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Opinions needed: Composite decking

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Forum topic by Gene Howe posted 06-27-2010 05:30 PM 7527 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Gene Howe

8254 posts in 2893 days


06-27-2010 05:30 PM

Living in a very rural area, I have limited choices in suppliers. Lowes, HD and local yard.
Brands available are Trex at HD, Choice Deck at Lowes, and Timber Tech at the local supplier.
I intend to use Kreg’s decking screw jig. I believe it will work with all three.

Any experience with either brand? Which do you recommend?
Thanks, folks.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton


13 replies so far

View terry603's profile

terry603

319 posts in 2377 days


#1 posted 06-27-2010 06:01 PM

check with your town. in my town,there is one brand of composite that does not meet town code. i don’t remember which one and was never told why. yea,seemed strange to me also when i check with my town.

-- may not always be right,but,never in doubt.

View Belg1960's profile

Belg1960

966 posts in 2529 days


#2 posted 06-27-2010 06:08 PM

Gene, I have used a bunch of the Timber tech and think it it the best of the three. They have a series which can be blind screwed from the side without any jig at all. It looks like an engineered “w” and is the most ridgid by far. It is of course the priciest of the bunch, the trex has had problems with sagging if not supported properly, they have reworked the formula but when it gets hot it still has some give. No experience with Choice deck. Pat

-- ***Pat*** Rookie woodworker looking for an education!!!

View DeputyDawg's profile

DeputyDawg

192 posts in 3429 days


#3 posted 06-27-2010 06:15 PM

Gene;
As you know I will be moving to Arizona from Misery and one of the projects i will be working on is a Bench/Picnic table that I have built two of now using treated lumber from Lowe’s and decided to try the choice deck from Lowe’s. I contacted a company from Monroe, Louisana and they produce a great product that I am going to try after getting to Arizona. The website for the company is www.everlastinghardwoods.com 800-999-7616 The Sales Director is Chuck Klopp. I talked to him about the climate in Arizona and he said the product needs to be aclimated for a couple of days to the conditions and the product will work just fine and will not crack or split and hold it’s shape. I will be using stainless steel decking screws and stainless steel bolts. Hope this helps
Dennis

-- DeputyDawg

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8254 posts in 2893 days


#4 posted 06-27-2010 06:19 PM

Terry, thanks for the heads up. However, we’re not in town and the county has no code for composite decking.

Belg, I’ve heard the same thing about Trex. Our deck is exposed to direct sun for most of the day. And the present deck’s joists are 16” OC, so I guess Trex is a non starter. Thanks for the reply.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8254 posts in 2893 days


#5 posted 06-27-2010 06:53 PM

Hi Dennis,
thanks for the Everlastinghardwoods info. Our deck will require 124 of their 3 1/8”X 16 Ipe boards. At $50.88 per board + shipping and hardware, I think I’ll pass.
I’ve worked a little with Ipe. Hard as heck, heavy and prone to chipping. Great for decks, railings, benches etc, though.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Drew's profile

Drew

304 posts in 2564 days


#6 posted 06-27-2010 07:07 PM

Trex is all around junk! I replace a LOT of it.
Why not look into Ipe. It makes for GREAT decking. It is a bit pricey compared to PT and cedar but not so much so when compared to composite.

-- TruCraftFurniture.com

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8254 posts in 2893 days


#7 posted 06-27-2010 07:19 PM

Thanks PrairieFire And Johnny.
I’ve eliminated Trex.
Looked at some Ipe. See post above.
If I can’t find it in AZ at a more realistic price, my choice is going to be one of the other two composites.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1283 posts in 3201 days


#8 posted 06-27-2010 07:46 PM

I just finished a deck and set of stairs using Choice Dek from Lowe’s. It is very easy to install and looks great. I think the only thing to be concerned about when using these types of decking materials is to make sure a regular cleaning maintenance is done to keep any mold from forming. This is common for most decking.

Timbertech is really nice to work with. They now have a pneumatic nail gun where you put the clips on the end and shoot the screw into the joist. This eliminates most drill driver screwing. Almost like using a nail gun.

I will post a couple of photos as soon as I can figure out how to post .

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View Ger21's profile

Ger21

1047 posts in 2595 days


#9 posted 06-27-2010 09:11 PM

My deck is HD’s Veranda. They should be able to order it for you. I’ve had it for 6 or 7 years, and would do it again in a minute. I ran my decking at 45° to the joists, and ran my joists @ 12” on center. It’s very solid.

It’s in the shade most of the time, and get’s some algae buildup over the year. But, a quick scrub with a bleach and dishsoap mix in the spring gets it looking like new for the whole summer. It’s very soft and smooth on bare feet.

-- Gerry, http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/index.html http://www.jointcam.com

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1283 posts in 3201 days


#10 posted 06-27-2010 09:14 PM

Here are some photos of the deck & stairs that I recently built from Choice Dek.

stairs

stairs 2

stair 3

stair 4

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4541 posts in 2539 days


#11 posted 06-27-2010 10:11 PM

I would suggest you consider ipe wood. Sometimes, decking made from ipe is marketed as Pau Lope. Yes, it is a wood, but it will probably outlast anything else, including those composite materials. It will not rot or get infested with bugs. It will not splinter.

You can leave it untreated and it will turn gray (some people prefer that). You can keep it brown by treating it every couple of years. Penofin makes a special preservative for hard exotic woods like this.

You would probably have to special order it from a lumber yard, but I doubt that you would pay much, if any, more than you would pay for the composites.

I secured mine with a marine adhesive and a finishing nail gun.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115202 posts in 3041 days


#12 posted 06-27-2010 10:18 PM

I agree with Rich I can get ipe for the same price as composite . I build up to 30 decks a year.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1283 posts in 3201 days


#13 posted 06-27-2010 11:34 PM

Ipe is a very good choice for decking. However, it only comes in one color. Sometimes the owner is looking for another look.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

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