Timbertech Azek or Trex ? Hot? Which level of product for deckboard

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Topic Author
Domadosolo
Posts: 131
Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:53 am

Timbertech Azek or Trex ? Hot? Which level of product for deckboard

Post by Domadosolo »

We have a 600 sq ft deck on the main level, above a walk out basement patio, on the east side of the house, located in the Southeastern US. Tall trees 60 feet away provide shade until 9:00 am, when the sunshine starts to heat up the floor. At about 1pm, the house starts to provide shade, and by 3 pm the deck floor is in the shade. The deck floor, currently, wooden, stained barnred, is hot to walk on when barefoot, from around 10 am until 4 pm.
We usually use the deck for breakfast, and in the evenings for grilling and an outdoor dinner.

We are planning to replace the deck boards and are seriously looking at composite materials.
Timbertech Azek, (100% PVC, said to be cooler to the touch, with color variations in the board)
Timbertech Azek composite (fully encapsulated in PVC, with color variation)
Trex Transcend composite (top half covered in PVC, with color variation)
Trex enhance basic (Top half PVC, no volt variation)

I understand that a lighter color will provide a cooler surface, but we are torn between getting a darker color similar to our current barnred, or a cooler color, which may be too white and may reflect heat into the house? Is this a real worry? Is the heat difference that much? I have samples, but making a decent evaluation from 4” is difficult.

Do you have experience with these materials, any regrets for a decision you made, or any recommendations?

Also, any suggestions for a cost effective under-deck Ceiling to keep the patio dry on rainy days? (My contractor quoted $5k for a corrugated pvc ceiling. Is it worth it?)
TIA. :sharebeer
retiringwhen
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Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:09 am
Location: New Jersey, USA

Re: Timbertech Azek or Trex ? Hot? Which level of product for deckboard

Post by retiringwhen »

Color matters more than anything for hot feet.

I have one of the light greyish Azek on a dock surface. It is walkable with bare feet even at 2pm on a 95 degree day and it gets almost full day sun (not early morning).

I have a darker brown Trex on a deck configured very similar to your yours but gets solid western sun all afternoon. It is most definitely NOT barefoot walkable just about anytime the sun is full and the temps are above 70 degrees.

I am reasonably sure it is the color not the material.

I also have black jet dock cubes that take the skin right off your feet on hot days :shock:
andypanda
Posts: 1465
Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:11 pm
Location: Richmond, Virginia

Re: Timbertech Azek or Trex ? Hot? Which level of product for deckboard

Post by andypanda »

We had 2.5 decks replaced this spring with Wolf Serenity PVC decking. All get direct sun from 8 until a couple of hours before sunset.

www.wolfhomeproducts.com/deckingandporc ... itydecking

While we were on the contractor's waiting list for 8 months I used a $13 infrared thermometer to measure temps of the dozen color sample boards we had. Darker was hotter than lighter, but they weren't all that far apart and none were cool enough to stand on for very long. I can walk barefoot across the asphalt driveway in front of our 3-car garage, but I won't stand on it either.

In the end, we didn't go with a super light color (in order to minimize reflected light into the house.) We did go with my wife's first choices - Harbor Grey from the Seaside Collection (has some light blue in it) with single-board Dark Walnut picture framing.

www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07GB7CDXS/re ... UTF8&psc=1

I already had the tool. It's great for checking the boat trailer hub temps on long trips.

___________

I just checked the deck temps. It's 10 a.m. and 80*F air temp. Using multiple readings and the average button, the gray boards are 115 and the dark walnut are 119.7.
andypanda
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Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:11 pm
Location: Richmond, Virginia

Re: Timbertech Azek or Trex ? Hot? Which level of product for deckboard

Post by andypanda »

Maybe you've seen this. In 2017 the guy tested "63 synthetic deck samples from six manufacturers, in 17 product groups. For comparison, I included several wood species, concrete, brick, and asphalt. " I cannot begin to summerize (is that a word?) his results.

https://boston-decks-and-porches.com/20 ... -deck-get/

"Cap stock decking is cooler than all-PVC deck boards. Cap stock has a composite core — wood mixed with plastic. It is heavier than all-PVC but noticeably cooler (roughly 20º cooler).
Indeed, the warmest deck boards are also the lightest. The light weight all-PVC boards from Zuri, Azek, and Fiberon are the hottest."

"The sun is king. It makes deck temperatures 34º to 76º hotter than ambient air. When passing clouds hide the sun for several minutes, deck temperatures drop 6º to 8º on most decking, and as much as 24º on one deck board. And a corollary to the sun’s supremacy is the time of day. The shallow angle of sunlight at 4 pm lowers temps over 20º from 1 pm highs."
G3G4G5
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Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2014 2:10 pm

Re: Timbertech Azek or Trex ? Hot? Which level of product for deckboard

Post by G3G4G5 »

I replaced my 15 year old TimberTech deck a year ago with Trex. The TimberTech did not last as long as I had hoped, especially the white railing system. The white color faded into a dirty white and started to flake. The deckboards did ok, but not great. I used Trex Transcend for the new stuff, the railing system was excellent and easy to install. The only thing I'm not crazy about are the plastic hidden fasteners. They're a little too flimsy and the screws seem too short.
Retired2013
Posts: 291
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2015 2:53 pm

Re: Timbertech Azek or Trex ? Hot? Which level of product for deckboard

Post by Retired2013 »

We just did a 750 sqft TimberTech AZEK Weathered Teak $$$$ deck in full sun. During my testing, I found this was the only color / decking that I was able to walk on in my bear feet. I would have loved to go with a brown color but ever sample I laid out on the deck prior to selection was way to hot. The Weathered Teak was very similar to our siding so that was our choice. We picture framed the deck with AZEK Mahogany (2 boards) which was also a "cooler" decking but would burn our feet. Since the picture framing is mostly under the rails, we aren't walking on the Mahogany boards.

Didn't really like the cost of the boards $$$$ but being able to walk on the deck in bear feet overrode the cost. Since the PVC boards are "warranty" for 50 years, it will out live us.
Topic Author
Domadosolo
Posts: 131
Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:53 am

Re: Timbertech Azek or Trex ? Hot? Which level of product for deckboard

Post by Domadosolo »

G3G4G5 wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 9:23 am I replaced my 15 year old TimberTech deck a year ago with Trex. The TimberTech did not last as long as I had hoped, especially the white railing system. The white color faded into a dirty white and started to flake. The deckboards did ok, but not great. I used Trex Transcend for the new stuff, the railing system was excellent and easy to install. The only thing I'm not crazy about are the plastic hidden fasteners. They're a little too flimsy and the screws seem too short.
Thanks.
Topic Author
Domadosolo
Posts: 131
Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:53 am

Re: Timbertech Azek or Trex ? Hot? Which level of product for deckboard

Post by Domadosolo »

andypanda wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 9:15 am Maybe you've seen this. In 2017 the guy tested "63 synthetic deck samples from six manufacturers, in 17 product groups. For comparison, I included several wood species, concrete, brick, and asphalt. " I cannot begin to summerize (is that a word?) his results.

https://boston-decks-and-porches.com/20 ... -deck-get/

"Cap stock decking is cooler than all-PVC deck boards. Cap stock has a composite core — wood mixed with plastic. It is heavier than all-PVC but noticeably cooler (roughly 20º cooler).
Indeed, the warmest deck boards are also the lightest. The light weight all-PVC boards from Zuri, Azek, and Fiberon are the hottest."

"The sun is king. It makes deck temperatures 34º to 76º hotter than ambient air. When passing clouds hide the sun for several minutes, deck temperatures drop 6º to 8º on most decking, and as much as 24º on one deck board. And a corollary to the sun’s supremacy is the time of day. The shallow angle of sunlight at 4 pm lowers temps over 20º from 1 pm highs."
Thanks for the link. Much to think about
Topic Author
Domadosolo
Posts: 131
Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:53 am

Re: Timbertech Azek or Trex ? Hot? Which level of product for deckboard

Post by Domadosolo »

retiringwhen wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 8:29 am Color matters more than anything for hot feet.

I have one of the light greyish Azek on a dock surface. It is walkable with bare feet even at 2pm on a 95 degree day and it gets almost full day sun (not early morning).

I have a darker brown Trex on a deck configured very similar to your yours but gets solid western sun all afternoon. It is most definitely NOT barefoot walkable just about anytime the sun is full and the temps are above 70 degrees.

I am reasonably sure it is the color not the material.

I also have black jet dock cubes that take the skin right off your feet on hot days :shock:
Thanks :sharebeer
Topic Author
Domadosolo
Posts: 131
Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:53 am

Re: Timbertech Azek or Trex ? Hot? Which level of product for deckboard

Post by Domadosolo »

Retired2013 wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 12:32 pm We just did a 750 sqft TimberTech AZEK Weathered Teak $$$$ deck in full sun. During my testing, I found this was the only color / decking that I was able to walk on in my bear feet. I would have loved to go with a brown color but ever sample I laid out on the deck prior to selection was way to hot. The Weathered Teak was very similar to our siding so that was our choice. We picture framed the deck with AZEK Mahogany (2 boards) which was also a "cooler" decking but would burn our feet. Since the picture framing is mostly under the rails, we aren't walking on the Mahogany boards.

Didn't really like the cost of the boards $$$$ but being able to walk on the deck in bear feet overrode the cost. Since the PVC boards are "warranty" for 50 years, it will out live us.
Thanks for your details.
We also appear to be headed towards Timbertech Azek Weathered Teak $$$$, after a day of observations and measurements. Interestingly, after 2 hours in the sun, it measured a 5degreesF higher than Trex Transcend,but felt cooler underfoot/palm of hand. I fell it is probably about how much heat it transfers, or how fast it is transferred. And yes, the warranty will outlive my retirement.
Can you please share your handrail color/design? :sharebeer
Carl53
Posts: 2298
Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 8:26 pm

Re: Timbertech Azek or Trex ? Hot? Which level of product for deckboard

Post by Carl53 »

Put about 55 sq ft of Timbertech Azek Landmark American Walnut over a Lucigold hidden basement stair this summer. While it is primarily shaded most of the day, I just checked a small portion that was in the sun vs shade and found it 10 degrees warmer at midday. BTW, IMHO the American Walnut is quite a bit lighter shade than that in the TT catalog. We would not have chosen had we not had samples.
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