Frequently Asked Questions
We understand that you may have questions or concerns, and we're here to help. Find answers to the most common questions we receive from our customers below. If you don't find the answer you're looking for,
please don't hesitate to reach out to us directly.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: Can you use common wood working tools with BestPLUS Plastic Lumber?
A: Yes. The material can be cut, drilled, and milled just like wood! We recommend using carbide-tipped tooling whenever possible. When sawing plastic lumber, use saw blades with the minimum number of teeth (combination rip blade). Most forms of cutting are acceptable, however chain sawing of this product is not recommended.
Note: Plastics can become hot and molten when processed. This can cause burns and deformation of materials, so take care not to allow cutting tools to sit in one spot very long.
Q: What colors are available?
A: We offer 5 colors in our standard grade – Brown, Gray, Cedar, White, and Black. Specialty colors can be ordered, but require minimum order quantities.
Q: Can BestPLUS lumber be painted or stained?
A: No. Paint and stain will not adhere well to our material. Because of low surface porosity to penetrate, the paints and stains will sit on the surface and over time will flake and chip off. The lumber is available in 5 standard colors, and others upon special request, so you should not need to paint or stain.
Q: What fasteners do you recommend?
A: In most cases, we recommend using Stainless Steel hardware. Due to the long expected lifetime of our material it only makes sense that you would use a fastener that has an equally long life. We recommend deck screws with large heads:
#8 or #9 screw
Maximum of 10 threads per inch
#17 point (or similar)
Coated (for outdoor use) or Stainless Steel for best longevity
Torx or square head (not required but recommended for cam out slippage)
Fully threaded if possible (not required but recommended)
Bugle head with self-countersinking threads at the top
For nailing, we recommend a ring shank.
Q: Can BestPLUS lumber be used in structural applications?
A: No. Please do not use for structural applications. BestPLUS is not liable for performance when used in structural applications.
Q: Will BestPLUS lumber thermally expand or contract?
A: Yes. BestPLUS is a polymer-based product, and therefore will expand (in heat) and contract (in cold). Please take this into consideration for your application. We recommend oversizing holes slightly when predrilling to allow for expansion and contraction. Additionally, we do not recommend that you abut plastic lumber end-to-end unless it is used in a temperature-controlled environment. It is best to plan for slight expansion at both ends.
Q: Will BestPLUS lumber rot or promote mildew growth?
A: No. Recycled plastic lumber does not contain organic material, such as wood filler, to promote rot, mold, or mildew growth. The material will not absorb moisture or allow anything to adhere to it.
Q: How do you clean BestPLUS lumber?
A: The material is impervious, so dirt and debris don’t adhere to it very well. If necessary, we recommend initially wiping with a soaping sponge or towel to remove debris or dirt before using more aggressive methods, such as pressure washing. Stains from oil-based products or permanent markers may require a mild solvent and rag to remove.
Q: Will BestPLUS lumber fade?
A: Yes, but only slightly. Products exposed to the sun will lose some color over time. Our S-Grade products have a UV protectant in all colors. Other grades are manufactured with carbon black which is a natural protectant.
Q: Will BestPLUS lumber crack or warp?
A: BestPLUS lumber products may crack or warp under severe stress (except for G-grade, which may crack or warp under less stress). Please discuss your application with a BestPLUS professional.
Q: What are the differences between composite (wood & plastic) decking and 100% plastic decking?
A: Wood swells when exposed to water. 100% plastic is not water soluble, and therefore will not swell. Plastic & wood composites do not create the same tight bond that 100% plastic does. Wood composites are vulnerable to mold and insects. 100% plastic is not. Wood composites will fade and stain. 100% plastic will not. 100% plastic is also easy to clean and maintain. Simply wash with a hose.
Q: Is plastic as strong as wood?
A: Plastic and wood are two very different substances, reacting in different ways. Plastic may bend slightly under weight that would break wood. Depending on the application, plastic may need to be uniquely supported. Contact us for more information.
TIPS for BEST EXPERIENCE with BestPLUS NON-STRUCTURAL LUMBER
Plastic lumber is flexible. It may bow or bend under pressure, if set on an uneven surface, or if exposed to heat or direct sunlight. Plastic lumber's flexibility provides resistance to breaking, splitting, and cracking, but can also have drawbacks if you are looking primarily for rigidity and strength. Plastic lumber may bend or warp under load, especially when exposed to hotter temperatures or direct sunlight. If this occurs, you can bend the lumber back and secure with hardware. Re-exposing to heat may make this easier. When storing lumber before installation, we recommend keeping in shaded areas with flat surfaces.
Plastic lumber may expand when exposed to heat or sunlight, and may contract when exposed to cooler temperatures or shade. As temperatures rise and fall, you may see plastic lumber expand or contract, respectively. This may not occur evenly throughout a board. We recommend installing during average ambient temperatures to allow for expansion and contraction. In general, we recommend leaving 1/4" expansion gap for an 8' board. 100% silicone caulk can be used to fill in expansion gaps.
Avoid using fasteners within 1/2" of the edge of a board. Because contraction may occur as temperatures drop, fasteners installed too close to an edge may pull through the end of a board. If it is necessary to fasten close to an edge, we recommend installing fasteners at a 45 degree angle.
Avoid long unsupported or cantilevered spans with plastic lumber. Plastic lumber is non-structural, so may flex, bend, or twist when unsupported for long spans, especially when bearing loads.
Avoid extreme heat (over 180 degrees F). Plastic lumber may deform permanently when exposed to temperatures over 180 degrees F.