Silca is the same as Outdoor Floor System®. Really? An egg is an egg is an egg just like a grate is a grate is a grate. What? Let me explain. Yes the oval-oblong shaped, shelled egg was just an egg some 10 – 20 years ago. Today of course we have a wide variety of chicken eggs: vitamin enhanced, organic, enriched, free run, free range or multiple combinations thereof. To most of the population or the untrained eggatarian, we still say “it’s an egg, what’s the big deal?”
Unfortunately, just as changes in farming practices require a more educated buying decision for our healths sake, so to changes in the outdoor flooring, decking and rooftop terrace product category require a more educated buying decision for the health of your customers outdoor living spaces. One very specific product type is the flooring panel often referred to as a crate, grate or as defined by Outdoor Floor System®, the developer of this category, a Deck Plank.
The comparison is often made in this category by potential customers, designers, architects and even industry tile manufacturers, to a product called Silca. Since when does a visual similarity make an object the same as another object? As we know from the simple egg, the outside does not necessarily guarantee the sameness on the inside nor the objects performance, benefits or weaknesses. This could not be more true then when looking into the core performance of the Silca panel vs. the GRATEDEX® and elePHOOT® Deck Planks.
Silca panel 16" O.C. joit span
Silca panel 16" x 18" O.C. pedestal span
We have cracked open this egg to give you the truth behind this not so equal comparison:
Test Machine: MTS
Data Acquisition Rate: 10.0 Hz
Pre-Load: 5.000 lbf
Pre-Load Speed: 0.150 in per minute
Test Speed: 0.150 in per minute
Strain End Point: 200,000
~GX) GRATEDEX® GX01 Deck Plank; 30” x 48”
~(EP) elePHOOT® EP01 Deck Plank; 24” x 30”
~(SL) Silca panel; 16” x 18”
~GRATEDEX®; 16”, 24” O.C. joist framing support
~elePHOOT® ; 24”, 30” O.C. joist framing and corner pedestal support
~Silca panel; 16” O.C. joist framing and 16” x 18” corner pedestal support
On 16” O.C. framing, the SL failed catastrophically at 1352 lbf vs. the GX which reached 8463 lbf and the EP which reached 8984 lbf (30” span) and 11,000 dbf (24” span) with no catastrophic failure.
On corner pedestal supports, the SL failed catastrophically at 1551 lbf vs. the EP which reached 10,507 lbf at a 150% larger span print, 2 sf vs. 5 sf.
The load capacities of the GX and EP Deck Planks in framing and pedestal conditions were 533% to >577% higher than the SL panel.
GRAREDEX® Deck Plank 16" O.C. joit span
elePHOOT® Deck Plank 24" x 30" O.C. pedestal span
Yes, you are reading that correctly. This is not a little difference but a “Grand Canyon” difference between the two products. This extreme difference puts the GRATEDEX® and elePHOOT® systems in a different league.
Silca Cracks Under The Pressure – Not Outdoor Floor System®
Are all eggs the same. No. Are all panels used to support pavers, 2cm tile, thin gauge tile, turf, landscape surfaces in elevated decks, rooftop terraces and plaza decks the same. Unequivocally NO! It is now safe to say, when any person tries to assert that the Silca panel is the same “egg” as the Deck Planks and System Packages from Outdoor Floor Systems® that they are “cracked”. Beyond the physical differences which should be obvious to industry professionals, there is now the physical data which makes the denial of the difference undeniable. The Silca panel is rightfully an “egg” crate. The GRATEDEX® and elePHOOT® Deck Planks are structural flooring underlayments. That’s the difference.
What is the health of your space worth? If your outdoor living space is using low cost surfacing materials with a short term life span of use, then yes, use an egg crate that matches that condition. But if on the other hand, the surfacing materials have a superior quality and longterm future, then make it a healthy future by choosing Outdoor Floor System®.