Last week Friday I had the pleasure of being flown up to Gauteng South Africa to review the latest product launches of two different international manufacturers of composite decking. This was compliments of the local South African importer distributor – On The Deck.
While having very limited exposure to composite decking in my working career I am well aware that this is a relatively new flooring category being only 20 years old or so. Much like our vinyl flooring (LVT/LVP) category the African market has been plagued with an onset of cheap products unsuitable for our aggressive UV levels, extreme heat fluctuations, and ultimate skills shortage. It has and continues to go through a tremendous rate of development as it tries to perfect the perfect recipe of recycled and sometimes not so recycled plastic components to weather our unique external environment. Our climate is harsh and unforgiving, our market may be open to trying new things, but we want bang (value) for our buck (money).
The cost of buying down to a price versus up to a specification is all too popular. If you buy average, expect average results. I don’t have a problem with average at all. I can’t even take exception to great marketing for an average product. What I can take exception to are products and services being sold into territories where they knowingly won’t deliver on their promises. In flooring, this is all too familiar where installers and consumers alike are continually getting hurt. There is a difference between being unconscious and being intentional.
So, what’s the way out?
Do your homework and review the product you are intending to buy. Speak to professionals who are independent of the brand you wish to consider. It’s the age of easy information and countless reviews online. Ignorance was bliss. In today’s day and age, we can’t stop smoke and mirror marketing, but we can take responsibility for our decisions.
If you are informed and know what to expect, then great. Let’s sell this thing, but don’t come crying if it fails because you chose the discounted option.
In my latest vlog, I get into some details concerning composite decking history and my two personal favorites (also an opinion). Favourites because they are backed up by big international business warranties and they deliver proven value, as in longevity within our harsh climate.
In upcoming product reviews, we will get into some more detail on the newly launched Trex Enhance range (the value deck at the right price) and the long-awaited MoistureShield Vision range with Cooldeck technology.