UltraDeck (Menards) composite decking?

j_omomApril 21, 2008

My husband and I are planning to build a deck on our home in Chicago and are considering the use of wood vs. composite decking. In particular, I have a question if anyone has used or is familiar with UltraDeck Natural - the composite decking sold by Menards. If you have used it or are familiar with UltraDeck, what are the pros and cons? Would you recommend it vs. traditional wood decking? Are there other affordable decking options that you might recommend?

Thanks in advance!

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I have done a small stairwell with a landing using UltraDeck. I liked the little t-bars that hold the Fusion type decking down so there are no exposed screws. I am now planning on doing a 6x14 deck for our Master B/R. My project is gray and I did have some black streaks in the deck material that I needed to work around. I was able to use almost every last inch of my decking for little step projects. They also have the end caps but I did not use them. I can send you a picture of my stiar project if interested.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2008 at 6:40PM
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I would not recommend this stuff at all. I have used it, and am very disappointed to say the least. I built my deck out of it, and $4,000 later I am ready to rip it right back down and go with wood. Feel free to ask any questions you have about it, and I will gladly answer them.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2009 at 12:21PM
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Cat,I could not have said it any better my very own self. J.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2009 at 6:11PM
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Thanks for the reviews. We are planning on building a 14x16 deck. We are going back and forth in-between cedar and UltraDeck. What are some of the things that you don't like about UltraDeck (Menards)? How long have you had it?

This is our first home, so we are trying to do a lot of research. I'm trying to get many ideas, opinions, and reviews from people that have been there done that. Of course the appeal of UltraDeck is no/low maintenance. To me, the hardest part of staining would be the balusters. We are leaning towards cedar with metal balusters. In my mind, this would make staining fairly easy. Do you agree or disagree?

We live in ND. Our temperatures are pretty extreme to say the least. Today (May 7th) we woke up to 2 inches of snow. Does this decking hold up in this type of climate?

What about cost comparison? Thanks again for all your help and information. We really appreciate it!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 12:16PM
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We installed it last year and after a very hard midwestern winter it is fine. It did fade to a lighter shade soon after we installed it. No other problems and we love the feel over our old wood deck. I hope someone that experienced problems responds so you can make your choice.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 12:23AM
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Hey Rookie...I'm in Fargo!!
(We escaped the snow here...whew!)

If you search on some posts in this forum, you'll eventually figure-out where I'm at during the day!

I'm a glutton for punishment...sanded all my Redwood spindles, stringers, steps and handrails last year.
If I did a new system, I'd still keep my 14y/o Redwood decking, but use a different system for side-panels!


    Bookmark   May 14, 2010 at 1:51AM
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If you haven't already purchased Ultradeck, I'd say don't waste your money. We spent over $14,000 in materials alone last year replacing our wood decks and balcony with Ultradeck Redwood Rustic Solid purchased from Menards. We had numerous manufacturing defect issues during installation that almost doubled the cost of our labor. Neither the store nor the manufacturer (who by the way is owned by Menards too) would do anything to satisfy us. Less than a year later our deck now has holes along the extruded edges that weren't present on installation; we noticed it the first time we hosed the deck down this spring because water intrudes and just stays wet in these holes. We worry the water intrusion will cause mold and rot. So much for the deck lasting 25 yrs. The manufacturer's rep came out and inspected and offered to replace four boards out of at least 30 that have holes, and by the way we have to fork out labor if we want them replaced. We definitely boycott Menards from here on out and are seriously considering a lawsuit. Not only do they not stand by the product they sell, they don't stand by the product they manufacture.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 6:06PM
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Does anyone have a name of another synthetic product that they are happy with? Also, squirrels have been eating our wooden deck for years any ideas why? We want to use a synthetic product but don't know what kind or whether the squirrels will eat it also.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2010 at 8:37AM
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Thank you for all the input. I really appreciate it! We have purchased the materials from Lowes. (You can sign up for a 10% off coupon on their website right now.) Our deck will be 16x14 cedar with Deckorators balusters. The balusters were a little more expensive, but it will be nice to have metal that you don't have to stain.

Once again, we really appreciate you sharing your idea, opinions, and personal experiences. Hope everyone gets to enjoy great weather and good drinks on their deck!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2010 at 11:42AM
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I purchased the Ultradeck material from Menards in 2008 and now it has big gaps, has warped and I can not get rid of the mold.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 2:52PM
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how to make the railings ?

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 8:46PM
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Don't waste your money. Go with Azek.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 2:54AM
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I am contemplating purchasing Menards UltraDeck Natural for my pool deck and house deck. It is currently on sale til May 30. This is the least expensive of their line. PLEASE write reviews of this of any experiences. I also have dogs, will their nails scratch it if they run on the deck?

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 8:41AM
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Our daughter has UltraDek at her house, and they battle mold regularly. UltraDeck does provide some good resistance to slipping though with its ridges. We're also trying to make a decision about decking materials. Someone suggested we take a key to the composite samples to see how easily they scratch and mar. It was interesting tonight to see the differences. The Latitudes Intrepid scratched very easily and noticeable lines were left on the sample. The Guardian Prestige was considerably better, and any scratch was less noticeable in the lighter colors. We're leaning toward the Guardian since the wood composite seems to be sealed better on the outside to protect from moisture. Does anyone have any experience with Guardian Prestige decking?

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 11:18PM
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we installed UltraDeck 2 years ago - while we have been very happy with the product overall the color fading was much more than expected - we did a 2-tone color plan and now 2 years later we are finally installing the railing system and don't know what to do about the color differences - the redwood color is now pink. We did try the stain that Menards now sells to use on their composite material but it looked like painted plastic. We are now researching a clear coat to use as the color when the deck is wet is perfect.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 7:48PM
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We installed a new deck, two levels with rod iron railing last year. We had it professionally installed using Ultra Deck from Menards. It was finished in May 2010 and by September we noticed our first split board. We informed the contractor who did the installation and he was supposed to get a new board and replace it. We didn't hear anything all winter, but I was noticing how extemely light the entire deck seemed to be getting. In April, we found a left over piece of the original railing and compared it to the railing on the deck and it was night and day difference. The deck railing as well as the floor boards, had faded several shades, and the coating on the railing is gone and it is now very rough and ugly. We also have several other boards that are split on the sides. Our contractor has been working with Menards to redo the entire deck, but they are not standing behind their product so far. They say it is going to fade and that is too bad for us. We aren't done with this yet. But I would NOT recommend Ultra Deck to anyone!!!!

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 4:53PM
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Hi Laura and anyone else,
What kind of Ultra Decking did you have? Was it the reversible? Was is the solid, or partially hollow? I have purchased this decking, and just wondering if I should exchange it for another type?

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 9:33PM
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We purchased approx $2300 worth of Rustic reversible in May 2012 and noticed the excellerated fading shortly afterwards. Now just over 3 months, the gray/brown original color is a light pewter shade. We filed a Customer Installed Complaint with Menards, followed up with the manufacturer (Midwest Mfg) and Menards asking both to send someone out to look at the boards. Both declined. Menards said it's Midwest's problem and Midwest advised that this is "normal fading" for their product. We filed with the BBB, who advises Menards has a "F" rating & if you ask us - Midwest has the same grade for product quality and customer service. We have some good pics if you want to see showing various fading with this Ultra Deck. Suspect their UV protect product is way too minimum.
Summary: Don't buy Ultra Deck period ! ! !

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 12:54PM
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Here's a picture of our decking from Menards/Ultra Deck showing a new unexposed piece and the faded boards after just 38 days. Look for yourself and be warned that their brand of composite is far below the quality & performance consumers should expect for the cost of this product. Notice that the "faded" boards are also two different shades; even when installed at the same time and exposed to UV rays equally.
I'll repeat my summary again: Don't buy Ultra Deck !

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 8:38AM
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We have made 3 Ultra Deck purchases. The first project we installed was here at our house in Springfield in 2003. This deck has held up well and we do like the fact that we have not had any annual staining and sealing or other major upkeep. The color of the deck has weathered some but we were told this would happen. It seemed this weathering was the first year or so then the deck maintained color from then on. Overall I like the deck and the fact that we use it often in spring and summer to entertain friends and family. It is one solid bit of construction that has not shown any signs of weakening.
Two years ago we bought a property in Northern Michigan that needed a few repairs namely a repair of a cedar deck. We shopped around to get the best price but the Menards price of Ultra Deck was very competitive and the products were well represented at Menards. We chose the Ultra Deck Fusion for our lake property. This Fusion is on the high end of their product line and we were told it was the most fade resistant. I can say that after 2 years it has not faded at all. We purchased a cedar color decking and from the displays at Menards got an idea for a Cedar and Gray railing. We absolutely love this deck. I believe our builder has built 3 more decks using the Ultra Deck products.
Last summer we changed the shore landing and dock decking with Ultra Deck. Both the landing and the dock were showing their age as this property was built in 1982. This time we purchased the Natural decking as this was on a Menards sale. We were told when we were shopping for the cabin deck materials that this would fade like real wood but wouldn't crack and fall apart like wood. This decking did fade but still looks good - it really does look like weathered wood. We didnâÂÂt have one splinter problem last summer with the kids running around down there. Had a couple bad wood ones the previous summer, glad we made the change.
I can say that a neighbor back in Springfield bought what looks like the Natural decking and they were all upset of the fading. He said he didnâÂÂt want the won't fade stuff because he wanted to keep the cost down. I think he may be one of the guys complaining on this site. I donâÂÂt understand why he would do that when this product has so many options?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 9:06AM
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This is my first time posting on a site like this but with my building experience in tropical hardwoods, treated, cedar & composite decking I thought an experienced builders views on the UltraDeck products would be a welcome addition. I have used all the above products in many different projects so I feel I have a qualified opinion. The first question that needs to be asked when selecting decking material is whatâÂÂs most important to you? (Color, looks, Price) and; whatâÂÂs your expectation of the product? In my opinion most people want a low cost product but expect the performance of the higher priced options. I have built with UltraDeck for my clients and I happen to have UltraDeck on my own deck. I am very happy with it on my deck and will use it again. Did it fade slightly, yes but I knew it would and if fading was one of my concerns I would have bought their Fusion product line, little more money but really resists fading, and when installed correctly is a very good product. I mentioned installed correctly because with any of the higher end composite stuff UltraDeck or otherwise it is important to follow their installation instructions. I like the product line that UltraDeck offers as they have a price option for just about anyone. People just need to pick out the right option for their expectations.



    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 9:07PM
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Oh man! I was just about to go ou today to Manards to buy $2,000 worth of rustic reversible ultradeck to redo the top of our deck. Now I don't know what to do?? All other brands are out of our budget, and we HATE the maintenance of wood. Does it really fade that much where if we get the cedar color which we were planning, it will look like untreated wood? Any advice?

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 8:20AM
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I bought the UltraDeck Natural Reversible product last year and my suggestions would be to stay away from it at all costs. If you are looking for a product that you don't care what it looks like and only care that it is maintenance free this might be your product. This product comes off the shelf with a nice wood pattern on it which is completely false advertisement. I asked the sales rep when I bought it how bad it would fade and he said "it would fade a little". I bought the product in July 2013 and 3-4 months later the decking that is in direct sunlight is practically white/grey with no visible wood grain pattern and almost looks like particle board. Now it is the spring of 2014 and all of the boards (in the shade and sunlight) have completely faded. It is my belief that if Menards would put a faded sample of the product on the sales floor that nobody would buy it. I wish I would have found this thread sooner because neither Menards or the manufacturer will stand behind their product. If I wanted grey decking I would have bought a grey decking.

To see the amount of fading over time with this product see the picture. I had some scraps lying around that showed the range of aging. From right to left.

Brand new off the shelf (darker vertical boards on the right)(I bought a few boards and returned for comparison purposes) See the nice wood grain and darker color.

2 months later they aged to the slightly lighter color (the middle two boards) this would have been an somewhat acceptable amount of fading.

4 months later they had no color or wood grain at all (horizontal boards on the left)

This post was edited by ErickMpls on Wed, May 14, 14 at 12:44

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 11:33AM
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I will save your need to read another post by letting you know my 2013 install of a very large deck, not even in direct sunlight, experienced the same issue outlined above by ErickMpls. We happen to be in the same region as well. Not sure why Menard's won't stand behind their vendors products, but that's my issue. I raved about it to my friends because it looked so great upon installation. Now I am the one eating crow. Durability rates high. Cosmetic durability- Failure!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 3:17PM
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