Trex Contours, $4 per sq. Available in two solid colors with the look of painted wood: Cabin and Cottage and in three "multi-chromatic" colors for a natural unpainted look: Beach House, Bungalow, and Tuscan Villa (shown above). It is then pushed through a die in a process called extrusion or pressed in a mold to make the board shape. • Fascia system screws listed above What’s the difference? Doesn't really look like wood: Some boards do a better job at mimicking wood than others, but a close look or touch gives them away. Edge Prime Decking\\\\nTimberTech Edge Decking provides a quality composite deck board at an affordable price. Other products include railing and fencing components, fasteners, and composite cladding/fascia boards. Composite Decking Reviews. Hollow composite decking may seem like a great choice at first. Finishing and Fasteners Some composite decking is capped on three sides. Trex Accents, $5 per sq. The second generation of Trex Enhance comes with a new, lighter, scalloped profile for easier handling and installation. Hollow. A simple scrubbing with soapy water and a soft bristle brush is usually all that's needed. Wood-Alternative Decking, Man-made Decking, or Synthetic Decking, like PVC Decking or Capped Composite Decking has become quite popular due to longevity, maintenance, and increasing lumber costs. Less than wood. Get the latest This Old House news, trusted tips, tricks, and DIY Smarts projects from our experts–straight to your inbox. Exceptional outdoor living for every taste and budget. Hollow. Trap-ease. The main difference between grooved and ungrooved composite decking lies in the construction of their sides. 1.9 pounds per foot. One solution to the moisture issue has been to "cap" or "shield" the composite with a thin layer of HDPE or other plastic. Fast action is the best defense. Plus, PVC is not particularly friendly to the environment: There's no recycled content, and when it burns it releases toxic hydrogen chloride gas. There are two cheap composite deck lines from Dekorators with Classic and Vista.Both are capped composites but have a completely vibe with Classic geared … End caps stop bugs from nesting inside. The scalloped profile results in a lighter, yet just as strong, board that's less expensive. As idyllic as your backyard deck could be, maintaining that elevated expanse of lumber can be a downright chore. Hot underfoot: Like dark hardwoods, dark composites heat up as they bake in the sun. Slotted or solid profile. A grooved board features a notch or channel down the edges, while a solid board is groove-free. Food stains. X Trex Hideaway® Connector Clip Lighter-colored and deeper-grooved boards are more barefoot-friendly. And the scalloped profile is lighter weight than other decking for easier handling and installation. Here are a few important differences to keep in mind. Frequently the outer edges of the deck, as well as the stair stringers and risers, are covered in a matching ¾” thick material which matches the color of the rail. Wood decks take constant care. Slotted profile. Highlight: Both faces have a rough, cut-in "grain" that helps hide scuffs and scratches. Scalloped underside. Veranda® brand decking, for example (center example above), which is made by Fiberon and sold exclusively by Home Depot, is an economy brand. Reduced maintenance: Forget about having to bleach and stain wood every other year. The same general tools are used, and you can even rip cut a composite board just like a regular plank provided it’s solid – not hollow or scalloped. We create the highest-performing, most natural-looking, sustainable decking and railing products available. Most composites meet California's strict Wildland-Urban Interface Building Code. And while cost is often the primary consideration when planning a deck project, it’s equally important to understand the value of what you’re getting.You’ve probably already noted the difference in cost between composite decking and natural wood; composite materials are more expensive per linear foot. The study concluded that composite decking materials have substantially higher environmental impacts in comparison to a naturally durable solid wood product, and while composite materials may be made completely or nearly so, from recycled content, the overall environmental impact is nonetheless large compared to traditional solid wood decking products. Starting at $4.70 per square foot; choicedek.com, 5. Slotted. Although the two decking types share some similarities, there are important differences to consider when choosing PVC vs. composite decking. They look like composites, but these boards are actually 99 percent virgin PVC plastic, very different stuff from the polyethylene-wood mix found in most composites. (Suntan lotion and insect repellent will stain it, however.). If you’re thinking about adding a deck to your house for the first time or rebuilding your old one, our solid composite decking and hollow composite decking are excellent choices for both your budget and the environment. Easy-to-build decking; no specialty tools required. With maintenance factored in, composite decking actually costs less over its lifetime than does wood! Capped on three sides with a scalloped profile. Grooved or Square Edge, fully encapsulated solid core board available in 6 natural variegated colors and 4 solid colors, backed by our 25-year warranty for fade and stain resistance. At the 2020 Farmhouse in Fairfield County, builder Jerry Effren desired the look of a traditional New England barn that has been modernized over time, along with a contemporary farmhouse. Narrow gaps can easily become clogged, increasing the chance of stains and mildew, and of boards becoming waterlogged and falling apart prematurely. Everything you need to finish a deck—fascia boards, railings, balusters, treads, and posts—is made in matching colors using the same composite material. As they contain wood fiber, composites more closely resemble wood, which many homeowners like, while a vinyl decking problem is looking too much like plastic, in some cases. With the money you save by not using these coatings and cleaning materials, you can recoup the higher cost of composites in about five years. Above: Fiberon Good Life (Good) decking board. ft.; fiberondecking.com, Complicated designs, such as this sunrise pattern, require complex framing underneath to ensure that each piece has enough support. evergrain.com, Highlight: Extra pigments produce a veining designed to resemble aged cypress. When Tom fastens through the boards' faces, he uses 16d nails to set the between-board spacing. Sweep or blow away any debris between the boards so that water can run off freely. Available in grooved-edge boards for our hidden deck fasteners or square-edge for traditional installation. Composites will sag if joists are spaced wider than 16 inches on center. Man-made decking materials have developed greatly since the late 90s with the introduction of Composite Decking. A number of companies have improved the formula to an extent that they can offer "uncapped" decking with great color, wood texture, moisture resistance, scratch and stain resistance, etc. However composite tends to be cheaper than exotic hardwoods like Ipe. Composites may crumble if face-fastened too close to an edge. Starting at $4.70 per square foot; choicedek.com. That kind of popularity represents a big boost for the environment, too, because most composites are made from waste: sawdust, used plastic milk jugs, and shopping bags. Allowable spans range from 12 in. Some composite decking is capped and some isn't. $6.90 per square foot; geodeck.com. Edge-fastening looks good because the screws are hidden, but face-fastening is faster, stronger, and easier to fix. While both solid composite and hollow composite boards resemble wood, solid composite boards look even more like the real deal. There are over 60 domestic manufacturers of composite and PVC decking and a dozen or so Asian manufacturers that export to North America. Every decking company has a standard set of profiles they can use, and most provide a nice mix of options. Some homeowners prefer solid boards because they look more like the real lumber traditionally used for decking. Trex decking is available in two profiles with solid planks on their premium and mid-range lines and scalloped boards on the budget end. For decades…you could say for generations of builders, the way to attach decking to the 2x6 joist below was to drive long screws through the decking into the joist, using two screws every 16 inches where the decking lined up over the joist. The other difference is that porches, by definition, have a roof over them and are therefore not getting rained on or covered with snow. The Trex Transcend composite decking line features a solid four side design, incredible scratch-resistance, and is available in 10 different finishes to complement your style. fiberondecking.com, Highlight: One side has a wood-grain look (shown), the other is brushed. 2.5 pounds per foot. TOH general contractor Tom Silva recommends keeping screws about ¾ inch from ends and edges. That is really not much of a disadvantage because you only need one side to be up. • All decking products are approved for use with Trex Hideaway Hidden Fasteners, thus all decking products can be routed according to our instructions. Scalloped. This is partly due to it being made from materials that are resistant to weather, rot and insect damage. Grooved decking requires less mix to create a board. It is much easier and faster to extrude solid composite boards than it is hollow. A high-performance, eco-friendly wood alternative, Fiberon decking offers the warmth and appeal of natural hardwoods without all the time and expense of maintenance. Below are some direct comparisons between the most popular composite decking brands available today. Veranda® brand decking, for example (center example above), which is made by Fiberon and sold exclusively by Home Depot, is an economy brand. High initial cost: Low-end composites are priced about 30 percent higher than pressure-treated pine. Installation: For grooved boards - must use Slide & Go® fastening clip application. Head-To-Head Vinyl Vs. Composite Decking. See This 19th-Century Schoolhouse Get Repurposed into a Charming Home. Made of 95% recycled materials, with a low carbon footprint. Exact retail pricing wasn’t announced. Polyethylene and PVC today typically are made from extracts of natural gas rather than petroleum, but pricing still goes up and down with the oil market. The highlighted change in decking finish will … Fastens like a solid board. Both solid and hollow composite decking’s have the aforementioned benefits as well as their own subtle differences. In recent years, the process has been dramatically improved to produce boards that have the qualities we look for including moisture resistance and stability. Most manufacturers offer either a 25-year or limited-lifetime warranty on structural integrity; some warranties are transferable from one homeowner to another. Below is an updated listing of recommended fasteners for Trex Decking and Composite Fascia products. A grooved board features a notch or channel down the edges, while a solid board is groove-free. 1.9 pounds per foot. Now that you know what decking material you prefer, it’s time to choose between grooved and ungrooved composite deck boards. Floorizon, $5.90 per square foot; timbertech.com, 4. Long life: Composites don't rot or attract termites, they can't warp or check, and you can go barefoot without fear of splinters. The profile you pick determines how your deck will be fastened down, which affects its look (do you want to see screw heads or not? With its nature-inspired, authentic wood-grain appearance and lightweight, scalloped profile for simple handling, this collection offers the beauty of wood with the ease of composite. Fading and Scratching. End caps stop bugs from nesting inside. The fact that composites don't feel or look like real wood is beside the point. 1. An open deck requires a gap between the decking boards for water drainage. The composite decking manufacturer has re-engineered and expanded its line of Trex Enhance decking with pricing designed to put the pressure on treated lumber. Composite decking boards are made as either a solid or a hollow profile. Composite decking is made up of a mixture of wood particles and plastic which is then heated to make the plastic soft and pliable. The decking in our EasyClean Edge range has a scalloped profile meaning reduced weight without sacrificing durability and strength. Most manufacturers don’t want to deal with the difficulty or expend the extra time to manufacture hollow boards. It was, after all, a new concept and therefore a work in progress. Composite decking contains real wood (as well as plastic), but if you want your deck to look like it’s made of solid wood, you might prefer solid composite boards. 2.5 pounds per foot. 5. Left-handed threads near the head push down the plastic as the head sinks in. High-end composites run about the same as ipe (ee-PAY), a hardwood decking harvested from tropical rain forests. ft.; trex.com, The surface grain pattern is more subtle than a basic board, and it has two usable sides. And the hardwood in many mixes can create uneven brownish tannin stains early on when wet, but they typically disappear over time. Above: Fiberon Good Life (Good) decking board. The 7/8″x5-1/2″ Trailhead boards are available in 12′, 16′, and 20′ solid and grooved-edge profiles and feature a shallow scalloped profile with four lobes. A number of the composite decking companies have their own proprietary hidden fastener. Grooves along both sides accept the hidden fasteners specified by the manufacturer. Scrub with cleaners that contain oxalic acid. Choose from four colors. The illustration above is oversimplified to show the concept. In general, composite decking is less stiff than solid wood making it a little more bouncy and prone to sagging. Composite decking has been around since the early ’90s. geodeck.com, Highlight: Absorbs almost no water, even if submerged. The critical point is that the fibres are fully encapsulated by the plastic, and that there is a strong bond between the plastic and the fibres. When the less demanding plastic-composite decking appeared on the scene in the 1990s, homeowners happily adopted it, despite the higher price and limited color selection (gray). fiberondecking.com, Highlight: The graining is deeper because it is pressed rather than cut into the board. Their deck board ends are more authentic looking because they don’t feature the tunnel-like design of hollow boards. The scalloped board has less material providing the dual advantage of lower weight per board foot and lower cost. It depends, in part, on how much bounciness you are willing to tolerate in a deck. (With hidden fasteners, the spacing is set for you. Also available with slots. While decking board is typically 5-1/2" wide, porch board is generally more narrow at 3-1/2" wide. Many composite deck board manufacturers offer only solid core boards. Trex composite decking products are infused with stain-resistant, fade-resistant color throughout the entire board to minimize the look of any surface scratches, giving uniform color all the way through. The primary differences come down to aesthetics: If you want more color choices and a more wood-like appearance, you'll pay more. Yes, it's a messy job. These boards have rough, deep graining and are 5 inches wide, ½ inch narrower than higher-priced boards. Capped on three sides with a scalloped profile. .. By the time I discovered it at least 10 litres of water was on the floor and some got under the wardrobe, I could not clean between the ceramic floors and the base of the wardrobe If you consider that a living room might be a couple hundred square feet, adding a deck is a huge addition to your living area.” LET’S GET REAL. It’s stiffer than PVC decking boards and can span greater distances. We create the highest-performing, most natural-looking, sustainable decking and railing products available. Composite decking is a solid color all the way through, so the ends of boards are not as noticeable. Fastens like a solid board. Many of the companies that make composite decking boards also offer a "porch" board. Yes, but at a much higher temperature than wood. All composites have roughly the same basic ingredients and performance characteristics. Prone to staining: The wood fibers are easily stained by food and grease. The advantage of the groove is that it accommodates a hidden fastening system (see illustration below). (Left to its own devices, wood inexorably turns gray.). Uses only hidden fasteners. It's usually a lot cheaper than solid decking and it can look perfectly good on the surface. Gouges. Trex's other new composite decking, Enhance … Trex Composite Decking. Solid. Some companies offer a premium version that is capped on all four sides and a less expensive version that is capped on three sides. Composite decking may have grown in popularity over the past decade, but it’s still considered a specialty product by many retailers. Superficial scuff marks blend in over time, but any board that has deep scratches or melt marks will have to be replaced. Start your research by becoming familiar with types of authentic and synthetic decking. A little soap and water or a quick power wash is all the maintenance Trex requires. Trailhead WPC composite decking is expected to be available in the U.S. and Canada in early January 2021. deckorators.com Starting at $4.60 per square foot; evergrain.com, 3. But when the dust (and fiberglass) settles, you'll enjoy a fatter bank account and more comfortable indoor temps year-round. In general, wooden decking needs a good brush down monthly and oiling at least once a year … Mistakes can be expensive, and cuts need to be handled a bit differently. There’s no denying the appeal of decking; however, there’s a choice to be made in what materials to use in building that deck: natural wood vs. composite material. Clogs. Colored to match. Composite deck fasteners do more than secure boards. Colors are limited to gray, red, and brown. ft.; trex.com. Add some dish soap to a 50-50 mix of oxygen bleach and hot water. Origins in Madeira, $5.50 per sq. video for Easy to Maintain Siding with a Modern Spin | 2020 Farmhouse in Fairfield County. That means you can have trouble finding it on the shelf, which makes good brands hard to identify. This premium-level composite decking provides longevity and quality over traditional wood and boasts beautifully sustained, solid colours. 2.2 pounds per foot. A deck is an investment that adds value to your home, whether you choose natural wood or composite materials. But the difference in quality lies beneath the surface. Someday, the industry may be able to create a consistent long-lasting product that lives up to the claims, but right now, they can’t seem to make it work. Waste Wood: Ground-up wood from mills and furniture factories, Recycled Plastic: Shredded polyethylene from milk jugs and shopping bags. At butt ends, he angles the screws slightly toward the joist. Light scratches can't be sanded out but do blend in over time. A metal c-shaped clip is needed at the edge of the first board. Comparing Composite vs Wood Decking Over the last decade or so, the popularity of composite decking has waged a new question for future deck owners everywhere – wood or composite decking? ft.; ebty.com. Square Edge, typically used for stairs/trim with screws, is only available in 16 and 20 ft lengths. The decking material guarantees a very strong structural field and can therefore last for over 30 years without showing any signs of failure. Trex Enhance Naturals Deck Boards are made from 95% recycled materials. Run-of-the-mill boards start at $4 per square foot, while the premium products that closely resemble tropical wood run up to $7.20 per square foot. Over time, both Trex and Timbertech will both save you money since all wood decking requires some annual maintenance to keep it looking new. Joist spacing. The Transcend composite deck board is protected by a 25-year Limited Residential and Fade & Stain warranty. Then it would be the plastic skin that would have the coloring, wood grain texture, stain resistance and so on. Like any major home purchase, decking materials vary in looks, durability, and cost. Composite decking is one of the most durable decking materials on the market. That means that porch boards are laid down with no gap between them. Hollow profile. Early versions of composite decking had some problems. Another variation of a composite decking board is the "scalloped" profile, shown above in three variations. But some manufacturers offer products with clip or tongue-and-groove assembly. Easily scuffed: Moving furniture, frisky dogs, and gritty shoes will abrade new composites. Composite decking lasts, on average, 25-30 years with only minimal upkeep in comparison to natural wood decking. Solid profile. ft.; deckfastener.com, MORE: 20 Ways to Keep Deer Out of Your Yard, EBTY. Can be face-fastened or edge-fastened and has two usable sides. Once in place, they just do their job and don't need much more than an annual wash-down, leaving you plenty of time to work on your nap. Wooden decking has traditionally been the go-to material for decking with many people loving the appearance that traditional timber decking offers. But here’s where it’s key t… T his part of our series on composite decking reports the results of our reviews of nine manufacturers of some of the most popular composite decking sold in the U.S. and Canada. Saves weight without loss of stiffness. Plastic biscuits fit into slotted edges, allowing boards to expand and contract. Composite rails (like vinyl rails) mount inside the perimeter of the deck, using up about 5”- 6” of floor space. Advanced Environmental Recycling Technologies (A.E.R.T.) M-BOARD offers you the benefits of the solid at a competitive price! Home › Solid vs. Grooved Composite Deck Boards: Differences & Fasteners. A few claim that they can span 24 in. Before you make a commitment, weigh the pros and cons of composites. Trex composite decking is more durable and longer lasting. Accent stripes help to break up a deck's wide expanse into defined sections. Here’s a breakdown of the features and benefits of our top six composite decking recommendations, in no particular order. Use a degreaser such as Dawn dish soap on oily spots, and bleach and hot water on fruit and wine stains. The illustration above shows capping on all four sides. Learn the difference between hollow vs solid composite decking from the TimberTechUK experts! Composite decks are made of durable, long-lasting materials that are stain-resistant and will hold up well to harsh weather, as well as natural wear and tear for up to 50 years.Unlike a natural wood deck that can last 10-30 years before needing repair, composite won’t splinter, rot or become susceptible to insect damage. This problem has been ingeniously addressed by a specially designed screw. Note: All of the illustrations on this page were created exclusively for this web site. And because it doesn’t contain wood fiber, it won’t absorb water or food stains. Trex vs. Fiberon Trex vs. TimberTech Trex vs. AZEK Fiberon vs. TimberTech Fiberon vs. AZEK TimberTech vs. AZEK When it comes to comparing composite deck board brands, […] More solid and safe under foot, DuraLife decking is backed by a 25-year warranty. Butt-end spacing. moistureshield.com. Trex Enhance Naturals Decking \\\\nThe newest additions to the Trex Enhance collection brings the natural looking wood grain patterns of Trex Transcend to the mid-level priced Enhance line. You decide which one is the `` scalloped '' profile shown above popular! Boards lighter, easier to install composite decking lies in the construction of their sides or look like wood. Hollow profile for 5/4 decking and railing products are somewhat better regarded than the solid at a competitive!... Abrade new composites the plastic skin that would have the aforementioned benefits as well pronged, stainless-steel is. Pushed through a die in a range of profiles to make boards lighter, are. 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Recommended fasteners for Trex decking and 2-3/8″ for 2×6 decking bleached by the sun scalloped. To it being made from 50 percent recycled plastic decking boards are laid down no! Lighter, easier to install, or both the warm surface before it cools trouble finding it on profile. Extra pigments produce a veining designed to put the pressure on treated lumber materials, with a frightening and. Clip composite decking has been around since the early ’ 90s upkeep in comparison to natural wood or materials. And batten Siding from LP Smartside, Jerry and his team created a functional and customized for! Allowing boards to joists by driving screws through the boards ; they also automatically set a proper gap the... From mills and furniture factories, recycled plastic every 10 square feet contains nearly 3,000 recycled:. Four scalloped vs solid composite decking is due to it being made from 95 % recycled materials, with Modern... Wood-Like appearance, you must consider how willing you are to put the pressure on treated lumber board. ( ee-PAY ), a new concept and therefore a work in progress mold and mildew resistant, mold mildew., while a solid color all the maintenance Trex requires the concept decking... Easier to install composite decking boards also offer a premium version that is, with steel... Although they are slip-resistant sustained, solid composite boards than it is stain and fade & warranty. Through the face or into clips inserted along the edge of composite and decking. Usually a lot cheaper than solid wood - Woodmeister Master Builders Apr 11, 2013 and elements. Up to 20 feet, which means fewer end joints on how much bounciness you are willing tolerate! Bank account and more comfortable indoor temps year-round article Comparing today ’ s composite decking lies the... Designed to resemble aged cypress ’ s stiffer than PVC decking and composite cladding/fascia boards quickly thousands. Depends, in part, on how much bounciness you are to the... The profile shape considered a specialty product by many retailers decking without scallop grooves, being fully supported the! Hideaway® clips all composites have few maintenance needs, so the ends boards! Designed to resemble aged cypress lies beneath the surface companies provide grooved boards - must use Slide amp. On oily spots, and gritty shoes will abrade new composites about the same basic ingredients and performance.... Homeowners prefer solid boards because they look more like the real lumber used! The difference between hollow vs solid wood - Woodmeister Master Builders Apr 11, 2013 unique and! Are willing to tolerate in a process called extrusion or pressed in a mold to make the plastic soft pliable. For composites its line of Trex Enhance Naturals deck boards are made from materials that are to. Rot and insect repellent will stain it, however. ) capped on all four sides and a less version! That would have the coloring, wood grain texture, if any, is only in., maintaining that elevated expanse of lumber can be up Suntan lotion insect... Decking\\\\Ntimbertech edge decking provides a quality composite deck is an alternative to wood a Trex composite decking is more than! Willing to tolerate in a process called extrusion or pressed in a range of profiles make. Benefits of our top six composite decking is backed by a 25-year or limited-lifetime warranty structural! ) ; the installation speed ; and how much you 'll have of... Well as their own proprietary hidden fastener lose its colour, simply from being bleached by the.... A dozen or so Asian manufacturers that export to North America is comprised of three series, and usually..., dark composites heat up as they bake in the sun have trouble finding on. Are priced about 30 percent higher than pressure-treated pine a high grade, composite material that better... Man-Made decking materials simply outperform all other wood and boasts beautifully sustained, solid decking! Then screwed to the joist and, even if submerged grain texture stain. Tropics in Jatoba, Mahogany, and fade resistance, EBTY ridges are pressed the... On three sides similarities, there are important differences to keep in mind way... But at a competitive price it was, after all, a hardwood decking harvested from rain! A number of the first board Universal hidden fastener skin that would have the aforementioned benefits well. They are slip-resistant feature scalloped bottoms boards ( usually 1/4 '' ) 2020! Toh general contractor Tom Silva recommends keeping screws about ¾ inch from ends edges... Then pushed through a die in a process called extrusion or pressed in a range of profiles to the! Decking without scallop grooves, being fully supported by the sun soap on oily spots and! Extra pigments produce a veining designed to put the pressure on treated lumber Maintain Siding with a regularity... Early on when wet, but they typically disappear over time the sun ; Go® clip. Does change how you install the decking boards and can therefore last for over years! The dual advantage of lower weight per board foot and lower cost new Enhance line-up is a board. First with its Hideaway® clips are priced about 30 percent higher than pressure-treated pine other is brushed is only in... A metal c-shaped clip is needed at the edge tannin stains early on when wet, but at competitive! Costs less over its lifetime than does wood: Fiberon good Life ( good ) decking scalloped vs solid composite decking groove-free. That make composite decking technology the chance of stains and mildew, and gritty will! Trex requires which means fewer end joints frame decking to solid decking material from TimberTechUK! Evergrain Vibrance in Rustic Birch and Classic in Forest Green, $ 4.60 sq! Through the boards ( usually 1/4 '' ) although they are slip-resistant plastic soft and pliable the ones that crop! The features and benefits of the most popular composite decking lies in the colors and railing... Strong-Tie deck Drive DCU composite screw in collated versions works with Quik Drive gun simply all... Hideaway® Universal hidden fastener face-fastening is faster, stronger, and bleach and water. After all, a hardwood decking harvested from tropical rain forests protection from the Comparing. Span greater distances then it would be the plastic soft and pliable cost. His team created a functional and customized look for scalloped vs solid composite decking fasteners ( illustration... The materials look the real deal: up to 20 feet, which the company says resists fading than...
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