Trex Transcend or Fiberon Horizon decking?

msbrandywinevalleyApril 22, 2010

We're rebuilding and enlarging a deck and I must say, I'm overwhelmed by the product choices that are available. I've just seen Fiberon's Horizon line and it seems to have the qualities I'm looking for, but I'd like to hear from someone who has personal experience with this product. We've also seen Trex Transcend, but we're concerned about the relatively deep grooving. Our preference at this time is for a plastic-coated composite because of its purported resistance to stains and fading and its ease of cleaning. But all I have to go on at this time is manufacturers' claims. I've also looked at Timbertech XLM, but when I heard about problems someone had with the manufacturer I began looking at other products.

Can anyone shed some light on these product choices -- pros and cons -- and help me make a decision? Thanks!

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Denver Deck - how would you describe the differences between XLM and Fiberon Horizon? They seem to be very similar materials -- composite covered by a layer of plastic.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 12:54PM
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Hi msbrandywinevalley:

I came across your post and wanted to reply. I know you are looking for peer opinions but should you have any questions on Trex Transcend feel free to let me know.


    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 1:55PM
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Ok, Brittany, we're going to be putting on a deck here in Massachusetts; the contractor is recommending Trex Transcend, but I'm more than a little worried.

I want a great product and a company that stands behind it.
Why Trex and not Timber Tech?

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 6:21PM
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Blaine - Did Trex respond to you? If so, can you share what they said?

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 9:31PM
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I would be happy to go over several reasons to choose Trex.

To begin, we did substantial testing of our product versus the competition. Trex has 95% of recycled content to which no competitor comes close. Trex Transcend has a high definition wood grain pattern and is the only product to offer a 25 year fade and stain warranty. It also offers a better value at a lower price.

Trex is a nationally recognized brand. Ever think about selling your house? Trex decks command a higher value. Consumers typically put Trex in their real estate listings. Trex has longevity in the market. Trex invented the composite category and still remains the #1 brand of alternative decking.

You may contact me anytime to discuss further questions or concerns at 1-800-BUY-TREX or

Thank you,

    Bookmark   May 21, 2010 at 12:14PM
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Can you comment on the TT XLM color that you replaced? What did you replace it with?

We're very close to selecting TT XLM, and any further data would be great! :-)

Also, have you seen any evidence of chalking with TT XLM products?


    Bookmark   May 21, 2010 at 1:59PM
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Also, any problems with fading problems with TT Ornamental/Builder Rail products?

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2010 at 2:01PM
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Yo John, I have a com. condo job like 8 upstairs decks using Choice, Moisture Shield, built 10 years ago.

Looks the same as the day it went in.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2010 at 6:41PM
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Brittany might want to give us some insite on this.

Trex paid out on one of the latest Class Action Lawsuits(surface flaking ) in March. The lawyers got $1,250,000.00 the best the Wallets get>> material,shipping and at best $.81 per linear foot for labor The Court consolidated two class action lawsuits over mold claims in to one. That class action has not been settled.

Yo Brit!! how many more Class Actions can you guys pay for??? J.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2010 at 7:24PM
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Brittany, a friend just had Transcends installed. I'm curious about the warranty that states you have one week in which to clean stains.If you clean it right away, but the stain remains for some reason, how do you prove that you cleaned it within the one week window? Do you have to take pictures of the cleaning process each and every time, with that days newspaper in the photo to prove the date? Absurd as that sounds, I'm not sure how the owner would prove it otherwise.

Also, I am curious about the expansion contraction rate...the cladding is PVC...what is underneath? Composite? If so, it seems likely that they would expand and contract at different rates, allowing water to intrude between the layers. How will that stand up to freeze and thaw?

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 12:02AM
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No follow up from the Brit??

Thats normal Pat her last t=junk rep never got back either.

A party is in order when tjunk at last shuts down. J.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 5:24PM
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Hi Logic -

We would ask the customer to provide a written statement that they did attempt to clean the stain off the deck within the 7 day period, and we would ask that the customer permit us to examine the deck should we choose to do so.

In regards to the Trex Transcend shell, it consists of a proprietary 9-element formulation. Trex Transcend is protected on three sides to allow moisture to escape from the underside, ensuring better adhesion for the shell and long-lasting durability - a technologically superior approach vs. a 4 sided cap and is backed by our 25 Year Residential Warranty. The Transcend shell is also 2-3 times thicker than competitive offerings. Please feel free to contact me at or 800-BUY-TREX and we can discuss your questions further.

Brittany - Trex

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 12:33PM
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Hi Brittany,

Although I can see how moisture would be better able to escape, I still don't quite see how that relates to insuring that the expansion and contraction rates of the two different materials will consistently be exactly the same EVERY time....especially in the Northeast....where extremes in temps are common. As such, if its not, I can't see how the three sided shell won't come loose to some extent...allowing moisture and dirt to intrude between the two layers, further compromising its ability to adhere properly and making it more difficult for the moisture to evaporate quickly.

The warranty is for materials only...cost of labor not included. Therefore, in the event of product failure in this respect, the consumer will still be on the hook for all of the labor cost of removing all of the material and replacement of new material....which in itself is very costly. In addition, I noticed that the reimbursement percentage decreases each year that passes.

Can you share any info on how the expansion/contraction rates were tested...and under what conditions...and for how long of a period?

As far as the written statement on the cleaning issue....if the stain still exists and won't come out...what happens then?

Last but not least, if I had wanted to call for the info, I would have....I asked here because so many more people can learn about Transcends...which theoretically should be advantageous to Trex.

Therefore, I'm not sure why you ask that I call for the answers...

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 12:05AM
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Logic, you can deffentley stay. John

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 11:49AM
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Thank you msbrandywinevalley for your questions about Trex Transcends resistance to staining,fading,& ease of cleaning vs. Fiberon. Excuse me for interupting, but thanks Logic for bringing up the question of expansion/contraction as we're replacing 3 decks & live in the Rockies @ 9200'. We're very close to choosing Transcends because of the above and it doesn't scratch. Many of the others (Fiberon (not recommended at this altitude), Moistureshield & Evergrain (fade lots),and CorrectDeck (looks like plastic). Please answer Brittany.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 1:23AM
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logic info as of yet from Brittany.

Could it be that the Trex QA folks never tested Transcends for the expansion contraction issue and therefore they have no idea how that will play out over time?

Or...they did but the results were less than stellar and therefore not for publication?

Or...perhaps Brittany is just away on vacation....

Time will tell.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 12:41PM
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Hi Logic & vstargirl:

Thank you for your questions.

As I'm sure you understand, some of the information you requested is proprietary, however I can confirm that Trex has performed extensive product testing on Transcend, exposing it to the elements and a broad range of temperature and weather conditions, and the testing has confirmed that the shell will not separate from the core.

Regarding the cleaning, if the homeowner is unable to remove the stain, we would recommend a professional cleaning. If that does not remove the stain, you can submit the concern to Trex for replacement or reimbursement as outlined in the warranty. For additional information on our industry leading warranty please visit

Trex Company

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 5:28PM
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Proprietary,,, not that is intersting, Brit I like your stile!!

MCQ said the same thing about their pt material.

However I am going to print out this>>>The shell will not separate from the core

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 6:38PM
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Brittany, if Trex is confident that the shell will not separate from the core based upon "extensive product testing", why is that not mentioned in the warranty?

The supplemental "Transcends" warranty only references fade and and stain resistance.

Therefore, if a Transcends owner does experience such a problem at some point during the warranty period, how could they have a warranty claim, when the warranty does not address such an occurrence?

What am I missing?

Is the operative word here "limited"?

Here is a link that might be useful: Trex Transcend 25 Year Limited Fade & Stain Warranty

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 6:23PM
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Hi Logic -

Thank you for your follow up question.

Trex Transcend is covered by both Trex's 25 Limited Residential Warranty (applicable to all Trex products) and the supplemental 25 Year Limited Fade & Stain Warranty (applicable to Transcend). If there is a defect in the product which results in the shell separating, this would be covered as a "material defect" under the Limited Residential Warranty.

Brittany - Trex

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 9:57AM
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The Trex Residential Limited Warranty states as follows:

"Trex Company, Inc. (hereinafter "Trex") warrants to the original residential purchaser ("Purchaser") that, for a period of twenty-five (25) years from the date of original purchase, under normal residential use and service conditions, Trex products shall be free from material defects in workmanship and materials, and shall not split, splinter, rot or suffer structural damage from termites or fungal decay."

No mention of the shell separating from the core, which of course would only make sense if included in the Transcends warranty, as that could not happen to other Trex products.

That said, why, if Trex considers shell separating from the core a material defect that is covered under warranty, why not say so along with split, splinter, rot or suffer structural damage from termites or fungal decay? it makes one wonder just how confident they are in that this won't occur.

When a warranty lists certain conditions, that means that all others are excluded...otherwise why bother to itemize?

I am not trying to imply that you are providing erroneous information. However, you must realize that this makes Trex suspect in that they are telling you that "claim" for such a defect would be covered, but they don't address it at all in either warranty...but they do address other defects.

I'm not an attorney, but it seems to me that Trex could legally and rightfully state that such an occurrence is not covered, as there is nothing that says that it IS covered..leaving the costly burden of proof on the homeowner.

Can you explain why they won't address the issue in writing?

Here is a link that might be useful: Trex Limited Residential Warranty

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 4:17PM
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Logic, you are heaven sent. J.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 7:43PM
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Brittany....are you there?

    Bookmark   June 15, 2010 at 12:03AM
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Hi Logic-
Thank you for the feedback. As mentioned, this concern would be covered as a material defect. The few items referenced are examples but the list is not all inclusive. Please feel free to send us any additional feedback to


    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 9:42AM
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Brittany: "The few items referenced are examples but the list is not all inclusive."

From a warranty standpoint that is incorrect because if that were the case, it would say "but not limited to..."

As it does not, there you have it...

If Trex was confident that delamination would not be an issue, they would have put it in writing. The fact that they haven't speaks volumes. Buyer beware.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 12:06PM
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Aw come on Brit!! get out of your little corp comfort zone and deal with the real Folks you are selling to. J.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 4:15PM
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I did some checking. Granted, who knows just how factual this is, but at least Fiberon has made available Technical Bulletins that supposedly document surface adherence testing under various moisture and weather conditions that seem to indicate that delamination would not occur. Of course, over the long term, in real life scenarios, one never once a product hits the public, it is just like a new drug...the general public is the last phase of the trial...where the peddle hits the metal. And, as we have all seen, if there will be a problem, that is where it becomes apparent.

"Fiberon, LLC ("Warrantor") warrants the following Decking, Fastener and Railing named below will not check, splinter, delaminate, rot, or suffer structural damage from fungal decay when used in conjunction with an above ground application in a residential structure, under normal residential use and is installed and maintained according to manufacturerÂs guidelines."

Therefore, IMO, if the choice is between the two, it does seem that one would have better recourse with Fiberon.

Last but not least, the Fiberon warranty makes the Trex failure to warranty delamination that much more suspect.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fiberon Decking Literature Center

    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 12:11PM
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Bump...still awaiting Brittany's response.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 11:51AM
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I occasional search the web for how our product is being compared to our competitors without trying to influence the customers opinion, that is a sales function, I am in engineering.
As far as the "design to allow moisture out" goes, I hope we are smart enough to understand it also works as a "design to allow moisture in", this design was primarily influenced to reduce the cost of manufacturing, please donÂt drink the cool aid.
I began the work on the Horizon product in early 08 before the introduction at the beginning of 09.
I can assure the consumers that we conduct a multitude of test, including delaminating test throughout the day with same day results distributed to key personal that can take measures to ensure all of the critical criteria needed to ensure the end customer will receive a quality product.
One of the key factors that directly effects the durability of the lamination is what is underneath, recycled materials are not consistent and the properties will change depending on where or what it came from. The greater content of materials that have a known variation, the greater accumulative variation the product will have. Our competition does have a good product, every product that is manufactured including medical products will have failures, what it is more important to discern is how frequent are the failures and how does the manufacture deal with these. I think the question that I havenÂt seen asked is what appearance is preferred, do you prefer one homogenous color with a deeper grain, or a multi-chromatic appearance with a softer grain. After all, these products will likely hold up as long or longer that the wood underneath, the appearance will be a significant factor day to day on how you will judge your decision. Please donÂt post questions for me on this thread, and slap me around like I have seen some use this format for, I took the time to possibly help with your decision making, if you have questions about our Horizon product please call our customer service department at 1-800-573-8841 or e-mail your questions to

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 4:56PM
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Welcome A Board!!!!!! J.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 6:44PM
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eng geek: "One of the key factors that directly effects the durability of the lamination is what is underneath, recycled materials are not consistent and the properties will change depending on where or what it came from. The greater content of materials that have a known variation, the greater accumulative variation the product will have."

Alrighty then. Not sure what to make of this statement and since eng geek does not wish to be asked any questions I'll have to hypothesize.

The above statement seems to indicate that the composite underneath is not going to be of a consistent make up of materials, due to the use of recycled products.

That said, that means that the composite material is huge X factor for each batch. Therefore, there is no way to know for sure how each batch will perform over time.

That being the case, the testing is limited in its usefulness....and although there is a warranty, one must factor in the cost of labor (not included) the pro-rating, and the hassle of replacement in the event of product failure.

IMO, weigh ALL of the pros and cons...then decide.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 11:48AM
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Well, after much research and reading and several conversations with decking dealers, we decided to go with Fiberon's Horizon in Ipe. The materials were just delivered today, after a delay of a few weeks. It seems this has become a good seller and it was totally out of stock at all of the dealers in my area. It's really a nice looking product, and I'm hoping that it will hold up as well as I expect it to.

For the railings we decided to go with Trex Transcends in white. This decision was made based on the look and feel of the product, and I was told it's somewhat easier to install than the Fiberon. So construction of the deck, which has been framed out, continues next week.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 12:30PM
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Best wishes to you! It sounds beautiful.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 6:14PM
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Its good to have Folks like Logic and ENG Dude,still a little edgee about him, on the Site. Clear info is what is needed talking about Manmade product.

But as you can see The Wallet still makes the Buy not on how it has been made,Not on its track record, Not on how many class action law has been and still is being brought against it But

>>>>>>how it looks and feels Ya know Folks....Its a Funny World. JonMon

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 6:16PM
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Wow...'John' and 'logic' are apparently just a bunch of snide jackwads who get their kicks messing with people.

'John', not sure what part of the world you're in, but with your attitude, you won't win any bids around my town.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2011 at 10:57PM
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msbrandywinevalley : any updates on how Fiberon looks and feels after the winter ?

I am very interested since i am close to order Fiberon .
What is interesting is that i saw samples for IPE in 3 different stores and they all looked different and i mean different colors not just shades)

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 4:01PM
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1st post!
I'm a contractor here in WA and I have built about 100 decks over the years. I am installing my 1st and last Trex Transcend deck with the "hideaway clips".
The clips are very expensive, a bucket of 900 clips and screws cost $600, at Lowe's. I need 2 bucks for a 1,000 sq. ft. deck. The clips take a lot of time to install and you must use a nail set every now and then to pound the clip into the groove of the decking. The screws use a square drive driver and they strip out very easy. The driver doesn't fit the screw.
The R&D is a joke! There is no R&D. Just for fun look at the Trex video where they show how to replace a hideaway plank in a "lab", not the real world. They cut the plank into 3 pieces remove it then replace it with a new one. When they install the new one the screw bit driver removes the PVC coating on the board next to the one they are replacing! Now that one needs replacing.

I would not recommend this deck for a contractor, you will loose your butt in labor cost. If your a homeowner with nothing but time on your hands, go for it.

Ex- Trex Pro

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 10:53AM
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Its amazing that consumers to this day still debate the properties and performance of composite and PVC decking - and entertain this as a viable decking option. Their warranty exclusions say it all - they can't say how long or how well their product will last. Do you think consumers would accept this waffling in the automotive industry? Here in Canada, last year we started installing paverdeck, and the reaction and performance has been fantastic.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 9:20AM
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I have been building decks for 25 years. Though I prefer real wood (mahogany, ipe, etc), I understand why people use low maintenance decking, and do over a hundred decks a year in some composite or PVC decking. In two words, I can sum up Trex and all of there products. Trex sucks!! Horrible customer support. Horrible contractor support. Mediocre or bad over-priced products. I'm not going to write a three page paper why, but you are much better off with either Horizons or TT, and I lean towards the Horizons because the two are very very similar in looks and performance, and Horizons is less expensive. Of course, as always, just my opinion

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 6:31PM
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Hello, I need more ideas for my deck. I saw "Ultrashield Newtechwood" on home depot website, it is also capstock, how is that? Any comment?

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 10:30AM
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I have extensively researched this controversy for over 18 months now and considering both sides, I went with none of the above. There have been at least 3 major changes to this product by the industry and each one has had a slew of problems, complaints, bad reviews, lawsuits, and ambiguous warranties. Besides, my biggest problem here in Colorado is the strong sun and UV rays, along with temperature changes of 60 degrees+ in 24hrs. Nothing stands up to the sun here, especially wood and plastic.Someone else said it best here, the last trial test is the customer. Well I decided I wasn't going to be another guinea pig for the industry, especially forking over that kind of money; so I came up with my own. My buddy, a GC, has been in the commercial construction business for 35 years and he helped me design it. It is made of a commercial steel frame(Like Trex's New Steel Frame only much much cheaper) and Natural Stone. I decided on Granite. It wont warp, fade, separate, or anything else. I believe its the first of its kind in the world; an Elevated Steel & Granite deck. It ends up costing about the same as a top of the line composite deck, only without all the nonsense and wonder. Oh and one other thing, its Fireproof....kind of a big deal around here lately. I've received such great feedback, we might start a company building them.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 8:44PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

That looks awesome.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 8:43AM
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I had Trex decking years ago and purchased the most beautiful exotic looking decking. It seemed awesome and the store associate told us it had an excellent warranty. However, the deck grew mold on it and after about 5 years we replaced it. We found a brand called Endeck which is 100% plastic foam filled and looks brand new. Its safe to walk on, no mold, the kids have no issues and I am so happy the rep told me about this brand. I believe the company is called Enduris. What the sales guy told me about Enduris was that they were 100% made in the US and didn't use marketing gimmicks. He assured me the decking would be wonderful and I am so happy I listened to him.

Here is a link that might be useful: The decking that worked for us

    Bookmark   June 4, 2014 at 2:22PM
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