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Lawn-Scape
12-12-2005, 01:52 PM
Has anyone had any experience with plastic railroad ties for hardscape borders or retaining walls? I'm pricing a job where the homeowner wants to use ties on each side of a gravel drive to define the driveway. At this time he is opposed to concrete, blacktop, or other hardscape choices since the driveway itself aids in water drainage.

Plastic railroad ties are made from re-cycled materials and are available in several colors. They are somewhat expensive, but uniform in width so they would match up very well. I've priced them undelivered from about $50 to $100 for standard eight footers. They can be drilled and spiked/rebar nailed just like wood. They do not rot either.

Here are some sites to check out:
http://www.americanrecycler.com/10ties.html
http://www.progressiveengineer.com/PEWebBackissues2004/PEWeb%2051%20Jun%2004-2/51comp.htm

I'd be interested in what you think about these?

Dirty Water
12-12-2005, 08:08 PM
if he wants something that won't rot, try to sell him on either concrete borders or perhaps Trex?

$100 a tie is crazy.

UNISCAPER
12-13-2005, 10:09 AM
They are using concrete ties around here.

Lawn-Scape
12-13-2005, 06:00 PM
I agree, $100 a tie is very high. I'm not familar with trex?

Dirty Water
12-13-2005, 08:06 PM
Trex makes synthetic decking materials out of recylced plastic. They come in a assortment of colors and are available in 1x1, 2x4, 2x6,4x4, 1x4,1x6 sizes etc.

muddstopper
12-14-2005, 12:26 AM
I have noticed a lot of warping with the plastic timbers in retaining walls. dont know the brand or exact composition of the materials used. also dont know if its improper installation or characteristics of the materials used. Just an observation.

PurpHaze
12-14-2005, 08:43 AM
I have noticed a lot of warping with the plastic timbers in retaining walls. dont know the brand or exact composition of the materials used. also dont know if its improper installation or characteristics of the materials used. Just an observation.

Kind of makes you wonder if there is some "give" in the materials and they take a "bend but don't break" attitude when under pressure.

SCL
12-27-2005, 03:01 PM
Have extensive experience with a product called Expotential timbers. 6X6X8' weighs around 140 lbs. per. Cost is $30 a tie delivered, gotta drill with a hammer drill and mason bit, cut with a fiber concrete blade on a partner saw. Use anywhere you want that tie look! Pinned with 1/2" rebar. Will bend if unsupported, but won't in a wall.