Composite decking v pressure treated lumber

Posted in the Greeneville Forum

Homeowners

Julian, NC

#1 Apr 2, 2012
My family needs to have a deck replaced. We were thinking of going with a composite like Trex,Evergrain, or ChoiceDeck, etc. I've read some on-line reviews which would cause me to avoid the composite like the plague! Most of the people around here that have this stuff really like it. I've heard some locals complain some varieties get real hot on bare feet. The on-line reviews complain about mold.

Has anyone around here had experiences with the composite products? It's usually at least double the coat of the best pressure treated lumber. The advantage would be that we wouldn't have to stain & waterproof which would save money & time. The downfall with the composite is trying to keep it clean if mold becomes a problem.

Suggestions from contractors and/or homeowners would be greatl appreciated!
construction

Charlotte, NC

#2 Apr 2, 2012
Composite is getting a bad name because of after several Years it drys out and can break thru! And it also after several years fade where in direct sun lite and remain darker where shaded water on steps becomes dark like black or moldy. But the good thing it it looks better than wood for several years. Vinyl decking could be the best product but very expensive! Call lowes aluminum in piny flats ask them about what I just posted. Good luck
Homeowners

Julian, NC

#3 Apr 2, 2012
Thanks for your info. All and all what would you suggest weighing the pros and cons of each? I'm just worried about the mold issue more than anything. It will be in an area where it takes the full blow of all elements, not covered. Mold seems to be an issue even on sunny areas according to on-line reviews. Ideally, one would only need to hose down the composite every once in a while to keep it clean but people are saying the mold springs up after just a few days of bleaching & scrubbing. If that's the case, it's hardly maintenance free & then you have to fool with the mess, cost & time involved with trying to stay mold free.
construction wrote:
Composite is getting a bad name because of after several Years it drys out and can break thru! And it also after several years fade where in direct sun lite and remain darker where shaded water on steps becomes dark like black or moldy. But the good thing it it looks better than wood for several years. Vinyl decking could be the best product but very expensive! Call lowes aluminum in piny flats ask them about what I just posted. Good luck
realist

Ashburn, VA

#4 Apr 3, 2012
I am going to replace both of my decks in the near future with composite. I put up a shed and used the stuff for the ramp to get my riding lawn mower in and out. Haven't had a problem yet. My brother built a big house and a HUGE deck of composite, up in VA, about 8 years ago. No problems yet. Had to replace a couple small pieces (less than 12") right after construction because there was some warping. That's all. Far as I know, he hasn't had any more problems with mold than are normal. Fading can be an issue, but who cares. Look at the work you will save in the long run. You still need pressure treated wood runners, posts, and such. Beware - composite is not as strong as wood. You may need extra support underneath and you need to still allow for expanding and contracting of "boards."
Yes

Hawthorn, PA

#5 Apr 3, 2012
Homeowners wrote:
Thanks for your info. All and all what would you suggest weighing the pros and cons of each? I'm just worried about the mold issue more than anything. It will be in an area where it takes the full blow of all elements, not covered. Mold seems to be an issue even on sunny areas according to on-line reviews. Ideally, one would only need to hose down the composite every once in a while to keep it clean but people are saying the mold springs up after just a few days of bleaching & scrubbing. If that's the case, it's hardly maintenance free & then you have to fool with the mess, cost & time involved with trying to stay mold free.
<quoted text>
The mold is easy to clean with a pressure washer. I have seen the same mold issue on pressure treated, but the wood is more porous and hides the mold a bit better. Pressure treated is much harder to clean if you have a mold issue. I would say it simply comes down to cost and what best fits your budget, because composite is much better in my opinion as far as durability and appearance.
Homeowners

Julian, NC

#6 Apr 3, 2012
Yes wrote:
<quoted text>
The mold is easy to clean with a pressure washer. I have seen the same mold issue on pressure treated, but the wood is more porous and hides the mold a bit better. Pressure treated is much harder to clean if you have a mold issue. I would say it simply comes down to cost and what best fits your budget, because composite is much better in my opinion as far as durability and appearance.
I agree that composite looks so much nicer. I just read some really really bad reviews on-line that scared me about mold. I don't remember ever seeing mold on any wood deck I've ever had, just pollen & moss. In this economy I'm just trying not to spend too much money that I won't be able to recoup I re-sale and dont need the hassle of having to scrub a deck ever time I turn around. It's in an area of full sun, not covered & no trees close to it.

Lowe's Choice Deck has Bad reviews on-line. Trexx has had issues in the past. Might look at a brand called Evergrain by Tamko. Thanks for your help!
What I did

Fort Campbell, TN

#7 Apr 3, 2012
If you choose pressure treated lumber, check out Cabot solid or semi-solid stains, instead of a clear waterproofing like Thompson Water Seal. They have been held up well for me.
construction

Pageland, SC

#8 Apr 3, 2012
Homeowners all and all i would probably pick composite over treated. Be aware that some composites require to be install on 12 inch center joist so if your replacing s excisting frame on 16 centers better shop the right product. If your building new framed porch just set your framing for the appropriate decking choice. Good luck
Ugur Unal

Hollywood, FL

#10 Sep 21, 2012
Unfortunately, the composite deck systems have bad reputation here in US. The meaning of composition established as composition of recycled shopping bags pet bottles and wood pulp (Junk paper products). Genuine composition should be PVC and wood flour extruded and should not have any recycled material used, as it is meant to be in other parts of the world. Genuine composite deck is the only solution to the decking needs. Check out the newest European system Pensadeck. It is unlike any of the home depot grade so called composite deck.
Omer Feyzoglu

Istanbul, Turkey

#11 Jan 31, 2013
When choosing a composite deck please consider the technical specifications first and then the price.
Not all WPC decking is the same .People try to go for the cheapest decking thereby choosing an inferior quality decking. Please consider this you cant buy a cheap Mercedes !!
WPC with PVC is harder than PE so your decks can last longer in harsh environments

thanks for the post and the comments
Yazan

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

#13 May 28, 2013
Guys there is a product named LVL its great and its durability alot more than WPC and made from wood and natural and sustainable
Dave

London, Canada

#15 Jul 4, 2013
I'm looking at replacing my deck with a composite material but after reading all the nightmares with this stuff on the internet I think I'll look into cement, as my deck is on the ground.

“my haters inspire me”

Since: Dec 11

Location hidden

#16 Jul 4, 2013
Trex decking. It works great.

Since: Dec 12

Charlotte, NC

#17 Jul 4, 2013
Dave wrote:
I'm looking at replacing my deck with a composite material but after reading all the nightmares with this stuff on the internet I think I'll look into cement, as my deck is on the ground.
When the composites first hit the market 7ish+ yrs ago, there were lots of problems with splitting/peeling/mold. I THINK they have corrected those issues in the good quality brands such as Trexx. I'm not an expert, but it would seem if one has a deck in an area which stays dark & damp that there would be issues no matter the material. I don't intend on being a smarty pants by asking this but if its on the ground & you do concrete, would that not be a patio?? I think a nicely done concrete patio with stone/brick pavers/banding/edging would look awesome!! You can also color or stain the concrete to add visual appeal & will have a relatively low maintenance outdoor living space which will add value to your home. Good luck!:)
Adrian

Brisbane, Australia

#21 Nov 24, 2013
Go the solid composites and they will never break through! also try to avoid direct sunlight and moisture. Heaps of websites state that theirs is scratch proof which is BS. They all do that. If anyone needs a good composite wood decking price and materials calculator I found one but it is in the metric system :s not hard to convert though. http://www.composite-wood.com.au/deck-calcula...

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