How dassoXTR Exterior Bamboo Decking Compares to Other Bamboo Decking

For outdoor building and remodeling projects, builders, architects and homeowners alike are realizing the many benefits of choosing dassoXTR exterior bamboo decking and siding. So what makes dassoXTR so special? Before comparing dassoXTR to exotic hardwoods such as Ipe and Cumaru, which have long been the standard materials used in exterior decking, it is important to first understand just what sets dassoXTR exterior bamboo decking apart from other bamboo decking products on the market.

Basically, there are three categories of bamboo available for construction:

  • The first category includes bamboo pieces that are glued together and then “treated” with Alkaline Copper Quaternary (ACQ), a wood preservative. ACQ-treated bamboo is the equivalent of treated lumber, except that the bamboo is not a solid piece of wood but rather a multple layer of side-joint bamboo strips glued together (with manufacturers often masking the pieces by wrapping them in a faux skin before treatment). Included in this first category is strand-woven bamboo, which offers a better, more dense construction than “pieced together” bamboo products. The weakness of this category is that bamboo fiber tense to mold and crack over time as ACQ does not prevent bamboo fiber from spreading mold and do not enable bamboo fiber to withstand constant expansion and contraction.
  • The second category mixes bamboo “fiber” – essentially sawdust – with some percentage of recycled and/or non-recycled plastics. The plastic can be PVC, PE, PET, or PU plastic. While this product has similar properties of other composite decking, it also has similar drawbacks, including its inherent eco-issues. The composite plastic decking consist of over 50% of plastics and only very small percentage of bamboo saw dust. Although composite plastic producer tries to portray composite decking as green, there is nothing green about using plastics in building your home.
  • The third category is fused bamboo – dassoXTR’s patented manufacturing process. When bamboo is manufactured for outdoor use, it must be carbonized, or heat treated, which typically makes the bamboo become brittle, especially when exposed to the elements. But with dassoXTR’s fusion process, the bamboo goes through a second heating stage, which melts the lignum (a natural glue within the bamboo), returning it to its natural rigidity. Pressed under high heat, treated bamboo strands are mixed with phenolic resin which encapsulate the bamboo fibers, producing a product that is 87% bamboo and 13% resin. The result is a far more durable, denser, harder board than even strand-woven bamboo. In fact, dassoXTR fused bamboo is among the stiffest, strongest decking materials in the world – even more dense than popular Ipe, which is often prized for its performance.

More on Performance

Within the building industry, building codes set minimum standards for installed product performance. The International Code Council (ICC) develops the standards for decking, including the standard minimum performance measures for decking products that are not constructed from a solid piece of wood cut from a tree. So how does dassoXTR decking and siding rate when it comes to performance? The good news is that, like exotic woods, dassoXTR bamboo performs at incredible levels. However, ICC standards can be difficult to apply when making apples-to-apples comparisons to other bamboo decking or composite decking. This is because oftentimes either suppliers do not test their materials, or a supplier may choose to report the results only as “passing,” where passing is the test’s minimum standard.

In comparing dassoXTR to exotic woods like Ipe – the most popular exotic hardwood used in decking – a fairly apple-to-apples comparison can be made using three standard measures of product performance (independent of the structure on which the deck is being installed). These include:

dassoxtr vs other decking chart

Its high MOE score tells that dassoXTR is very hard to bend and break. The high Janka rating means it’s hard to dent. And its inherent decay and insect resistance make it suitable for outside use. Another performance benefit: dassoXTR (like exotic woods) will not sag or droop between the joists when exposed to heat from the sun. This can be a particular concern with composite decking products, particularly those blended heavily with plastics.

Learn more

To learn more about the dassoXTR difference, see “How dassoXTR Decking and Siding Compares to Ipe”.

dassoXTR bamboo products used worldwide

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