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Tree-dweller 04-12-2013 04:11 PM

Decking wood and otherwise
I found a thread about decking preferences last updated 3 years ago. Now that I am getting ready to re-plank my wood deck, I am looking at the man-made stuff, but I have read some horror stories about fading, mold and outright failure. For those of you who built a deck using Trex etc a while ago, are you still happy with it? Was it worth it? Would you do it again?

Ronstar 04-12-2013 04:28 PM

i replanked our deck with Trex 4 years ago and it still looks brand new. I do have to power wash it once a year to get mildew dots off of it. We live near a lake and the increased humidity seems to create the mildew. But it was worth the $3k upgrade and I would do it again.

braumeister 04-12-2013 04:49 PM

In my experience, don't expect the Trex (or equivalents) to look better than wood over time, or need less maintenance, but it will certainly last longer, which is not a trivial consideration.

bssc 04-12-2013 05:23 PM

We had a wood deck on a concrete pad but it started splintering plus it would get really hot during the summer (in Houston). We replaced it with brick and were really happy.

ERhoosier 04-12-2013 09:49 PM

I would vote for man-made decking. We live in Midwest & had some deck work done in wood around same time neighbors did. Their deck/stairs still looks great while ours is starting to look like it needs redo. If you can handle the extra materials cost it's prob worth the investment.

heeyy_joe 04-12-2013 10:17 PM

I would do Trex again.

REWahoo 04-12-2013 10:19 PM

Your profile says you are in New England so probably not an issue for you, but if anyone living in the south is considering Trex, be aware that it gets very hot in the summer sun. Much hotter underfoot than wood decking.

LakeTravis 04-12-2013 11:42 PM

I bought Trex decking 14 years ago and installed it very close to lakefront water. It's the lighter gray in color so it wasn't hot to the feet.

After 4 years, I removed it and stacked it up.

Then, 6 years later, I unstacked it and built another deck with it, again close to lakeside water. After powerwashing it off, it looked just like it did the day I bought it.

Today - 4 years after I built that second deck - it still looks fine.

Sure, I paid a premium for this decking in 1999. And you'll pay a highter premium today. But I would certainly do it over again.

NC 57 04-13-2013 04:03 AM

In 2003 I built a house. I asked for Trex on the deck. The builder substituted Rhinodeck which he assured us was just as good. After two years it was mildew spotted. The mold is deep in the composite material. Apparently the material includes wood particles, along with plastics, which hold moisture and feed the mold. it is impossible to clean or wash the stains away.

Neither the builder nor Rhino stood behind the product. In fact you can read many Rhinodeck horror stories on the Internet.

After 10 years it looks terrible. I'm planning to replace this summer and considering Trex.

sheehs1 04-13-2013 06:49 AM

I have three wood decks and all three still look great. Of course, I have stripped and re-stained them every single year for 21 years. When I do, they look brand new. I have to do this as the decks are under trees and I just don't like how they look after months of winter.
At some point, I will replace them due to the yearly maintenance. Just finished cleaning, brightening and re-staining two of them and will start on the third one today.

I will replace them with brick which should never need any real maintenance. Here in the south, I've seen Trex that doesn't look good, especially around a pool where people have used oil based sun products, or has mold or mildew. So Trex needs maintenance too!

VaCollector 04-13-2013 07:37 AM

Built my deck 3 years ago with Trex and the only thing I have to do each spring is use the power washer and it looks brand new again...

Would I do it again?? Hold on....

Yes, my DW says that I WOULD do it again! :laugh:

Tree-dweller 04-13-2013 01:31 PM

Good point! DW is the ultimate arbiter. Composite is what she wants, so that's most likely what I will be installing. I'll pay the premium now to avoid a lot more maintenance in the future.

BOBOT 04-13-2013 04:52 PM

If $$ is no object check out ipe or similar exotics.

tjwolf 04-13-2013 05:33 PM

Paid a premium for decking also, only redwood. Represented as lasting forever! Now 22 years later have replaced most of the planks with treated pine and redwood color stain. Have two boards out now waiting for warm weather in order to stain them. Would never have real wood decking again.

Free To Canoe 04-13-2013 06:21 PM

How does Trex hold up in the snow? Wooden stairs that I have now need to be repainted every year.

Ronstar 04-13-2013 08:49 PM


Originally Posted by Free To Canoe (Post 1309034)
How does Trex hold up in the snow? Wooden stairs that I have now need to be repainted every year.

Great. I have shoveled snow off mine with no scratches,etc so far, but I've only shoveled it a few times in 4 years.

KingB 04-14-2013 08:45 AM


Originally Posted by Tree-dweller (Post 1308899)
Good point! DW is the ultimate arbiter. Composite is what she wants, so that's most likely what I will be installing. I'll pay the premium now to avoid a lot more maintenance in the future.

How much does trek costs compared to wood? 2x, 3x?

Donzo 04-14-2013 09:13 AM

I put in a large deck 10 years ago - pressure treated wood as foundation and grey trex on top all around including on top of the railing. It looks the same now after yearly power washing. The stair fronts were done in redwood and look old/worn. I plan on replacing them with trex in the near future. Trex is the way to go

Sesq 04-15-2013 09:36 AM

I hate, hate, hate my composite deck. It isn't trex (its whatever the builder put in), but it is a mold magnet and I just spent the weekend scrubbing the mold off. It has faded a lot in five year, the scrub project will be repeated at 1-2 more times this year.

Since my mortgage rate is so low, I am strongly considering ripping it out with next year's bonus instead of paying down the loan.

rbmrtn 04-15-2013 10:32 AM

I guess it's basically a personal choice... being cheap I did a wood deck using PT 2x6 for planking ~12 yrs ago. Still looks ok to me, not rotted. pressure washed it last month.

Here's a landscape sites take on composite...
Composite Decking vs Wood

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