Frequently Asked Questions

What is WPC or Wood Plastic Composite?

WPC is an extruded timber replacement product made from a mix of plastic (virgin and recycled) and cellulose fibre (wood/bamboo/rice).

It was invented in the USA and refined in the late 1980’s/early 1990’s. Primarily designed as a substitute for certain types of timber (i.e. decking) it is currently produced and sold all over the world.

Why buy WPC in place of timber?

WPC offers a low maintenance alternative to timber with no oiling or staining required and the option of a concealed fix.

Unlike most timbers, using WPC ensures that there are no splinters, sap or tannins runs, no rotting and it is also white ant/ termite resistant.

WPC – are they all the same?

No they all vary according to the type, quality and quantity of the raw materials used as well as the profile of the extrusion, quality of tooling and the skill/knowledge/IP of the manufacturer.

Futurewood uses the highest grades of recycled polyolefin (plastic from post industrial waste), hardwood wood flour, rice husks, pigments, UV inhibitors and fungicides. In the harsh Australian environment solid WPC decking is preferred to hollow WPC decking due to the differences in surface area/moisture absorption and profile strength/design.

Finish, look and the weathering (colour change) of WPC decking or fencing should all be considered before deciding which brand of WPC that you choose.
Fixing of the decking boards is also an important consideration as not all concealed fixing options are the same; some types of concealed fixing are expensive and cumbersome and require glue to be used under each board. Futurewood deck clips are quick and easy to use, reduce installation time (saving labour costs) and are very economically priced. There are 4 different clips in the range that cover every type of installation and provide the complete Futurewood composite deck board fixing system.

What is Futurewood made of?

Futurewood is made from a combination of cellulose material (25% hardwood wood flour & 30% rice husks) and 35% recycled polyolefin (plastic from post industrial waste).

These main ingredients are classified as recycled and represent 90% of the overall material. They are combined with colour pigments, UV inhibitors, fungicides and bonding agents to deliver a very low maintenance and sustainable alternative to the rainforest timbers, typically used for outdoor decking and fencing in Australia.

What lengths and colours are CleverDeck and EnviroSlat available in?

The standard length boards are 5400mm long. Custom length boards are available subject to certain conditions. The standard colours are Walnut, Slate Grey, Saltbush, Mahogany and Chocolate.

Slight color variation between boards is natural however we recommend that wherever possible you purchase all of the boards required for your project from one batch in order to avoid more extreme colour variation that may occur between different batch runs.

How strong is CleverDeck compared to timber decking?

CleverDeck is produced using a proprietary blend of plastic and cellulose fibre materials.

The formulation has been designed and tested to meet the demands of a typical Australian deck when installed in accordance with the fixing recommendations.

For further information regarding design and performance characteristics refer to the technical specifications.

How hot will the surface of CleverDeck become when exposed to continual direct sunlight and how does this compare with timber?

CleverDeck will heat up at a slightly higher rate than timber when exposed to direct sunlight.

Darker colours will retain more surface heat (up to 20 degrees Celsius above the ambient temperature).

Will CleverDeck and EnviroSlat burn?

CleverDeck and EnviroSlat profiles will burn like most timbers.

There are many different Australian standards that relate to the fire performance of a building material. These standards apply based on building types and material placement/applications. A commonly referred to standard is AS1530.3 which relates to ignitability, spread of flame, heat evolved and smoke developed Futurewood composite decking performs well across these indices for this standard. For decking AS 3959.2009 refers to a BAL (Bushfire Attack Level) rating. CleverDeck is suitable for BAL – low and in some instances BAL 12.5 or BAL19. Refer to Futurewood for further information regarding BAL options.

Are CleverDeck and EnviroSlat stain and chemical resistant?

CleverDeck and EnviroSlat are produced with a non chemical reactive polymer base and have an extremely high level of moisture resistance.

However, any chemical/liquid spills should be washed off immediately to avoid the potential of any staining of the cellulose material that will occur over time if the spill is allowed to remain on the decking or fencing material. Fat, wine and other food stuffs may stain the material if left to soak in over time. There are also some speciality composite decking cleaners that might be appropriate for decks subject to heavy traffic/regular soiling. Contact Futurewood for more information regarding these cleaners.

We recommend cleaning with Handy Andy or standard Omo powder. We do not recommend using bleach as it may affect the colour pigment (refer to the Futurewood care and maintenance guidelines for more information).

Will the colour in CleverDeck and EnviroSlat fade over time?

The colour in CleverDeck decking and EnviroSlat fencing and cladding runs right through the boards.

These boards are made with Ultra-Violet inhibitors that help protect the colour pigments used in the product from continual exposure to UV radiation.

The colour will soften over the first 4-12 weeks that your deck is exposed to the elements. This is a natural bedding in process caused through the lightening of the cellulose fibre in the formulation. Once the initial colour weathering has taken place the lightened shade will be maintained over many years.

Does CleverDeck and EnviroSlat last longer than a timber deck or fence and what warranty is offered?

Most CleverDeck and EnviroSlat products are supplied with a 10-year warranty against rotting and termite damage.

The special polymers used in the formulation of CleverDeck and EnviroSlat will ensure that you enjoy years of low maintenance use unlike some timbers that will rot and deteriorate after only a few years if not properly maintained.

Does CleverDeck cost more than a timber deck?

CleverDeck is supplied in a fully finished condition unlike most timber decking.

When you consider the cost of cleaning and sealing/oiling/staining your timber deck and the ongoing maintenance associated with annual oiling etc. CleverDeck should save you a considerable amount of time and money over the many years of its useful life compared with high maintenance timber.

Refer to the Futurewood “cost calculator” on our web site to help you compare the costs between CleverDeck and Merbau timber. Simply type in all of your own quoted prices to determine the cost comparison between CleverDeck and your alternative timber for your job.

How do I work with and fix CleverDeck and EnviroSlat boards?

CleverDeck and EnviroSlat can be worked with normal wood working tools.

CleverDeck can be fixed using Futurewood Deck Clips providing a very appealing concealed fix finish or it can be screwed to timber joists by drilling directly through the face of the board. EnviroSlat can be fixed to aluminium, steel or timber fence posts or any other type of posts or frame using a range of different screw types. Refer to the appropriate Futurewood fixing guidelines for more information.

What joist spacing is recommended for CleverDeck WPC decking?

CleverDeck will span a maximum of 450mm between joist spacings in domestic installations when installed at 90 degrees to the joist. Generally speaking the closer the joist spacing the better the deck will perform.

Therefore better performance will be achieved if you reduce your joist spacing to 400mm and even better performance will be achieved with joist spacings of 300mm.

For further information and angled installations refer to the CleverDeck fixing guidelines.

What are the spanning requirements for EnviroSlat screening?

EnviroSlat should be fixed at a maximum 900mm centres for multiple spans and 600mm for single spans.

For further information refer to the EnviroSlat fixing guidelines.

Can CleverDeck or EnviroSlat be used as a structural component in a deck or fence?

No, CleverDeck and EnviroSlat are designed for use as either decking or fencing and are both classed as “non-structural” materials.

Is CleverDeck slippery when wet?

No, CleverDeck is machined to give it a non-slip finish after it is extruded so that it provides an excellent slip resistant surface in either wet or dry conditions.

CleverDeck has undergone various slip testing and has achieved an R11 rating from the CSIRO.

Does CleverDeck and EnviroSlat expand and contract as it heats and cools?

Yes, CleverDeck and EnviroSlat like most materials will expand as they heat and contract as they cool.

Boards generally expand in length with very little change to their width. Your decking design should allow for this and we recommend that long lengths of decking are not butt joined to each other.

The preferred method of installing long lengths of decking would be to use a breaker board between the long boards running at 90 degrees.
Refer to the CleverDeck fixing guidelines for more information.

EnviroSlat needs to be fixed at either 600mm or 900mm intervals with an appropriate gap/spacing at the ends of the boards. Refer to the EnviroSlat fixing guidelines for more information.

Are CleverDeck and EnviroSlat mould resistant?

CleverDeck and EnviroSlat have a fungicide added in the formula that helps to reduce the risk of mould growing within the material under normal conditions.

Due to the ability of mould spores to be transported in the air, it is important to keep the surface of your CleverDeck or EnviroSlat free of dirt and other contaminants to reduce the incidence of mould growing on your deck or fence. Extremely damp areas with little or no air flow may promote mould growth and regular cleaning of your deck or fence will be required under these extreme conditions.

Can CleverDeck and EnviroSlat be used near the sea or around swimming pools?

CleverDeck and EnviroSlat have a very low moisture absorption rate and are impervious to the effects of salt air and salt water.

As such they are highly suitable for use in coastal areas and around pools, spas and water features. Care should be taken to avoid spilling any highly corrosive swimming pool chemicals on CleverDeck or EnviroSlat. Any spills should be cleaned up and washed off immediately.

What are the environmental credentials of CleverDeck and EnviroSlat?

CleverDeck and EnviroSlat are primarily made from discarded rice husks, hardwood wood flour (sawdust) and recycled polyolefin (plastic from post industrial waste) making them an excellent environmental product in their own right.

These products can be classed as 100% recycled. A small amount of colour pigment, UV inhibitor and other chemicals are added to the recycled products in order to produce the high quality final product.

When you consider that by choosing CleverDeck or EnviroSlat you are not using Merbau or any other rainforest timber it makes your decision even more environmentally sound!

Are CleverDeck and EnviroSlat scratch resistant?

CleverDeck is produced to a level of hardness that makes it suitable for the general traffic use required of a domestic/residential deck.

The product is supplied with a machined, indented finish on one side of the 138mm boards and a coarse sanded finish on the other side. The 86mm boards have a coarse sanded finish on both sides of the board.

Larger scratches caused by dragging heavy objects over the deck may be difficult to remove so we recommend that any outdoor furniture is fitted with appropriate protection under the legs/feet to avoid any major scratching from moving tables and chairs over the deck.

Most scratches can be removed by light sanding, however, care should be taken to ensure that the indented grain is not removed in the process (if this is the finish that the boards are installed showing).

EnviroSlat fencing boards are made to the same hardness and have the indented grain finish on both sides of the boards so that the surface will hide any minor scratching but care should be taken when handling the boards to make sure that they are not dropped or dragged over sharp objects as they are pre-finished. Refer to the Futurewood care and maintenance guidelines for more information.

How do I clean and look after my CleverDeck?

CleverDeck requires only occasional cleaning in order to keep the surface free of dirt and general grime.

We recommend normal sweeping and cleaning of your deck at regular intervals. You can use a pressure washer to clean your deck but do not run this at greater than 8Mpa (1200 PSI) or position the nozzle within 300mm from the deck surface otherwise this may mark the surface of the deck.

Periodic cleaning with a mild detergent or household cleaner will help to keep the surface in top condition and will greatly reduce the potential of any mould growth forming on dirt or food scraps left to build up on the deck. Refer to the care and maintenance guidelines for more information.

How do I clean and look after my EnviroSlat?

EnviroSlat requires only occasional cleaning in order to keep the surface free of dirt and general grime.

We recommend periodic cleaning of your fence using a mild detergent or household cleaner. You can use a pressure washer to clean your fence but do not run this at greater than 8Mpa (1200 PSI) or position the nozzle within 300mm of the boards otherwise this may mark the surface of the boards.

Cleaning will help to keep the boards looking good and will greatly reduce the potential of any mould growth forming on dirt that might build up over time on your fence. Refer to the care and maintenance guidelines for more information.