The Pros and cons of composite....


Old 10-20-04, 07:28 AM
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The Pros and cons of composite....

I am debating on using a composite for a new deck. We have a newborn so its biggest appeal is that it won't splinter. I am OK with its looks just concerned about it fading from brown to grey. Is this a common problem among all brands or just Trex? ANything else I need to keep in mind when shopping for which brand. I am pretty much limited to what is available at Lowe's or Home Depot.
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Old 10-20-04, 05:00 PM
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Search this forum for "Trex" and you will get lots of threads. My personal experience with Trex is that it's slippery when wet. Other brands have textured or non-skid surfaces. It changes color, but so does wood. Trex is solid, other composites are hollow (with screw ribs) and lighter-weight (easier to cut). Must be kept clean, free of mildew. Not impervious to staining (under planters, etc.). Use for deck surface only, use deck lumber for structural members. Will not warp, but can sag if not properly supported. No splinters, resistant to termites.
Old 10-20-04, 06:49 PM
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Lots of Composites

Lots of composites that don't have to come from Lowes or Home Depot and will be much better.

One such product is which is a totally color fast composite deck system that will not fade.

Stuff at Lowes and HD is JUNK and should be avoided at all costs.

Look for deck products at professional lumber yards in NE Pennsylvania.

You can find this product at Harvey Industries in Forty Fort, Pennsylvania.

Look for others at Mariotti Building products in Old Forge.
Old 10-22-04, 11:17 PM
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There could well be over 100 composites on the market today. Most are probably solid, but some are extruded as a hollow "tube".

NONE of them are going to have slivers. They are made from a mixture of sawdust and recycled plastic. There's no grain -- there is nothing to sliver.

Most have gone to some sort of embossed surface -- woodgrain or a brushed finish -- so "slippery" isnt a problem.

With wood fibers involved, ALL of them will change color SOME. Some, like Trex Natural, are going to change A LOT! Others -- (Trex Saddle, WeatherBest, Fiberon, ...) will change slightly, but there will be a change. Simple enough -- you buy it based on the color it will BECOME in about 3 months! THAT'S what you will be living with!.

WHY are you "pretty much limited to HD and Lowes"??? HD carries exact one brand -- Lowes carries exactly one different brand. That's 2 -- why not look into the other 98 or 137???? You have a problem with shopping?? Cure the problem -- FIND A FEMALE TO HELP YOU!!! (The only thing that comes more naturally than SHOPPING for a female is SPENDING MONEY!! LOL!!!)

(I'm sure that I'm about to get raked over the coals for THAT comment. But before you let me have it with both barrels, be aware that I SPEND about 6 times as much at HD every month as my wife spends at Costco -- and HD is just one of my 6 or 8 suppliers!!!)
Old 11-18-04, 11:18 AM
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Trex national class action law suit

We used to install Trex but no more. The Trex warranty says you must bi-annually seal the deck to prevent voiding the warranty! Why? The product has trememdous issues with fading, staining, warping and rotting according to the recent national class action suit against Trex. See the link to the story in an article I wrote at Trex's problems appear to be universal to almost all of the composites (except one). Why? They are almost all made from a combination of wood flour and plastic. Sawdust if you will. But a year or so ago we found one composite that is not made from wood... called GeoDeck. It is a composite made from a byproduct of rice stalks and plastic and does not appear to be subject to the same problems. It does not fade, or stain easily, or warp or decay. It comes with a warranty twice as long as the industry standard... and even comes tongue and groove so your fasteners disappear at no extra cost to you. We love the stuff and so do my clients. I wish I had known about it when I did my own deck! I've got some great photos of it on my site. Hope this helps! -- Mike French/owner Virginia Decking & Remodeling
Old 11-19-04, 07:29 PM
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OK --

There are class action suits that have been filed against Trex. That doesn't mean they are guilty, or even that the suits have merit. That'll be up to the courts and the attorneys to sort through.

When tennis123 says "The product has trememdous issues with fading, staining, warping and rotting" -- wait a minute!! THAT is just what an attorney (or the attorney's client) is CLAIMING. Claiming it doesn't make it so!! That's part of what the judge will have to decide. IMHO, the part about "fading" is not going to hold water. Trex has bent over backwards to show what color their product will be in about 3 months. I have looked at A LOT of Trex decks that are 6, 8, and even 10 years old. I have yet to find one that has any rot in the Trex, and have yet to find any warping PROVIDED it was installed properly. The big problem that I see with Trex is that their Natural color can and does 'black spot'. That is due to the tannum acid in their wood fiber. For that reason, I discourage my customers from choosing that color.

That "Trex's problems appear to be universal to almost all of the composites..." -- I haven't found that to be the case, EXCEPT for the fading. And EVERY mfgr. of a composite tries to show what the color will look like in about 3 months -- the amount exposure time needed for the color change to take place. I HAVE seen one composite deck where 'warping' was a problem, even though the boards APPEARED to be installed per the mfgr's. requirements. Not a problem around here -- NOBODY sells it any more!!

I left tennis123's post in here (so far) just for the sake of clarification, and so that everybody will know what I'm talking about.

Old 12-06-04, 11:35 AM
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pros and cons of composite

Hi... Good thread and good moderation, hard to find a fair moderator any more. Being a contractor in PA we have seen a great increase in the use of synthetic materials (now outnumbering wood decks) mainly due to the low maintainance costs as well as the longevity. Concerning trex, I have used it for several years and have seen no problems except for fading. They have recently offered a wood grain product and the colors are ok.. If you go to a good dealer they will have samples of what the color you choose will look like when faded. for my 2 cents I personally like saddle.

cheers Rob

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