cedar vs. PT vs. composite; 2x6 vs. 2x10

Old 08-22-14, 12:30 PM
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cedar vs. PT vs. composite; 2x6 vs. 2x10

My 16 x 18 deck needs to be rebuilt. I had three builders come out.

Guy #1 says cedar isn't worth the expense. It's too soft; and you can't get good cedar anymore. PT is the only way to go, if you're going to do wood. Guy #2 says PT is no good. It's too wet; it will split & crack. He won't warrantee it.

I'd prefer composite, truth be told. Both #1 and #2 said they could put composite down over existing joists (2x6). But Guy #3 says no way, he'd use 2x10's, so his quote is way more.

Don't know who to believe now. I'm not a cheapskate, but I don't want to spend any more than I have to. What say?
Old 08-22-14, 12:40 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

PT for the structure - sure, that's the way to go.

For the decking, I would go composite. So you have 2x6 joists now and the contractor says they need to be 2x10? What's the spacing and span?
Old 08-22-14, 12:56 PM
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I mostly stain decks [only built a few] andI don't know a lot about the composites but some require 12" joist spacing instead of the normal 16" So you need to know the specs for whatever composite decking you choose.

PT decking is by far the most used because it's the cheapest. I have stained quite a few cedar decks and the wood is softer. Most wood cut today comes from younger trees and isn't as good as wood from yrs ago. I've also stained a few redwood decks [extra pricey] and a couple of cyprus decks [tricky to stain]
Old 08-22-14, 03:20 PM
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Composite is by far the better choice as it is virtually maintenance free. Go with the contarctor who wants to use the 2 x 10's. He does warranty his work? Right?
Old 08-22-14, 08:00 PM
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Want a real wood deck then go with IPE.
Unless you go on a diagonal any composite can be installed on 16" centered floor joist.
IPE is super hard, bugs can not eat it, not going to curl, cup or even need to be treated.

Last edited by stickshift; 08-23-14 at 10:47 AM. Reason: fixed typo
Old 08-23-14, 02:01 PM
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Joists are spaced 16 inches on center

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