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The Lowdown on Plastic Lumber

By admin - Last updated: Thursday, October 15, 2009 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

With many people concerned about environmental issues, selecting a greener alternative for building projects is a must.  With the many new products that have showed up on the market for building material in past the few years, none can compare to plastic lumber.  The many advantages of using plastic lumber are numerous.

plastic lumber samplePlastic lumber is made of recycled plastics and virgin plastics.  The plastic is 100% recyclable unlike wood that tends to decay after many years of exposure to outside elements.  This means that when an outside structure that is made out of plastic lumber is ready to be torn down, it can be recycled into a vast variety of other plastic products.  Recycled plastic lumber can then have a new life from lawn chairs to shampoo bottles making it better for the environment.

When choosing plastic lumber for building a deck rather than traditional wood, there are many advantages.  Plastic lumber can be molded with or without a wood grain design and can come in an array of colors to match any outdoor décor.  Most woods have to be stained and or varnished to achieve the desired color.  Even then that does not mean that the color of the wood will be correct compared to using colored plastic lumber.  Plastic lumber will not splinter or warp like wood can over time when exposed to the outside elements.  This type of lumber can also be precut to the exact measurements and be ready for assembly when the order arrives at the job site.  This saves the builders time and the extra expense of purchasing a large number of tools when building a deck.

Natural wood lumber can have a devastating effect on the environment as seen with the current destruction of the rainforests in South America alone.  The rate at which trees are being harvested, does not give enough time for the forest to replenish its tree population.  This has had devastating effects on the wildlife that dwells in these types of environments and has caused massive amounts of soil erosion.  With that being said, plastic lumber does not have as near the negative effects on the environment that traditional wood lumber does.

Assembling a deck or other outdoor building project, conventional wood working tools can be used on plastic lumber.  This type of building material behaves like natural wood and can be shaped into many of the same shapes and styles that wooden lumber can be.  That means that there are no special tools that are needed with plastic lumber to achieve the same effect as when working with traditional wood.  Many builders seem to have no problem working with plastic lumber since it mimics wood and the same tools can be used.

For many at first, using plastic lumber as a building material can seem quite strange and foreign.  With some research on the many advantages of using plastic lumber verses wood and the choice becomes quite clear.  The advantages to using plastic lumber usually out weigh wood.

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