08:11AM | 04/28/04
Member Since: 01/14/03
264 lifetime posts
As I have no experience with these new composite decking materials, but will have a need this year to demolish 2 decks and build new ones, I'm looking for information...personal knowledge and experience. I can get all the advertising off the web or at the lumberyards. What I'm really looking for is "first-hand, I've worked with the stuff, love-it, hate-it" kind of information.

Anyone out there got it? There's quite a few to choose from...Evergrain, ChoiceDek,Trex, Timbertech, Weatherbest, Elk, etc., etc....

Myself, I'm tempted to stick with the tried and true materials I know...cedar & redwood, but maybe the composites are a better, albeit more expensive (?) route? My understanding is that the framing needs to be 12" centers, not 16" ? Any and all experience appreciated.


09:38AM | 04/28/04
Member Since: 08/13/01
13 lifetime posts
I, too, am interested in these materials, particularly the long-term wear characteristics. The 'deck design center' at my local HD is actually situated on a multi-level deck made of different materials, and the composite section (don't know which brand) looks like it hasn't stood up very well...quite scuffed up and faded. Maybe that's just because of the volume of traffic.

I don't think my local code differentiates between materials, so if it is 5/4, the centers must be 12".


10:03AM | 04/28/04
Member Since: 01/28/03
693 lifetime posts
I've used and have been satisfied with Fiberon decking which is sold off the shelf at **********.

Only misgiving is that the decking needs to be pre-drilled and countersunk for each and every screw or fastener.

Otherwise, I suggest DurationDeck which is distributed by Harvey Industries on the east Coast.

I know of no manufacturer that requires any of their deck material to be placed over floor joists framed at 12" on center.

All composite decks boards I know are manufactured to bear loading at the standard 16" oc.

(I will be glad to be corrected since there are literally hundreds of composite manufacturers out there and I don't claim to know but a few.)


10:25AM | 04/28/04
Member Since: 01/14/03
264 lifetime posts
I've pretty much been used to predrilling everything I've used to decking, except PT, of course. So the predrilling thing wouldn't be of significant concern.

On other forums, the little I've been able to glean from the 'personal preference' postings indicates that 12" centers is almost a must for the products do tend to sag between joists at 16" centers. That doesn't seem surprising given that the longer composite 'boards' are said to bend quite a bit at each end when picked up in the middle.

The scuffing issue I hadn't even thought about, but that could be something of concern. That might indicate a wearing issue?


04:56PM | 04/28/04
Member Since: 11/06/02
1281 lifetime posts
The Trex is pretty pliable but there are others that are formulatd differently to stiffen the span. Trex can go 16" OC but not always happily on a hot day.

Correctdeck is a product made in Maine that is of simoilar material but denser than the Trex, harder , and stronget. It also comes in three or four colours and one side is smooth while the other has a wood grain pattern. I've been happyu with it and I generally don't care for the plastic materials.

Excellence is its own reward!


06:12PM | 04/28/04
Member Since: 04/27/04
3 lifetime posts

i only worked with trex so far

here in socal that stuff gets very hot and the thing i really don`t like is that kind of slimy feeling when i walk barefeet over it, but that`s mabey just me, kind of heavy too, other than that great stuff if you want low maintenance, for my own deck i would choose wood

here the info how to install trex


08:01PM | 04/28/04
Member Since: 12/27/02
543 lifetime posts
As you know 2nd growth redwood here in CA has a short lifespan without major upkeep... so I switched over to composites quite a few years ago now.

Trex was the first, made by Mobile back in '96 I've been using it professionally since '99. Did the plant tour with the Trex reps in Reno NV last year that was interesting...

Anyway, I tried a few different types but went back to Trex, by the way the span is 19.2 for 2x6 which is what I use mainly. I may take it down to 16 dependent on it's use but it's not req. The 5/4 I'd go 12" o/c but I don't use that much.. unless it's be a north side perhaps then.

You know our heat is a killer, so the 5/4 on a so. exposure can get a little ellastic at 110d & up but 2x holds up well.

I used madeira red back in 2000 on the Petaluma Deck it's looks like I put it in yesterday.. you can see that one in the full projects online at my site.

My customers are extremly happy with the results to date.

Also you mentioned you thought it was expensive, but check out the suppliers it's only a couple of cents/lin ft higher, and with the pre-finish, it makes it less expensive than Redwood, I do use a lot and get a fairly decent deal but if you contract you should be able to get a markdown as well.

If you've any more q's just ask, glad to help you out.

Alter Eagle Construction & Design


11:01AM | 04/29/04
Member Since: 02/08/04
16 lifetime posts
I quite recently built a deck in our yard with Choice Dek (sp?). So far I'm very happy with it. It was easy to work with and I like how it looks. It is very flexible and so has some 'bounce' to it. I put it on 14" centers because I'm going to be putting a hot tub on it and wanted the extra stability, but it's rated for 16".



04:55AM | 06/04/04
Member Since: 12/19/01
29 lifetime posts
My inlaws used Trex for their deck, built about 3-4 years ago. It was a brown color originally, but has now turned a greyish color. This is in Ohio, temps swing from -10F in winter to 100F in the summer. I personally don't like it. It's very dirty/scuffed looking. The plus side is no worry of splinters if you walk in your bare feet. I likely will not use this if I build a deck, although I'm leaning more toward a stone patio anyway.


05:27AM | 06/20/13
Member Since: 06/20/13
1 lifetime posts
My grandfather has cedar decking for about three years and they are considering switching to composite decking. Reason? In their old age it’s difficult for them to take care of the decking by oiling it and coating and re-coating it with paint. Also the silvers and sharp edges are a big problem.

I have composite decking for my home and garden and I’m totally happy with it. The composite decking I use comes with ten years warranty and if ever anything goes wrong with the deck boards, the supplier changes the faulty ones.

Composite Material Manufacturing
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