Composite decking

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Forum topic by NewfieDan posted 04-19-2015 06:34 PM 1132 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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50 posts in 3620 days

04-19-2015 06:34 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I will need to re-surface my deck in the next couple of years. I would like to use composite decking. I know there is a minor mold issue with it. A friend has it on her deck and hates it. She says it VERY slippery when wet. I don’t know which brand she has.

Because I live in an area that gets lots of rain, is there brands out there that are not as slippery? I have a large deck that wraps around the side and front of our house.

Ipe is not an option here. Most hardware stores have never heard of it, let alone able to order it.

3 replies so far

View Bluepine38's profile


3388 posts in 4057 days

#1 posted 04-19-2015 07:26 PM

I put Trek on my front deck 7 years ago and have not had any trouble with it being slippery. It does
fade a bit over the years, but is holding up OK, be sure you use stainless steels screws for installing the
deck and good coated screws such as Simpson in the framing.

-- As ever, Gus-the 80 yr young apprentice carpenter

View wiwildcat's profile


58 posts in 2934 days

#2 posted 04-19-2015 08:01 PM

Azek on my deck. Still looks good after 5 years. Azek floor boards are solid PVC and not a composite of wood and plastic.

-- Wisconsin Wildcat

View Ghidrah's profile


667 posts in 2194 days

#3 posted 04-19-2015 08:46 PM

I can’t attest to all brands of composite decking but if they’re anything like WeatherBest stay away from them. The mat is an extruded product which should mean its uniform in dim and straight but it isn’t, a 1X6 quite often can run back and forth between 5 3/4” to 5 3/8” in its entire length.

It’s run through a press to create the grain effect but it is not uniform in depth and in some places non-existent. The composite is prone to expansion equal to and or greater than wood, so the time of year it’s installed is critical to whether you space it or not and to the amount of spacing because of expansion. At least wood is fibrous and tends to hold together better.

The product mushrooms around the screw head and is known to split when the screws are placed within 1 1/4” from the sides. The decking screws required are expensive and convoluted, designed to prevent mushrooming, but they don’t. The composite requires pre-drilling to prevent mushrooming and splitting, the predrilled hole is of a size I would not recommend.

When ones figures in the cost of the composite, the cost of the screws, the cost of the increased labor and possible/likely splitting and mushrooming a mahogany deck sounds damn good, it looks so much better and has a better resale value if and when the house is sold.

I framed a “LOT” of decks over 30 yrs, most of them, 2002 to 2007, PT, Fir, SYP, Mahogany, POC and composite. I did these on average homes and very expensive homes 500K and up, a few came in over a million. The selling point was, “set and forget”, but that didn’t work, so the builders got the regional distributor to show us what we and apparently everyone else was doing wrong for about $7.50 a sqft on the ground. The regional distributors crew got $17.50 a sqft for the same install.

None of the crews had a problem with all the extra labor as long as we got paid 17.50 sqft, especially because the builders required us to buy the nails and screws out of the $7.50. None of them were willing to pay that, I let it be known that they could give the composite decking projects to anyone wanting to do the job for $7.50, just don’t offer them to me.

If you take care of a wood deck, which is minimal every 5 yrs or so it’ll last and look many times better than a composite for as long as you’re walking over it.

-- I meant to do that!

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