Composite fence posts - Wood Plastic Composite
Still difficult to choose... Your wife would like a composite post for the new fence.
So do you, but you've read somewhere that composite fence posts are soft.
And sensitive to UV radiation. How about that?
If you buy a bad composite post, you can start all over again next year.
Of course, that's not what you want! All that work...
Spending money on cheap junk? You've had it with that too. Cheap = expensive is unfortunately all too often proven true.
How do you choose a good composite fence post? And what is wood composite anyway?
What is composite or WPC?
WPC stands for Wood Plastic Composite.
Nice, but what is it?
Wood-plastic composite is a mixture of wood, plastic and additives such as pigments for the colour, binders and chemicals to make the mixture UV-resistant.
The quality of all these ingredients determines the quality of your composite fence post.
The big disadvantage is that this quality can only be measured in laboratory tests, so a bad manufacturer can easily use "junk" and say it is a good composite fence post.
Let's look at those ingredients together::
- Wood is mainly used as a (cheap) filler of wood composite. Generally, one uses sawdust that comes from sawmills. This sawdust can be from hardwood, or softwood, and of course there is a difference in quality. More and more other fibres are also used, such as rice husks, coconut fibres or whatever is cheap.
- Plastic: mostly recycled plastic is used for this. That's good, that's good for the environment. But just look at how you sort your own plastic waste. Most people are not very accurate in this, which means that there are many different types of plastic mixed together. Often contaminated with other materials as well. When you start melting all this together to make into a composite fence post (or decking / fence board), you will understand that the quality of the recycled plastic is of great importance.
- Binders and other additives to make the composite strong and UV-resistant so it doesn't burn away in the sun. These are the most expensive ingredients of composite fence posts. The higher the quality, the more expensive of course. So when you want to produce an inexpensive price point, you use less of these substances. Or lower-quality fabrics to keep the price as low as possible.
Yep, that scares you off when you read this. Now you won't have the courage to buy composite anymore!
Are there any other disadvantages to a composite post?
Yes there are, for example:
- Composite is a fairly soft material. If you screw a screw into it, it will quickly ""turn ragged"". The thread of the screw will have drilled a hole in the composite, as it were, and the screw will not be fastened. Certainly not with hollow composite deck boards or under joists. So I absolutely advise against under joists for a composite deck! Installing a composite deck with clips seems nice. But if the clip is not fastened properly, your composite deck will come apart in no time.
With composite posts, always make sure they are reinforced with steel. Otherwise, the composite post can easily break. Not really a safe idea with a balcony fence. When screwing a fence panel or glass pane onto the composite post, for example, you also have to make sure that you screw through the composite into the steel. A balcony fence secured only in composite will not stay fixed for long.
- Composite is also brittle. A composite decking board will quickly break if you drop something on it or if a chair leg lands rather hard on the terrace. Therefore, always opt for solid composite boards. These are more expensive but you have less chance of breakage or other damage.
- Certainly dark decking boards get very hot in the sun. I myself have had a large, anthracite-coloured composite decking in our outdoor showroom. You definitely don't want to walk barefoot on that on a hot summer day!
- Composite always discolours slightly, especially in the beginning. How much? That again depends on the quality...
- Composite is quite expensive, especially if you want good quality.
Are there any advantages to a composite post?
Yes, luckily there are!
- Most people find a composite post just simply beautiful! (I myself included).
- You have no maintenance on it.
- Insects won't eat it, they don't like chemical stuff much.
- Easy to clean if needed.
- With good quality, you just have a beautiful product.
And how do I know if I am buying a good quality composite post?
Well...you can't really know.... Hallmarks are no guarantee because they are usually created by the industry itself.
So when you buy composite from us, you'll just have to take my word for it that it's good stuff!
We have been selling PLUS composite boards and composite posts for over 10 years and we have NEVER had a complain. And everything installed by our customers still looks great many years later. PLUS is a Danish manufacturer and the largest supplier of fence materials and posts in Scandinavia. And up there in the cold north, the weather is not so friendly to outdoor building materials. You don't become number one on the market when you sell junk!
I have had materials from other manufacturers on trial in the past. We threw them all out again because I simply wasn't satisfied with the quality.
The structure of the composite posts is obviously hollow to use less material, but the posts have a clever honeycomb-like structure that makes them very strong. In addition, the composite fence posts are reinforced with galvanised steel tubes that in turn fit perfectly on the post feet.
I find the composite post from PLUS a very nice and quality product. Pricey, but just good.
So with those, you will just have a nice, sturdy fence or balcony fence.
No need to worry about that any more!
What is the composition of a PLUS composite post?
- 50% recycled wood
- 35% recycled plastic
- 15%binders and additives
- PLUS guarantees a discolouration of less than 10% in the first year. This is completely normal and PLUS is therefore one of the top companies in the market.