UPM ProFi – high-performance composite decking for homeowners

Outdoor life with style: total fibre encapsulation ensures that UPM ProFi composite decking products keep their looks over time.

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​Rain, frost and the ultra violet rays of the sun combine to make the environment for outdoor building materials much tougher than indoors. Requiring expensive ground preparation and cold to the touch, stone and ceramic tiles were for a long time the only choice for outdoor terraces and patios. The natural feel of wood, and its ease of construction led to a growth in timber decking, but few people enjoy the annual maintenance required to keep it looking good. Composite decking (also known as WPC or Wood Plastic Composite decking) seemed to offer the solution: natural to the touch, easy to install, and requiring minimal maintenance.

However, the performance properties of composite decking can be drastically reduced if manufacturers try to save costs too aggressively. Whilst two pieces of composite decking may look the same in a shop, after six months of rain, sun and frost, the differences caused by cost saving in recipe and process become terribly clear.

Composite deckings are made by combining fibres (eg wood, rice, bamboo) with polymers. (polyethylene, polypropylene, pvc). Additives (eg for colour, uv protection, and improved bonding) enhance the performance of the products. Composite decking has been produced in the USA since the early 1990s and in Europe since the early 2000s. As much of the fibre and polymer content obtained from recycled materials, composite decking can offer an ecologically sustainable alternative to tropical hardwoods.

The perfect composite decking should combine high performance with a luxurious look and feel:

  • A closed surface for good stain resistance
  • The right grades of polymer to achieve good impact resistance
  • The right proportion of polymer (expensive) and fibre (cheap) for low moisture absorption
  • Good quality colour pigments and uv stabilisers for colour durability
  • A textured surface to provide good friction properties, even when wet
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The UPM ProFi composite decking range is designed and manufactured in Finland, Germany and USA.
It is divided into two main product families: the Design Decking and Classic Decking ranges.

UPM ProFi Design Decking Range:
a clean and fresh look

With a fresh, stone like appearance, UPM ProFi’s Design Decking Range has a closed surface with good friction properties. The patented composite uses cellulose fibres sourced mainly from recycled self-adhesive label material. Being lignin free, the fibres do not suffer from the normal wood greying effect and UPM ProFi is able to manufacture brighter and fresher colours with better colour durability than traditional composite deckings.

The fibre content is approximately 50%, ensuring that the fibres are fully encapsulated by polymer. The premium UPM ProFi Deck and UPM ProFi Terrace boards are engineered hollow profiles made with technical grade polypropylene allowing all the strength and stiffness of a solid board, but with 30% less weight. The extremely low moisture absorption means that deck boards can be built without any drainage incline being necessary. With a unique range of components and accessories, such as the patented Rail Step, UPM ProFi Deck range full enables both design creativity and fast installation.
 
 

UPM ProFi Classic Decking Range:
rich hardwood tones with a natural feel

The Classic Decking Range from UPM ProFi also has a closed surface with good friction properties. Recycled American Red and White Oak provide the fibres for UPM ProFi Lifecycle range, whilst UPM ProFi Veranda benefits from the same lignin free cellulose fibres as UPM ProFi’s Design Decking range.

Compared to composite deckings with hard plastic shell, UPM ProFi’s Classic Range of decking has a much more natural tropical hardwood look and feel. fibre content of approximately 50%, they have exceptional stain resistance and low moisture absorption. As the boards’ structure is solid, a recycled blend of mainly High Density Polyethylene provides excellent strength properties and total encapsulation for the fibres. A full range of decking accessories ensures fast and secure installation.

For environmental sustainability reasons, no PVC is used in the manufacture of the UPM ProFi range of composite decking, and any off-cuts or waste may be disposed of with normal household waste. (In our own factories, we recycle the off cuts into new decking and offer such a service for large projects)

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​Deck Design

UPM ProFi’s composite decking range offers a choice between the fresh and clean look of the Design Deck range, and the rich hardwood tones of the Classic Range. Deck design may be enhanced by alternating the direction of the boards, mixing colours, creating shapes and borders, and using both profiles found on the reversible boards.

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​Deck Planning

Composite decking is free of knots and other visual defects found in timber, so less wastage is incurred. However, accurate planning will help to optimize the material quantities needed. Creative design is enabled by UPM ProFi’s Deck Planner, which also produces an detailed list of the amounts of materials needed.

Deck Planner »

​Material Sourcing

UPM ProFi’s complete range of products is available throughout Europe from professional distributors of timber and building materials’ products. Brochures, samples and technical advice can also be found from these companies.

Where to Buy composite decking »

​Installing the deck

In many ways installing composite decking is similar to installing a timber deck. However, there are a few specific ways in which the material behaves differently than timber, and the installation instructions should always be followed closely. UPM ProFi’s unique range of accessories facilitates the more complex parts of deck installation: eg building stairs with UPM ProFi Railstep. UPM ProFi also operates a certified programme for professional installers in which advanced deck building techniques and material properties are covered. A link to the up to date list of UPM ProFi certified installers can be found below.

UPM ProFi Deck Installation Instructions (PDF) »
UPM ProFi Classic Deck Installation Instructions (PDF) »
Installation »
Find your nearest composite decking installer »

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​UPM ProFi’s range of composite decking products has been designed to be ultra-low maintenance. All the products have a closed surface, total encapsulation due to the correct fibre : polymer ratio, and strong UV protection. Unlike timber, there is no need for sanding, oiling or varnishing. However as with other exterior building materials a certain level of maintenance and cleaning is recommended. Normally it is enough to clean the surface periodically with a jet spray or a hose and brush. It is also important to keep the deck well ventilated from all sides by avoiding the build-up of debris on and under the deck. (UPM ProFi’s Alu Rail and Rubber Strip prevent debris falling between the deck boards).

UPM ProFi Deck Care & Maintenance (PDF) »
UPM ProFi Lifecycle Care & Maintenance (PDF) »

 

UPM ProFi composite decking products are designed and manufactured in Finland, Germany and USA. They have been engineered to perform and last in the toughest environments. UPM ProFi composite deckings have been successfully installed from the arctic cold of Finnish Lapland to the searing heat of Dubai. The products are covered by a warranty that guarantees the structural integrity over a period of years that depends on the product and the application. Full details of the warranty can be found from UPM ProFi’s distributor partners.

UPM is a global company at the forefront of the new forest industry. In 2013, UPM's sales exceeded € 10 billion. UPM is present in 65 countries and has production plants in 14 countries. The company employs approximately 21,000 people worldwide. UPM shares are listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki stock exchange.
 
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