I do not understand the appeal of matala. That crap is crazy expensive. I can make an equally functionally false bottom out of egg crate and pvc for 1/10 the price and a little labor. Can someone please explain to me what you all see in this product?
If you buy in bulk (full sheets, several at once) and you watch for deals, the price comes down some. But even the "gimme now, dammit!" price isn't exactly heinous. For example, I see I can - right now at this instant - get a single full sheet (48" x 39") for $54, with free shipping to my house. That size is almost the same as two 24" x 48" sheets of egg crate, which together would cost you somewhere between 20 and 30 bucks off the shelf. So the Matala would cost about twice the egg crate. With the egg crate approach, you also need a little PVC pipe for the risers, and some zip ties, and some hot glue or whatever, and of course some time (sure, call it an hour) to cut it all up and assemble it. Matala requires none of that other stuff, and very little time to measure and cut.
So I don't really agree on "crazy expensive". 10:1 difference? Sorry, no. A differential of 20-30 bucks out of pocket (calling the zip ties, PVC, adhesive, etc "free") for several builds
one way, or an hour of my time per build
the other - honestly it's no contest to me. I can always make a little more money, but I can't get my time back.
As for what I like about it, besides its light weight:
- The absolute ease of cutting and shaping it. Box cutter, hacksaw blade, or steak knife, all work fine. Serrated blade, going slow, is best for fine control. Want a little cut-out in the corner or whatever? No prob. Want that cut-out curvy-edged, or sloped back, or hey, why not both? No prob.
- Its sturdiness under load. No flexing, no need to stuff another riser under there.
- Its uniformity of height under my build.
- The fact that it's designed & intended to be used in water, as a physical filter medium and also a substrate for denitrifying etc bacteria.
- The way it doesn't want to slice or stab or pinch me when I pick it up and move it around, or shoot pieces at my eyes when I cut it, unlike that damned egg crate shit. That stuff is just hostile, unless used in its full dimension, as intended (as a light diffuser for a 2x4 overhead light fixture). Start cutting it up and it turns mean.
If all that doesn't open your mind to the possibility that Matala isn't a goofy, clueless, spendthrift choice - hey man, different strokes, I guess. You do it your way, I'll do it mine, we'll both be just fine.