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Old 05-10-2008, 06:41 AM   #1
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Composite/PVC Decking


Hello all
I'm planning on building a fairly large deck (1500 sq ft) and want to use something lower maintenance than treated wood. I've read the horror stories about Trex. My question is does anyone have experience with the alternatives? I want to use the hidden anchors. I have found a lot of alternatives, but can't find much user feedback. Thanks for your help.

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Old 05-13-2008, 03:25 PM   #2
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Composite/PVC Decking


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Hello all
I'm planning on building a fairly large deck (1500 sq ft) and want to use something lower maintenance than treated wood. I've read the horror stories about Trex. My question is does anyone have experience with the alternatives? I want to use the hidden anchors. I have found a lot of alternatives, but can't find much user feedback. Thanks for your help.
I'm researching Vinyl decking products and like you haven't found a lot of feedback on them. The main two I am considering right now are the Quadra system from builddirect.com and Azek which would be much more expensive and from a lumber yard near me.
So far I like the superior qualities they have over composites, like less scratching, staining, and molding. I live in MN and the temps can swing from -40F to 100F (not in one day of course ) and am worried about the expansion and shrinkage properties. I've also heard that tongue and groove designs can sometimes pop if water gets in and freezes. Comments from others are appreciated.

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Old 07-19-2008, 12:00 AM   #3
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Our 2 month old TREX deck has developed stains that cannot be removed! Caused by (chose 1...or more) Alder Trees, Madrone Firewood smoke!, or Redwood trees) TREX gives all kinds of cleaning instructions...which do not work. Trex rep brought cleaning powder...which does not work. We complained to TREX, and were told that we were being "Unreasonable"!
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Old 07-19-2008, 12:18 AM   #4
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Hi, I just ordered the Quadra PVC vinyl decking. I had a lot of questions about how it holds up and how it should be installed, and was able to get those questions answered by the product maker. Deck will be going up the first week of August *crosses fingers*
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Old 07-19-2008, 12:32 AM   #5
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I hope your experience will be better than ours!
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Old 07-19-2008, 10:02 AM   #6
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I had a lot of questions about how it holds up and how it should be installed, and was able to get those questions answered by the product maker.
Hopefully the manufacturer accurately represents their product's durability and longevity.

I'm no fan of composite decking for a number of reasons. When someone's budget can handle composite, I often recommend looking at Ipe as an alternative. It will outlast any wood on the planet, and adds a certain class that you just don't get with plastic/composite decking.
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Old 07-19-2008, 10:20 AM   #7
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Quadra decking is a 100% PVC deck board. if you do a google search on it you will find the manufacturer (don't think I can post it here due to forum rules). The product costs $1.69 a linear foot, which is much less expensive than Ipe. For my16x18 deck with 16 stairs the decking materials are ~2k. They shipped me samples and I really like the product so hopefully it will as good on my deck. It's fade, insect, mold, and stain resistant. All I will have to do is wash it down with water to keep the dirt off of it. Its got a transferable lifetime warranty so if a board cracks for whatever reason, I can get it replaced. However shipping costs on 1 board will probably be more than the board itself. Geezz now I sound like a salesman. *shakes head*
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Old 07-19-2008, 03:20 PM   #8
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Composite/PVC Decking


100% PVC boards will wear better than composite (wood/plastic) boards - less issues w/ staining, cleaning, scratching, etc.

Good brands out there -
TimberTech XLM
Azek
CorrectDeck CX

Both the TimberTech and the CorrectDeck have a hidden fastening system. Azek offers a top-screwed plug system (FastenMaster Cortex) that's fairly unobtrusive as well.

Mac
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Old 07-19-2008, 07:03 PM   #9
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I looked at timbertech and Azek and they were close to double the price. Some might say you get what you pay for but I'm not so sure in this case.
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Old 07-20-2008, 11:08 AM   #10
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Holy crap - I see why it's so cheap - it's hollow! It's a doublewall board.
Look at what the hidden fastening system is holding onto to secure those boards - an 1/8" thick (maybe!) piece of plastic. Yeah, I can see that lasting....NOT!!


TT and CD are solid boards with a nice, beefy lip to secure the board to the joists. That, and the hidden fastening system is made up of metal (or high density polyprop) clips and SS screws - I think they might have better holding power than plastic 1/8" thick clips...


Yeah, I'm thinking you'll get what you pay for...
Short term savings = long term cost.
Short term cost = long term savings.

Which deck board will cost you more in the long run?

Good luck with the project -

Mac
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Old 07-20-2008, 11:32 AM   #11
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I have samples of the stuff and it seems very solid. You can't argue with thickness though so its just a matter of whether paying for potential over design is necessary. I don't have any problems with the hollow boards and actually prefer that style because it diffuses heat better. I think there is a perception that because wood is solid, products like PVC and composites have to be as well. Solid products simply cost more and weigh more, and in my opinion based on the research I have done, don't always amount to a stronger product. We won't be able to answer the
"Short term savings = long term cost.
Short term cost = long term savings."
question for quite some time. I'll report back in a month when the deck is done to give a first impression.
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Old 07-20-2008, 04:44 PM   #12
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I have samples of the stuff and it seems very solid. You can't argue with thickness though so its just a matter of whether paying for potential over design is necessary. I don't have any problems with the hollow boards and actually prefer that style because it diffuses heat better. I think there is a perception that because wood is solid, products like PVC and composites have to be as well. Solid products simply cost more and weigh more, and in my opinion based on the research I have done, don't always amount to a stronger product. We won't be able to answer the
"Short term savings = long term cost.
Short term cost = long term savings."
question for quite some time. I'll report back in a month when the deck is done to give a first impression.
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Old 07-20-2008, 05:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgbehrends View Post
I have samples of the stuff and it seems very solid. You can't argue with thickness though so its just a matter of whether paying for potential over design is necessary. I don't have any problems with the hollow boards and actually prefer that style because it diffuses heat better. I think there is a perception that because wood is solid, products like PVC and composites have to be as well. Solid products simply cost more and weigh more, and in my opinion based on the research I have done, don't always amount to a stronger product. We won't be able to answer the
"Short term savings = long term cost.
Short term cost = long term savings."
question for quite some time. I'll report back in a month when the deck is done to give a first impression.
If you're happy with it, that is all that matters. I'm with Mac though...There's no way I would use any of the hollow products. I have seen too many installations with them, and have not been impressed.
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Old 07-26-2008, 09:12 PM   #14
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Our 2 month old TREX deck has developed stains that cannot be removed! Caused by (chose 1...or more) Alder Trees, Madrone Firewood smoke!, or Redwood trees) "!
Do not blame your trees or fire smoke. It is just a poor product, with a much better marketing dept than research and product development. It is a shame that many people still use it because of the beautiful pictures in their ads and their marketing pitch, without doing some research on the web. It doesn't take much looking to realize that it seems to generate almost universal disappointment. Sorry, but all I can suggest is to keep dogging the manufacturer's rep, creating a trail of written correspondence detailing the problems and the failures of their suggested solutions, in hopes that one day there is some kind of monetary settlement or product replacement program, and you will have readily available proof of your products poor performance from it's very beginning.
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Old 07-30-2008, 03:10 PM   #15
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In my opinion and experience there is no man made decking material that can even come close to the durability of a natural hardwood deck like Ipe, Cumaru, or Tigerwood which also look way better than any composite material.

These species of wood are naturally resist mold, mildew, insect attack, and decay because the wood is so dense and the grain structure is very tight. This allows some hardwood species to last up to 40 years with no maintenance.

The price is very similar to composite materials.

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