VIFAH Snapping Deck Tiles
"getting hardwood deck is easier than ever"

Monday, July 31, 2006

Environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable

VIFAH Snapping Deck Tiles are environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable.

As one of the original, leading metal and wood factories for more than a decade, VIFAH passionately creates Snapping Deck Tiles of exceptional quality while keeping to its mantra that the natural environment must be always protected. These tiles are made from FSC-certified eucalyptus, plantation-grown acacia hardwood, FSC-certified teak, non-endangered shorea hardwood, and especially eco-friendly bamboo.

VIFAH is actively managing its tree farms and other natural resources. In the Dac Lac province alone there are over 200 tree plantations that supply eucalyptus, shorea, and teak for their factories. The eucalyptus and teak are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified. Shorea is plentiful, considered non-endangered, and approved by the government for harvest, and they are re-planting it in areas where it is harvested.

Plantation-grown acacia is grown in other areas of Vietnam and is another hardwood used extensively. Eucalyptus and acacia are the fastest growing trees and can be harvested in 15 – 20 years. Shorea is typically harvested in 30 – 40 years and teak is slower growing and is harvested in 50 – 60 years. The growth rate of the trees determines the cost of the wood. In Dac Lac we saw plantations with mature trees ready for harvest, newly harvested and replanted areas and acreage with trees that were 5 – 10- 20+ years old.

For instance, non-endangered shorea, a hardwood growing naturally and plentifully in Vietnamese protected forrests, is a good material for Snapping Deck Tiles. In Vietnam, shorea has been the wood of choice for centuries in shipbuilding, furniture, houses, and many other uses. Because of its hardness and the natural oils present in the wood, shorea products are extremely resistant to fungi, termites, rot and decay. In addition, the wood is also carefully kiln-dried prior to production. It is indeed heavier and denser than teak. Some basic statistics from Wood Explorer Database that compares teak to shorea.

Shorea Teak
Price Shorea furniture is generally half that of teak furniture
Environmental Status Non-endangered Endangered
Density 52 lbs per cubic feet 39 lbs per cubic feet
Impact Strength 35 inches 25 inches
Work to Max Load 14 inch lbs per cubic inch 11 inch lbs per cubic inch
Toughness 491 inch lbs 227 inch lbs
Weight 49 lbs per cubic feet 37 lbs per cubic feet
Hardness 1642 lbs 1038 lbs

Very high quality bamboo (really grass, a non-endangered species) is grown in the northern part of Vietnam near Hanoi. Vietnamese bamboo was considered to be of higher quality than that which is found in China, and China is indeed importing a large amount of bamboo from Vietnam.

VIFAH makes its own hardware, fittings, and plastic bases for the tiles from recycleable materials.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Features of Snapping Deck Tiles

  • Indoor/outdoor covering for patios, decks, balconies, porches, walkways, surrounding pools and hot tubs
  • Pre-treated, expertly kiln-dried, extremely durable hardwood
  • Mold, mildew, fungi, termites, rot and decay resistant
  • Backed with unique plastic interlocking grid for easy installation
  • Fast snap-together installation with no nails, staples or glue
  • Easy to remove, re-arrange and re-lay tiles
  • Interchangeable styles to create patterns
  • Wood slats permit water to flow through
  • Plastic feet elevate for drying airflow
  • Environmentally friendly non-endangered hardwood from controlled forests

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What uses are there for the tiles?
A. Any exterior areas such as rooftops, patios, decks, balconies, porches, and next to the pools, and interior floors such as sunrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, garages, and basements.

Q. Can I cut the tiles?
A. Yes, easily with any general saw blades. This is probably the only tool that you will need for the installation.

Q. Do I need to apply any finish to the snapping tiles?
A. The tiles come pre-finished with a sealer protecting against the weather. However, like any other exterior products, it’s recommended to retreat the wood occasionally with any deck finish available in your local stores or our Tile Maintenance Kit.

Q. How hard is it take to install the tiles?
A. Extremely easy. The tiles are designed like a set of jig saw puzzles that snap together with little force required. Anyone in the house can install the tiles in a couple of hours and enjoy the floor right away.

Q. Should I fill the gaps between the tiles with grout?
A. No. The purpose of the gaps is to make water drain away from the wood. Trying to fill them with any materials will only trap moisture inside the tiles.

Q. How many tiles do I need?
A. Each tile covers approximately one square foot. However, we recommend to add 10% extra tiles to your project. For example, it is advised to have 110 tiles ready to install a 100-sqft area.

Q. What are the tiles made of?
A. Only non-endangered, certified, and finest-grade exterior woods are carefully selected. The plastic bases are UV-resistant composition of polypropylene and polyethylene. The screws are marine-grade gavenized stainless steel.

The Rate of Weathering

The tiles come pre-finished with a sealer protecting against the weather. However, like any other exterior products, it’s recommended to retreat the wood occasionally with any deck finish available in your local stores or our recommended maintenance kit.

How-To-Install Snapping Deck Tiles

Step 1: Unpack the package

Step 2: Lay down the first tile

Step 3: Snap the second tile onto the first tile via the connection tabs

Step 4: Snap the third tile to the second tile via the connection tabs

Step 5: Snap the fourth tile via the connection tabs

Step 6: Continue snap the remaining tiles until completion.


Project Idea: Balcony Deck

Here is a recent remodeling project on an balcony with Snapping Deck Tiles in New Jersey. What a great job with cutting the tiles to fit the edges!

Project Idea: Remodeling Patio

Here is a recent remodeling project on an existing patio with Snapping Deck Tiles in Winston Salem, NC.

Project Idea: Roof Deck

Here is a recent roof deck installation in Brooklyn, NY. Pictures taken by Neil Bar-or.

Click on the below pictures to see the larger versions.