Author Topic: Composite decking recommendations? (Trex, TimberTech, Fiberon..)  (Read 14747 times)

PtboEliz

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Heya, does anyone have a recommendation for composite decking? I'm looking at weighing the pros and cons of Trex v. TimberTech though I'm open to other suggestions. (I understand that Fiberon has an added environmental plus of being recyclable at end-of-life but it doesn't seem as easy to source at my deck guy's preferred store.)  I'm doing a small deck (6'x10') off a side door.  Any comments too about buying rail versus doing a simple rail with the decking material?  I'd be grateful for any input based on experience, research, etc. Many thanks :)

ETA: Any suggestions on which "line" of a manufacturers product you recommend would be appreciated as well. And I'll mention that my deck will be north-facing, basically at the end of a drive-way between houses; so it will have less extreme weather exposure, though I am in a region in Canada with a wide range of summer heat and winter cold.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2016, 03:50:25 PM by PtboEliz »

Freedomin5

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Re: Composite decking recommendations? (Trex, TimberTech, Fiberon..)
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2016, 04:35:17 PM »
I haven't done any intensive research but have anecdotal evidence. My parents used Trex to redo their deck (they live in Toronto) about 20 years ago, and it's still going strong.

geekette

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Re: Composite decking recommendations? (Trex, TimberTech, Fiberon..)
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2016, 04:57:34 PM »
We redid in TimberTech (TwinFinish, I believe) 4 years ago. 

On the plus side, the deck looks great.  We used the color match screws rather than the concealed fasteners, and they blend in nicely, and haven't popped out.  For cleaning, I've used Corte Clean on it a few times.  The directions are unnecessarily complicated - it's actually pretty simple to use, and does a great job.

On the down side, the fascia boards warp and collect debris between the board and the decking.  Not sure what can be done about that, or if they've changed the product in the last few years.  It's not a big deal to me, but it's noticeable.

We went with the white Radiance Rail, and I often wish we hadn't.  Hardware for the stairs was horrendously expensive, and it turns green with algae/black with with tree debris, and looks dirty too quickly.  It does clean right up with the Corte Clean, but you have to wipe each side of each rail with the rag or sponge.

PtboEliz

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Re: Composite decking recommendations? (Trex, TimberTech, Fiberon..)
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2016, 10:32:21 AM »
Thanks to both for the responses. Geekette, you've convinced me to steer clear of the white radiance rail. I love the look of white, but you do end up seeing every bit of everything on it.

NonprofitER

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Re: Composite decking recommendations? (Trex, TimberTech, Fiberon..)
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2016, 11:35:08 AM »
PtboEliz, keep us posted on what you choose too. We're also considering a deck with these materials/companies.

younggunner

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Re: Composite decking recommendations? (Trex, TimberTech, Fiberon..)
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2016, 08:20:16 AM »
Azek!

Pay close attention to what and how you fasten it.  A shitty screw / not predrilled can mushroom out the decking making a bad looking job.  It's especially more common with the cheaper shittier material boards...

PhysicianOnFIRE

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Re: Composite decking recommendations? (Trex, TimberTech, Fiberon..)
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2016, 08:38:23 AM »
I went through this process last year. We chose Timbertech and it's held up nicely for the year we've had it.

My father used TImbertech about 10+ years ago and his still looks great, which was a major factor in our decision. Make sure whatever you get is sealed on all sides.

Cheers!
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bognish

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Re: Composite decking recommendations? (Trex, TimberTech, Fiberon..)
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2016, 11:00:57 AM »
I did a trex deck about 6 years ago. Its light brown with the fake wood grain on the surface. Dark brown railing. It is south facing with really strong sun, so different conditions from yours. The biggest drawback is that you can't sand out a scratch or add a coating of paint/stain to bring back the appearance after it fades or stains. After 6 years the color has faded significantly. Some of the boards are starting to deteriorate and crumble. I get tiny splinters walking barefoot across it, and it can't be sanded down without stripping the wood grain look. It is easily stained and slow for stains to fade. This is mostly an issue with a few wine splills and around the grill we have on it.  The grill is on a mat, and the area under the mat is crumbling/lost all of its wood grain texture.

The flip side is that I have not had to do any maintenance on it in 6 years. I think we have an extreme sun environment where the deck is. Anything left in the back yard gets hammered pretty fast. The wood deck that we replaced was completely rotted out and falling apart. I don't know how it was maintained, but the house was only 12 years old when we bought it. Not sure if we will get more than 12 years out of Trex.

Good luck. I am not sure if I will decide to go with wood or a composite when the time comes to replace. If you are using a contractor or supplier it would be worthwhile to ask if you can inspect some installed jobs that have been in the elements for a few years. The catch is that the composites will say they have improved the product every year.

PtboEliz

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Re: Composite decking recommendations? (Trex, TimberTech, Fiberon..)
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2016, 11:27:55 AM »
Thanks everyone. Bognish, I feel for you with that intense sun damage. As you say, the problem with seeing jobs already done is that the products apparently are changing quickly.

I've decided to go with Fiberon as they are (or seem to be) a "greener" company (awards won, etc.), and a textured board as I'm worried about slippery surface. The one that made the most sense is an all-PVC board which is higher end - the cost doesn't make a big difference with a small deck like mine. The composite railing is more than twice the price as an aluminum rail which is much more common here.. so I'll likely be going with aluminum.

I'm just at ordering stage but will post an update with photo once the deck's done in a few weeks. Hopefully it will go smoothly. Thanks again for the input.

PtboEliz

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Re: Composite decking recommendations? (Trex, TimberTech, Fiberon..)
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2016, 06:49:16 PM »
Just an update.. after some delay my deck is finished! Well, save for some Sienna paint and landscaping still to come. I chose Fiberon "Mineral" PVC board as it is textured and I didn't want slippery. The colour is light and does show dirt easily but I guess that makes for a semi-regular scrub workout. The railing is aluminum, much less pricey than the composite company rail systems. I spoiled myself in replacing the side door as well.

A few of the boards came with some small white splotching, presumably a factory defect. Fiberon replaced the boards on seeing photos and allowed me to keep the old boards so I've got lots of leftover material to make some planters and in case a board needs to be replaced in future. As someone pointed out, I think PVC facia may be prone to warping as it came with a bit of bend to it so we'll see how it holds up. My contractor made me a great solid bench which will be well-used.

[I live on the edge of downtown and excavating for the footings was very interesting. We dug through layers of ash pits and found bits of china and a couple of 100 year old bottles: a wine bottle and a soda bottled embossed with the name of a soda works that was located just down the street.  Cool stuff.]
« Last Edit: August 01, 2016, 07:01:20 PM by PtboEliz »

postvmvs

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Re: Composite decking recommendations? (Trex, TimberTech, Fiberon..)
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2016, 04:25:02 PM »
Thanks for posting the results. It looks great! Based on what you found in digging for that small deck, I'd be tempted to dig up the whole yard to see what other 'treasures' lurk beneath. BTW what is the green painters tape for on the stairs?

PtboEliz

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Re: Composite decking recommendations? (Trex, TimberTech, Fiberon..)
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2016, 07:28:23 PM »
Hi Postvmvs, you know, you weren't the person to say keep digging.  We actually did end up doing a second dig in the area to try to get rid of a badly invasive plant (Japanese knotweed). There we found some kid stuff - a marble and small totem pole, as well as a pretty metal piece we think was from an old stove, a small medicine bottle and more china bits.

The excavator was in a tight area though (between two houses) with my keen brother at the helm and my blood pressure wasn't up for extra digging for fun. It was very cool though to have a trip back in time. I regret that I didn't get a time capsule back into the hole before it was filled.

Because of the slight bend in the facia board I think my contractor used some adhesive to give it another hold to the stringers. He told me that he'll take the tape off when he's here next.

Landlady

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Re: Composite decking recommendations? (Trex, TimberTech, Fiberon..)
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2016, 06:01:13 PM »
My husband is a licensed and bonded deck builder in Seattle and he recommends Trex to everyone there.
If you go with another product make sure it has been used in the industry for at least 10 years so that if someone has had problems the company has had time to improve their product. None of these decking companies will have actually tested their plastics for 10 years plus to see how it will perform before putting it on the market. Trex has been around long enough to trust.
If you have any other questions he does remote consulting for people looking to DIY their decks. Or you can just ask me and I'll give you an answer that I've probably overheard him answering at some point. :)

https://www.facebook.com/Open-Space-Design-Deck-Construction-112460222127267/?fref=ts