composite. In 2004 we realised our first high quality environmental standard project. When in 2009 our factory became too small, we moved to a new 4000 square metre plant. The two most important events in 2014 were obtaining the ISO 14,001 certification and the creation of see TJ. ISO 14,000 and one is an internationally agreed standard that sets out the requirements for an environmental management system. It helps organisations improve their environmental performance through more efficient use of resources and reduction of waste. Our production has a limited impact on the environment because the products are manufactured by exclusion at low temperature using water in a closed loop and, the plant consumes little power. Waste are used in production and the process generates no manufacturing waste. It is not a source of noise or air pollution or water or soil contamination, in addition the mixture contains no toxic products.


With an environmentally friendly material and a clean production process, the company takes part to the greatest possible extent in the sustainable management approach. Local partnership and cradle to cradle economy. To ensure its development in 2014 Silvadec created C2J a joint venture founded in partnership with Josso, the largest sawmill in Brittany France. C2J’s  purpose is to recycle sawmill by-products in order to produce flour Silvadec main raw material. The advantages of this vertical integration are; control of supplies to guarantee growth in volume and in quality; its investment in the circular economy that minimises the carbon footprint; boosting of the local economy with the creation of around 10 jobs; by strengthening its financial ecological and social investments through C2J Silvadec has embarked on a strong sustainable development initiative. Our high tech range coextruded-boards was launched in 2017 and in 2017 we increased our capacity by opening a new factory in Germany. Last year we showed again how important innovation is for us by winning the innovation prize at a timber show in Nantes France. During the seventh women in the industry awards Benedict gesukkel Co-founder of Silvadec won the female entrepreneur of the year award. We also have our first RIBA approved CPD how to choose your WBC deck board, all things we are very proud of.


Attentive to its customers’ needs Silvadec develops products that are both modular and aesthetic. The company has successfully launched its decking, fencing and railing ranges and set the cladding market alight in 2014 by marketing the loafer board in Co extruded composite wood. In 2016 it expanded its range of Co extruded decking boards, high tech range with new colours and even more technological assets. With its expertise, its seniority and its innovation the company is the leading wood composite manufacturer in France and Europe. Specializing in outdoor development, Silvadec markets a complete offer of deck, boards, fencing, railings and cladding, which meets a multitude of applications. Fully geared to the future its aim is to put its technology and know-how at the service of innovation. Silvadec knows how essential it is essential in a constantly evolving market. Extrusion and coextrusion technologies require expertise acquired through years of experience. Silvadec guarantees a very high level of performance and constant product quality. As a dynamic and innovative company Silvadec continually invests in research and development, by notably building on partnerships with research centres and universities. It also has its own engineering department with qualified engineers aiming to improve the quality, durability and appearance of its wood composite.


Aware of the great ecological challenges of our era, Silvadec is committed to a proactive policy to reduce our environmental impact. The technology is to recycle shavings and sawdust from PEFC certified woods to create a product 100% recyclable. Silvadec pursues an ecologically responsible sustainable approach and complies with strict environmental standards. We have chosen to engage in clean local production and are proud that all of our wood flour suppliers are French and are PEFC certified. By offering rot proof UV resistant wood products for outdoor use with characteristics so close to those of exotic wood, Silvadec is helping to reduce deforestation. Despite extensive production no trees have been cut down for its manufacture. Furthermore, the production process generates no production waste, as scraps are reintegrated into the production process.


What is WPC?

W is wood, P is plastic, C is composite. A composite material or composite is a material made from two or more constituent materials, with significantly different physical or chemical properties. When combined the composite material has characteristics different from the individual components, lighter, stronger, less expensive. It is a young industry less than 30 years old. Limited use of WPC before the 1980s due to unfamiliarity between the wood and printing industries. 1983 first industrial production of extruded WPC panels consisting of 50% wood and polypropylene for automotive interior. Only in the 1990s did we see in North America the first WC deck boards.


There are a lot of different qualities of WPC deck boards on the market due to WPC formula, percent wood, plastic choice of wood, type of wood, size of wood, fibres, flour and its origin PEFC, choice of plastic, type of plastics and, whether to use recycled or virgin plastics.



When installing a deck one of the biggest problems is the humidity, with a hollow profile the surface that can take in water is a lot bigger which, results in more humid boards. When installing fencing and cladding there is a lot more ventilation because they are installed vertically so, using hollow profiles doesn't have the same humidity problem.


Another advantage is that a solid decking board containing 2/3 wood flour, can be cut, rounded and still looks great. If you have a hollow board, you can see inside the profile.


Thermoplastics HDPE, LDPE, PVC, PP all have different characteristics which contribute to the quality of the product. This is a comparison between the most common use thermoplastics in WPC, PP, PVC and PE.


Virgin polymer improves mechanical properties and UV resistance but also the consistency of these properties.


Recycled polymer improves life cycle analysis, life cycle assessment LCA also known as life cycle analysis, eco balance or cradle to grave analysis, is a technique to assess environmental impacts associated with all the stages of a product's life from raw material extraction, through material processing manufacture, distribution, use, repair and maintenance and, disposal or recycling. It's still very difficult to find recycled plastics that have the same continuous quality and quantity needed to guarantee the quantity and quality of the end product. PEFC equals program for the endorsement of forest, it is an international non-profit nongovernmental organization which promotes sustainable forest management through independent third party certification. The PEFC certification system is a safe and transparent tool designed to follow the timber flows from the forest to the consumer.


PEFC standards

Independent third party certification bodies assessed the respect of the PEFC standards. In the forests sustainable forest management as well as in the companies working the timber from transport to sawing and transformation into a finished product. Obtaining PEFC sustainable forest management certification demonstrates that management practices meet requirements for best practice in sustainable forest management including; biodiversity of forest ecosystems is maintained or enhanced; the range of ecosystem services that forests provide is sustained; they provide food, fibre, biomass and wood; they are a key part of the water cycle; act as sinks capturing and storing carbon and prevent soil erosion; they provide habitats and shelter for people and wildlife; they offer spiritual and recreational benefits. Chemicals are substituted by natural alternatives although use is minimised. Workers’ rights and welfare are protected. Local employment is encouraged indigenous people’s rights are respected. Operations are undertaken within the legal framework and following best practices.


But also, a company can be PEFC certified. Physical separation. Separation certified from non-certified material, percentage method. Mix of certified with non-certified material, percentage calculation, percent of certified material procured, percentage distribution, percent of certified materials sold.


Choice of the board depends on the characteristics of the board that are important to the customer. Consisting mainly of wood the Silvadec wood composite is a unique high quality wood composite, formed from 2/3 wood flour and 1/3 high density polyethylene HD PE, with an exclusive reconstitution in the form of fibres with greater durability. This exceptional material has no equivalent in Europe. The specific mix of both ingredients, easy to work, an appealing and lasting warm look, exceptionally comfortable to use, heat under bare feet equivalent to that of solid wood.


Ideal complement to outdoor wood products, doesn't grey overtime, rot resistant, no risk of splinters, no treatment required, only periodic cleaning is required, slip resistance, see slip resistance test, frost resistance, suitable for pool decks, UV resistant. The choice of material depends on the characteristics of the board that are important to the customer. Quality, use, personal preferences. There are different tests to determine resistance and durability of WPC. Due to the different formulas for WPC and profiles, which will have different characteristics and advantages, we have taken one specific product to give a small resume about the different kinds of characteristics. Resistance to termite; humidity; resistance to indentation; Brinell hardness; fire reaction; slip resistance; Max load.


Slip resistance tests

Slip resistance tests measure the coefficient of friction of flooring surfaces. The slip resistance or sliding friction of a surface is dependent on the vertical force acting on the body and on the friction coefficient of that surface, in which the latter depends on the texture, roughness of the surface. There are no objective test methods to measure this as every person and their footwear is different. There are different test methods to determine the slip resistance of the surface but none of those methods are universally accepted by European or international standards. Different standards refer to different test methods such as the pendulum, the tortoise digital tribometer, the ramp BOT 3000 slip tester, slip alert slip tester. Some of the many test methods available approach practical experience and are therefore recognised. Although some of these tests result in values with a similar name coefficient of friction, it is important to realise that it is impossible to reliably convert the results from one test to another, because the test principles differ and lubricants used, which have a major influence on the slip resistance of any surface vary between tests.


Ramp test

Ramp test DIN 51130 slip resistance with shoes. A person in a harness wears boots and the surface of the ramp is sprayed with contaminants. The incline of the ramp is gradually increased, and the values are determined by the angle at which the person on the ramp feels unsafe. The finish is one of the factors that contributes a lot to the slip resistance and can influence the choice of board suitable for a specific type of installation. R11 classification certifies high adherence suitable for communal use type decking on garden floors, landings with access to outdoor areas of public access areas, etcetera. R12 classification a test to good grip, suitable for use on forecourts of public access areas, station forecourts, outdoor access ramps for persons of reduced mobility with a maximum slope of 5%, outdoor access areas in shopping arcades, or floors or refectories, restaurants and canteens, etcetera. R13 classification, a test to an extremely good grip, suitable for slaughterhouse or fish market floors.


Top left small ramp for wheelchairs on the bottom left side of the deck to get onto the stand. Left under a wheelchair ramp to get onto the pier. Right wheelchair access to an art centre in the park with added anti slip inserts.


Ramp test DIN 51097 slip resistance barefoot, a person in a harness is barefoot and the surface of the ramp is sprayed with contaminants. The incline of the ramp is gradually increased, and the values are determined by the angle at which the person on the ramp feels unsafe.


 European standard EN 13501-1

Fire reaction as per euro classifications. European standard EN 13501-1. Construction products are classified in euro classes A1, A2, B, C, D, E and F. Products classified in A1 and A2 classes are non-combustible; cement; concrete; minerals; glass fibre; glass and products certified from B-F are combustible in ascending order. Flooring materials are classified in euro classes A1, A2, B, C, D, E & F followed by the abbreviation FL for flooring.


Personal preferences of the board

Once you have determined which brand you want to use, depending on the quality it's time to have a look at personal preferences. Esthetical. To make it easier to know what you have to look for or which questions to ask we will have a closer look at the range of one brand. Every manufacturer will have its own dimensions and finishes.


The boards in this range are produced using an extrusion process, they are colour impregnated which gives them a very authentic appearance resembling natural wood. These are solid boards and are worked just as easily as solid wood and can be cut sanded or claimed. Their barefoot friendly temperature is comparable to that of exotic hardwood making them ideal for swimming pool decks and outdoor patios.


Choice of the board

Different widths, 38MM and 180MM.

Different finishes. Grooved, traditional appearance, good slip resistance, smooth, contemporary appearance with sleek lines, embossed, natural wood appearance and wood grain finish.

Different colours. Colorado Brown, exotic Brown, Iroise grey and anthracite grey. The wider the range, the more freedom you have to create your outdoor space.

Combination of different colours. Different colours, different patterns.


Wood composite boards

Wood composite boards undergo changes in colour during the first few months after installation. During this period yellow marks and damp rings may appear on the boards. These marks are perfectly normal and will disappear with exposure to UV and the rain. Once this transition period has passed the colour of the boards will be near to the original colour and durable. You can also use water to accelerate the process. How does this transition phase occur? The changes in the boards tone are the result of a natural reaction of the wood to UV rays and rain. UV rays cause the boards to yellow and the rain naturally cleanse is this yellowing away.


Uniform exposure to UV rays allows this phenomenon to last some weeks. If the installation of the decking takes place over a period of a few days, it is normal as a difference in tone maybe notice between the first boards that were installed and the last ones. This difference will naturally fade away after uniform exposure of the products to UV rays. It should be noted that this transition phase can last longer if the boards are installed in sheltered or semi protected areas. Concealed by vegetation, sheltered areas etcetera, which consequently we strongly discourage the use of the natural range. One of the new and more advanced boards on the market are manufactured using an innovative coextrusion technology. Warranting that your wood composite decking will have exceptional and long lasting properties such as high resistance to UV rays and highly stain and slip resistant. It is immediately a very stable product it is not subject to colour change with very easy maintenance even for light colours. The unique coextrusion process that consists of coating the wood composite 2/3 flour with a protective polymer layer. The process makes the delamination of the layer impossible. This board is ideal for outdoor use but is also suitable for decks in sheltered or partly sheltered areas. It's intense and consistent colour resistance to UV rays and its brush grain make it unique.


Different finishes

Facias different pattern. Facias rounded and different colours aluminium edging strip, facias and finishing boards to create stairs, LED.


If we compare the different boards of one manufacturer, we can see that even then there's a difference between the different boards they produce. Regarding the choice of colour, dark colours have the advantage of being less prone to show dirt. For decking or pool deck applications light colours are less hot on bare feet. Decking boards that contain a high proportion of wood and are less hot on bare feet than other wood composites. Whatever the colour the temperature in the sun of boards containing 2/3 wood flour is close to that of exotic wood deck boards. A bored with a plastic or polymer layer will always be warmer.


Maintenance recommendations

Depending on the WBC formula every brand will have different maintenance recommendation. For example, your decking should be washed once a year, ideally in the spring, use a long handled scrubbing brush and always scrub the boards lengthwise, wash with water and a diluted mild detergent, dishwashing liquid, clean the spaces between the boards using a metal blade to ensure proper water drainage. These boards do not require special protection, no treatment product, regular cleaning is required to keep the boards in good condition. Do not use a high pressure cleaner if its pressure is too high and do not put the cleaner too close to the boards. Do not use solvent. Do not apply an oily coating, paint or protection product, restorer renovator on the board surface. If you have a specific stain check what the manufacturer suggests sometimes, they have a cleaning product specially developed for their WPC formula. This is a cleaning product for wood composite boards especially for pollution and plants. It is a liquid often used together with a well-adjusted high pressure cleaner moderate power. Clay based with 100% mineral origin, this cleaning product absorbs grease stains particularly food stains, barbecue, oil, ice creams, etcetera and is used dry.


WPC products that contain 2/3 wood flour will also expand due to weather conditions just like solid wood products. It is important to follow the installation instructions from the manufacturer as every formula will require a different expansion gap. In this case a minimum gap of 5 millimetres in width and length between boards is necessary, as it allows expansion due to temperature changes and also for drainage of water and melting snow or ice.


Types of clips

As you could see in the installation video, the boards are fixed with specific clips. Depending on the decking configuration different clips will be required. Single stainless steel fastening clip for board bearer intersections. Stainless steel butting clip used to attach several board corners onto the same single bearer. Start and end clip used to attach the boards along the edge of the deck to each bearer. Wood composite bearer only used for flat installation on a concrete slab. Special composite stainless screw these screws replaced the start and end clip and are used to secure the boards along the edge of the decking. Match the colour of the decking boards. Aluminium removal clip used to create an access to an element located below the deck.


Thank you very much for your interest in our products.

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