trex or redwood for large deck replacement

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lomarica01
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trex or redwood for large deck replacement

Post by lomarica01 »

need to replace a large deck the biggest decision is whether to use trex or another type of non wood material or traditional redwood.

we plan to sell in 10 years and I want the deck to be in good shape so that it will not need to be replaced again.
The obvious advantage with trex is does not need to be stained and is supposed to hold up better. however I have heard of issues with this material failing and the manufactures not honoring the warranty. We have personal knowledge of two of these instances.

Any advice is appreciated. Also does trex getting hotter than redwood, is it slippery when wet?

ps I am retired so I don't really mind staining the deck also would trex help with resale value?

thanks for any comments
redmaw
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Re: trex or redwood for large deck replacement

Post by redmaw »

Based on what I have read, yes the trex gets hotter, how much depends on the color. You can get samples and leave them on the deck to see what they do. I think they have enough texture that they don't get any more slippery than wood, but I've heard algae growth can be an issue, which would be slick. I would consider a composite a plus when selling the house (no maintenance is a selling point), but can't say what % of your money back you will get, probably not 100%. Another point to consider is composites aren't as stiff as wood, and need more support. Your existing structure may be good enough, but it may need rebuilt to use composite decking.

If you don't mind staining the deck, I would use wood. My neighbor pressure washes and seals his deck every spring. It looks brand new, and it was here when I moved in 12 years ago. I will be replacing mine in the next year or so, I think I'm going to use wood, and then apply the heaviest outdoor paint I can find.
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lthenderson
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Re: trex or redwood for large deck replacement

Post by lthenderson »

In a ten year time frame, I think either will be in great shape when it is time to sell. Keep in mind that composite decks may require different spacing requirements in frame members especially if you have them going at a diagonal and are considering doing stairs to the deck. I think for straight forward, perpendicular to the joist installation, Trex requires a 16" joist spacing.

In my opinion, I think upkeep has more affect on resale value than composite vs. wood.
Colorado Guy
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Re: trex or redwood for large deck replacement

Post by Colorado Guy »

Personally I would prefer redwood, but am strongly considering composite boards.

If you are building this year, you may have troubles finding a good source for heart redwood, at least I am. I was told by several suppliers that the redwood supply is disrupted for 2020, and probably well into 2021. Due to that alone, am looking at different composite boards.

While Trex is heavily marketed, there are other composites equal or better in quality. You can find some that are cooler than typical composites (they have a lighter color for heat absorption), and also heavily textured surfaces (making them less slipperly as well as more scratch resistant).

FYI, check your local building codes. For my area, my decking needs to be fire resistant, and not all surfaces qualify. For redwood, it needs to be 2" thick boards (not 5/4 or 1" thick boards), and about 1/2 of the composites meet the required rating.
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BolderBoy
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Re: trex or redwood for large deck replacement

Post by BolderBoy »

lomarica01 wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 11:43 amneed to replace a large deck the biggest decision is whether to use trex or another type of non wood material or traditional redwood.
I had my redwood front deck replaced with Timbertech in 2007. The deck is south facing in Colorado so it gets blisteringly hot in Summer and sometimes very cold in Winter with lots of snow.

It still looks the same as when it was installed. Never had a lick of trouble with it.

I'll never go back to redwood decking.
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squirm
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Re: trex or redwood for large deck replacement

Post by squirm »

I'd go with redwood, I also wouldn't stain it, why? I'd just let it naturally grey, it'll last a long time.
vested1
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Re: trex or redwood for large deck replacement

Post by vested1 »

At our previous home we had a large multi-level redwood deck, about 600 sq feet, I personally pressure washed it and restained it every 2 to 3 years depending on the appearance. Eventually about half of the deck had to be replaced because it was contacting the ground (improperly installed before I owned it) and had been eaten by termites, which made it unstable. I replaced the damaged sections myself and placed a proper foundation. The total amount of work involved over 25 years was incredible and costly.

When we moved last year our dock and gangplank at the new (used) house had wooden pressure treated boards that were rotting. The prospect of maintaining yet another wooden surface, some of which needed to be replaced, and this time over water didn't appeal to me at age 67, so I had it all replaced with synthetic (plastic) boards at $14 a square foot installed.

The new material is Weardeck, a solid HDPE board with a textured surface that looks like wood grain. We chose a light grey color. The dock and gangplank are 616 sq ft and the new boards will last indefinitely with very little maintenance, mainly washing it down if you spill something like red wine and mopping it with environmentally friendly soap and water occasionally as needed. The material is similar to Timbertech in that it is waterproof, but from what I've read, Timbertech is hollow and framed below the surface like a window frame, but I may be wrong about that. Both are great products.

The difference between wood or composite, and plastic is that the wood portion will eventually deteriorate, although the appearance is superior if maintained properly. Plastic is hotter in the sun, although we don't really feel much difference in heat as compared to the previous wood surface of the dock where we live in SC. Either surface is too hot on bare feet in the summer. Plastic sags more than wood or composite decking. Because of the sagging factor, closer spacing is needed for the underlying joists, which should be pressure treated wood or metal. The screws that attach the HDPE boards to the joists in our application are stainless steel.
Globalviewer58
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Re: trex or redwood for large deck replacement

Post by Globalviewer58 »

It would be wise to review framing spec and installation detail for posts and railings with Trex. The typical wood deck allows posts mounted outside the rim joist whereas Trex post must be attached inside the rim joist. The inside attachment means you lose about 6” of width on each side of a stairway that requires a post for railing support.
Glockenspiel
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Re: trex or redwood for large deck replacement

Post by Glockenspiel »

Unless Trex has completely changed their product, it’s a trash product compared to Azek. My in-laws have a Trex deck on the north side of their house and it’s full of mildew and lichen.

We have an Azek deck and it never gets hot or moldy. We chose a lighter color and even in the mid-summer heat and sun, it never gets too warm for bare feet. Keep color in mind as I’m sure the darker colors get warm. I only power wash it once every year or two to get any dirt that has blown onto it or dirt from our plants. I suggest getting maintenance-free railings as well.
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Sandtrap
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Re: trex or redwood for large deck replacement

Post by Sandtrap »

Notes:

Redwood is a very soft wood with high tannin. (Can stain the bottom of feet/shoes. Dust is somewhat toxic)
Hardness Scale: >>> Pine >> Redwood >> Cedar >> Douglas Fir >> Oak .>>> . "synthetic". .
Comparing to synthetic is like comparing apples and lettuce.
Comparisons are:
Longevity (which deck will hold up over 10 years and help with the home sale?)
Cost vs return/value (will a synthetic deck cost so much more that costs won't be recovered?)
. . . . Joist spacing may have to be altered for some synthetic deck materials.
. . . . It may cost more to install a synthetic deck than redwood.
Upkeep: Redwood needs upkeep, Synthetic none. (Do you want the trouble and expense of upkeep)
Appearance: subjective. (Again, what will redwood look like in 10 years)
Not a forever home.

Trex is an older material, there are newer synthetics that are improved.
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MarkerFM
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Re: trex or redwood for large deck replacement

Post by MarkerFM »

vested1 wrote: Thu Aug 06, 2020 6:05 am At our previous home we had a large multi-level redwood deck, about 600 sq feet, I personally pressure washed it and restained it every 2 to 3 years depending on the appearance. Eventually about half of the deck had to be replaced because it was contacting the ground (improperly installed before I owned it) and had been eaten by termites, which made it unstable. I replaced the damaged sections myself and placed a proper foundation. The total amount of work involved over 25 years was incredible and costly.

When we moved last year our dock and gangplank at the new (used) house had wooden pressure treated boards that were rotting. The prospect of maintaining yet another wooden surface, some of which needed to be replaced, and this time over water didn't appeal to me at age 67, so I had it all replaced with synthetic (plastic) boards at $14 a square foot installed.

The new material is Weardeck, a solid HDPE board with a textured surface that looks like wood grain. We chose a light grey color. The dock and gangplank are 616 sq ft and the new boards will last indefinitely with very little maintenance, mainly washing it down if you spill something like red wine and mopping it with environmentally friendly soap and water occasionally as needed. The material is similar to Timbertech in that it is waterproof, but from what I've read, Timbertech is hollow and framed below the surface like a window frame, but I may be wrong about that. Both are great products.

The difference between wood or composite, and plastic is that the wood portion will eventually deteriorate, although the appearance is superior if maintained properly. Plastic is hotter in the sun, although we don't really feel much difference in heat as compared to the previous wood surface of the dock where we live in SC. Either surface is too hot on bare feet in the summer. Plastic sags more than wood or composite decking. Because of the sagging factor, closer spacing is needed for the underlying joists, which should be pressure treated wood or metal. The screws that attach the HDPE boards to the joists in our application are stainless steel.
I'm going to use WearDeck on a project close to the ocean. It can go on 24" center joists if you want, and is rated for ground contact and even underwater. It has no wood pulp like many composites, so is less prone to warping and expanding. They have two new "barefoot" colors that are lighter and supposed to be cooler in hot sun.
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Sandtrap
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Re: trex or redwood for large deck replacement

Post by Sandtrap »

MarkerFM wrote: Thu Aug 06, 2020 7:39 am I'm going to use WearDeck on a project close to the ocean. It can go on 24" center joists if you want, and is rated for ground contact and even underwater. It has no wood pulp like many composites, so is less prone to warping and expanding. They have two new "barefoot" colors that are lighter and supposed to be cooler in hot sun.
Did not know this.
Thanks for the info!
j :happy
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NCSU1980
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Re: trex or redwood for large deck replacement

Post by NCSU1980 »

Globalviewer58 wrote: Thu Aug 06, 2020 6:55 am It would be wise to review framing spec and installation detail for posts and railings with Trex. The typical wood deck allows posts mounted outside the rim joist whereas Trex post must be attached inside the rim joist. The inside attachment means you lose about 6” of width on each side of a stairway that requires a post for railing support.
I recall seeing options for mounting posts to the outside face of the rim joist in the Trex installation manual. IIRC additional blocking was required but that is similar to details for mounting posts to the deck frame when not attaching to the rim joists. Maybe I am not understanding the specific stair joist situation you referenced but I just wanted to try to clarify for the sake of others following this post.
Nowizard
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Re: trex or redwood for large deck replacement

Post by Nowizard »

Trex is more expensive, of course, but generally more attractive. If used, it is important to have an experienced installer. For example, holes should be drilled before placing screws. Otherwise, when placed, the surrounding area will pucker. Also, I would not use the tongue and groove selection. If the deck shifts even a minor amount underneath, the boards will begin to heave. That is our experience with Trex.

Tim
Hubris
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Re: trex or redwood for large deck replacement

Post by Hubris »

If it helps (and may not since our needs and yours are likely different), we’re replacing a deck right now. The deck has substantial elevation and will be exposed to marked weather extremes given our location in Montana, and the southwestern exposure of the deck. Using Timbertech AZEK (100% Polymer) fastened with CamoLoc system over pressure treated framing. A few parts of the framing that will be visible including the support posts are stained fir, which will sit on concrete sonotube footers. Deck rails will be a stainless cable system.

Be aware that there are COVID-19 supply chain disruptions affecting synthetic and metal deck materials as was mentioned up thread about redwood, so more advanced planning and/or longer project timeframes May be needed.
adestefan
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Re: trex or redwood for large deck replacement

Post by adestefan »

I put Azek on my deck when I built it 11 years ago. I pressure wash it once or twice a year and it looks as good as the day I finished building it. One of the best decisions I have ever made.
Escapevelocity
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Re: trex or redwood for large deck replacement

Post by Escapevelocity »

IPE wood is beautiful and as dense and durable as concrete. it is expensive though.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=htt ... AdAAAAABAD
Glockenspiel
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Re: trex or redwood for large deck replacement

Post by Glockenspiel »

adestefan wrote: Thu Aug 06, 2020 11:25 am I put Azek on my deck when I built it 11 years ago. I pressure wash it once or twice a year and it looks as good as the day I finished building it. One of the best decisions I have ever made.
Me too, except 9 years ago. Looks great. Has nice wood grain. Cool to walk on barefoot. Doesn’t sag. No maintenance other than cleaning off any dirt.
Topic Author
lomarica01
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Re: trex or redwood for large deck replacement

Post by lomarica01 »

thanks for all the responses I should have used a more generic term such as composite instead of Trex. If we go with a composite the next question would be which brand.

I will be doing more research it is a big decision for us
yolli71
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Re: trex or redwood for large deck replacement

Post by yolli71 »

lomarica01 wrote: Thu Aug 06, 2020 11:49 am thanks for all the responses I should have used a more generic term such as composite instead of Trex. If we go with a composite the next question would be which brand.

I will be doing more research it is a big decision for us
We just replaced our deck boards with Fiberon Horizon Ipe in early June. It's a composite similar to Trex but I read great reviews (didn't see issues with mold/mildew) and I thought it was reasonably priced (and we went with the higher end of the 3 main Fiberon options).

Granted it's only be been 2 months, but there's been no maintenance so far. We have lots of flowers and plants on our deck and when the flowers drop, they normally would stain our old wood deck if the flowers weren't removed immediately. With our current deck, the flowers can drop and stick to our deck for days/weeks before I clean it up, and it only takes my hose to wash everything off and look brand new again. The deck really looks great...I would post a photo but I could never figure out how to do that on this website. :oops:

The deck does get hot for bare feet when in direct sun for a while, but it is not slippery when wet like I heard some composites can be.
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