Aluminum Deck Question

aleshelMay 28, 2008

Can anyone comment on aluminum decks? I've heard the horror stories about composite decking but I'd really like to go as low maintenance as possible and have been looking at a product by LockDry but can't find much information outside the company website.

Are today's aluminum decks pretty much the same material as what I remember being used with above ground pools in the 60's?

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Al seems like a brutal option. I'm thinking seriously about Azek. I talked at length with a rep. From the samples I have been testing and comments I've read it seems to be the most maintenance free. Other materials look better (at least when new) but there are a lot of plus's to the Azek.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2008 at 2:54PM
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It really is hard to find reviews on this stuff, isn't it, aleshel?

I found one contractor site where it was discussed (not sure if the entire discussion was about LockDry or if some of it was just aluminum decking in general, but it was the best I could find), here.

I am also looking for information or reviews on this product by people who have used it. Not coming up with much!

Thanks for the info on Azek as well, slippery biscuit. Will have to look into it. What kind of testing have you done?

    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 12:14AM
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We are considering using LockDry as well. Consumer Reports just did an article on Decking (June or July 2008 issue) and Lockdry was by far the best product over all other decking materials. We went online to the LockDry site and had them send us some free samples. We love the stuff and are seriously considering doing it ourselves after our new room and deck base are put in. We really don't want to have to deal with the work that wood or composite decks require as we age in the future. It is costly but if you do the work yourself it's not so bad. The shipping is expensive! LockDry will even do the planning for you for free if you send the dimensions of what you need. We couldn't find any reviews online either, except for the same one that you found.

Let us know what you decide.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 7:38PM
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I just looked at some new colors for aluminum ( carried by a local patio cover company here around Boise (, it is a simulated wood grain. For some reason their web site does not show it yet. You may able to contact them or maybe our local guys ( would send a digital picture of the new colors. I though the wood grain Aluminum product was awesome, I would go for it, but my wife is not on board. She just wants natual wood product. I could not emphsize enough how impressed I was with the look and innovation of the product.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 11:48AM
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Forgot to mention. Price was much lower than I expected for this product. Of course this will depend on where you live, but:
New (joists, beam, etc) + 12ftx50ft alu deck in wood grain: ~$18,000.
Wood grain railing ~$3,300


    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 11:55AM
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Follow up for the above two. It would be nice to be able to edit my posts.
1. Cost was for the aluminum decking and railing installed.
2. Deck is 7feet above ground (daylight basement.) so price included aluminum stairs (something like 14 steps.)

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 12:10PM
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We just bit the bullet and purchased LockDry for a 17x31 ft second level deck we are building. It is being delivered next week. While it's late in the game, would love comments or suggestions from anyone who has used this product.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 1:38PM
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Mrs. Smurf, please let us know what was the cost for the LockDry decking and what was the shipping charge. In order to get the LockDry delivered here to NY it will be $900. We are planning on ordering Lock-Dry as well. After looking at Last-Deck products and LockDry, why did you choose LockDry? Are you planning on installing it yourselves? Thanks for your help!

    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 6:55PM
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We have looked at Lock Dry and Last Deck samples. We have pretty much decided to go with Last Deck because we think it will have a more beautiful finished look because of the plank style. We have requested a sample of the cherry wood grain material. We are building a 1000 sq. ft. deck in cream watertight with cherry posts and a handrail. I looked on the Minnesota Better Business Bureau site and could not find Last Deck. I found it on Dunn & Bradstreet. Does anyone out there have any info on Last Deck? We are installing it ourselves. Mrs. Smurf, would you please tell us why you chose the Lock Dry over Last Deck? Thanks!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 7:20PM
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I can't get my city of Brooklyn Park, MN to approve the LockDry and have begun to look at the new 200 series (watertight) Last Deck product and approached the city to see if if meets code. The problem has been lack of sufficient evaluation data to establish that it meets aluminum building material code specifications.

I recently came around on the "foe" wood paint job and am hoping to go with redwood or cedar and aluminum railings- no maintenance, mold, rot, sanding, or staining. Has anyone out there installed aluminum decking and do they have any advice?

    Bookmark   July 4, 2009 at 12:39AM
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I am about to purchase 1000 sq ft of the 200 series last-deck. Still can find very little info on it or end users. Anyone that has used or seen the product installed?


    Bookmark   September 21, 2010 at 8:23PM
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adbva, you may want to look at a product caled gorilla deck. It is a pvc product but will create a water proof deck for lower space stroage options. I am in the same position, we are about to build 2 decks on a new home and have been looking at composites, lock dry, and pvc. We like the pvc decking with the aluminum railings

    Bookmark   September 22, 2010 at 10:44AM
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We have had the plastic gorilla deck for a couple of years. We are fixing to replace it with the Lockdry product. We are having leaking issues. The contractor said it was from to much expansion and contraction and it is braking the silicone loose. My husband originally wanted the LockDry but I talked him out of it! Mistake... My husband looked at the Last deck product but he thought it would leak to. He also said the paint was a low grade compared to Lockdry. Hopefully we will get this ordered next week!

    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 5:36PM
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LockDry is the best deck you will ever own. I have installed several decks and also on my own home out over the roof of the second floor. The deck is great and easy to install. For angles, just cut it with a circular saw with a carbide blade. And wear saftey glasses!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2011 at 3:14PM
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I'm thinking about using LockDry on my deck over a patio room. I'm hoping to keep the area underneath dry, but am curious how it holds up in winter climates. Living in the Pittsburgh, PA. area, with snow, freezing & thawing is always a challenge. Any info about this would be appreciated. Thanks!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 8:20AM
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I live in the Northeast. Will the product fade from the sun or stain from wet leaves?

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 1:54PM
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We have had our LockDry decking installed for about a year's great! When we need to clean it we just use a broom and a water hose to wash off the deck...our deck is almond color (like an off-white). We haven't had any fading or stains and we are also in the Northeast (NY-Long Island). We also had lots of snow for a long time this past winter and no problems with the deck.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 10:21PM
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At this time I would not even consider the Last Deck product. I have over $15K invested and I have huge issues with the power coat paint on the product. I can not get Doug Deel the companies president to follow up on three emails I have sent concerning my problems. I will post pictures in the near future to help explain the problems I am having.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 8:51PM
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I am also on Long Island, NY, right on the water and I worry about aluminum and salt air. I remember when Aluminum patio furniture first came out, it would last about 3 years max by the water. Anyone had issues by the beach?

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 9:25PM
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We have a new iron balcony (in NYC) with grated/grill iron floor that I'd like to cover with something that furniture can rest on easily and lightweight. Have been investigating aluminum decking. Balcony is about 30 ft long and 5.5 feet deep. Can aluminum decking be installed over such a surface? Does anyone know what the required pitch for aluminum decking is?

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 6:47PM
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Sorry that my copy paste looks weird and GW took out all my spacing.

I couldn�t find much info here on aluminum decking so I thought I�d share my observations& experiences now that we're getting it put in.

It looks very nice.

It�s hard to find a contractor who has laid it before. We asked several before we found a single one.
The colors are amazing and although the wood looking ones do cost more, they are so realistic, like Pergo.
We settled on a charcoal color �Last Deck� Inc. . Money was paid, it was then manufactured. The shipping cost $488 from MN to IL for 1026sq. feet including rails. The total cost of the deck materials, ($1,103)tax, and shipping was $17,101.This comes out to$16+/ sq. ft.
The GC at first assigned 2 guys to handle 20 foot planks. This was not enough. 3 guys minimum according to the crew.
The planks are hotter to the touch than expected, due to being a darker color than wood. ( I selected charcoal to match my steel roof) Due to this the workers could not kneel on it in shorts, the cat can�t walk on the deck, and I have to wear flip flops out there. I checked out the sample in my bare feet on a hot day before I ordered it and am surprised by this truth as it seemed ok on the sample. I am going to use indoor outdoor carpet on a section. I tried it tonight and it made it comfortable rather than cooking bare feet.
Despite the claim to being water tight, the seams are not water tight where 2 20 foot planks are put together with a marriage strip. I called last deck to see what could be used. They had nothing to offer. I suggested caulk and they said you can try but nothing�s going to make it water tight at the marriage strip. My GC agrees, but is going to try to caulk it. I'm glad we decided against building a 3 seasons room below this deck as it would have a leaky ceiling without material to block the leak.
I was planning on using a hose type Windex product to clean windows over the deck, but the instructions say no. I asked lastdeck could be used instead, and they said I can use the regular indoor Windex formulation, in the hose sprayer, just not the Windex Outdoors formulation or a layer of gunk has to be scrubbed off the deck.
The lifetime warrantee is not for a normal person�s lifetime. Maybe they don�t live as long in MN
I�m not complaining. I�m just sharing the facts as they come up.
Again you can see it in my album.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 9:30PM
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I am building a new house and we are seriously considering the Lockdry decking. My Dad is my general contractor (been a contractor for 30+ years). The material for the deck has been a concern that we have been talking over for the last several months. Per our structural engineer they expect most conventional decks to last 10-15 years. The Lockdry is more expensive but we are hoping it will pay for itself in the long run.

As far as how hot the material gets Lockdry was nice enough to send a contractor package to my Dad to see the material firsthand. We set all the Lockdry colors out in the sun along with 2 samples from Trex (one conventional composite and the other the vinyl capped composite). The Lockdry was definitely much cooler than the Trex. The lighter colors (white and gray) were especially the coolest.

I really think Lockdry will be who we go with. I am just concerned with how much it will cost to get it sent to Utah. The only other option we were seriously considering was wood because we didn't like how the composite materials looked after only a short duration of time. I also really did like the Consumer Reports review of Lockdry (that was really the only reason that got me looking into it in the first place). I'll keep people posted on our decision if interested.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 12:59AM
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We also really did like the Consumer Reports review of Lockdry (and that was back in 2008) and that was what really got us into considering LockDry when we were planning on our new deck.

We have had our LockDry decking installed for 2 years's great! Like I said in the above comments (April 2011) when we need to clean it we just use a broom and a water hose to wash off the deck...our deck is almond color (like an off-white). If it is really dirty I use 1/2 bleach and 1/2 water in a spray bottle, spray a 6 x 6 foot area, wait about 5 to 10 minutes and then use the broom and water to scrub down...looks like new every time. We haven't had any fading or stains.

We used the normal LockDry plank style decking for outdoors and the interlocking waterproof planks for our screened in porch.

Before we purchased Lockdry we did compare the LockDry samples right next to our wood deck to see if it would get too hot (since it is aluminum). It was not any hotter than our wood deck. I imagine that if we choose a dark color that would affect the heat level, but then again dark colors also heat up a wood deck.

We went with LockDry because we are getting older and don't want the upkeep and maintenance that real wood requires, also we don't want to have to replace this deck. We are done with all of that, easy care is what we were looking for.

Hope all of this helps with your decision! Everyone who comes to our home loves our deck and are amazed to find out that is aluminum. We even did aluminum raiings with their product. We are very happy with our choice! Hope all of this helps.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 4:42PM
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Question for those aluminum deck is the scratching of the product? I have received samples of an aluminum deck product and while it did look fabulous coming out of the box, I couldn't help but notice that a utility knife scrape later, the scratch went right through the coating to the aluminum underneath. The same test to a Azek PVC sample also scratched but the color goes clear through so not nearly as noticable. On the scope of a whole deck, are scratches on aluminum noticable or problematic?

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 4:52AM
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We installed LockDry 3 years ago it was the best decision and I would install it again for any new deck we need. We are 2 hours north of Ogdensburg NY in the Ottawa Valley so we get the harsh conditions of winter and extreme heat in the summer. It looks brand new 3 years later. It does get hot in the summer our choice was the darker top to mimic wood grain. At the height of summer you cannot stand on it with your bare feet, you need sandals or walk on throw rugs. It does not scratch within reason, we don't drag chairs across it, it would be similar to indoor hardwood floors you need to be reasonable and not abuse the surface. I can dig out the cost if anyone is interested for the size we covered. The huge advantage is under our deck is completely dry, we have a walk out basement and can store furniture underneath our deck no problem. It also looks nice, it's not real wood but it is basically no maintenance except to clean the surface about once a year. To clean it we use stiff broom with power washer with not too much pressure. We were sloppy and have bbq grease and tracked some mud on the deck (which is acidic) those stains are currently on the surface and I am looking for solutions to clean them off. Overall if you have the extra funds I recommend a strong buy knowing you have eliminated a significant amount of maintenance each year. Note our rail system is also aluminum bought from Home Depot, it was much cheaper than buying from LockDry and looks fantastic, again I would use aluminum rail system over wood, the glass stays clean and is easy to clean when you wash your deck (again once per year).

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 12:15PM
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Thank you JulesOttawa for the detailed run-down. Hands-on information about this product is pretty hard to come by.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 2:17PM
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Sarah Brennan

Any other pics or opinions from anyone who has installed Lockdry (Lock Dry) decks? We're in NH and currently weighing the pros and cons of decking materials for a large deck and Lockdry seems to be the way we want to go, but we have never seen one installed. JulesOttawa - glad to see your pic - beautiful! Is that the woodgrain color?

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 7:28AM
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Hi Sarah, We bought the Dakota Oak which has a wood grain look it went will with our overall cottage exterior. The quote I received in 2010 for the decking: 12x49 (main deck) 4x29' (side deck) plus some stairs and all deck screws. So everything you need for the top of your deck, the capping starter strips etc. Total quote $8,400.00 this does not include tax, shipping or installation.

We looked at the costs carefully (compared to wood) vs. the annual up keep and I can say after 3 years I would put this type of deck in again. We have a cedar deck at home and it will take several hours to get it looking new again. Our LockDry looks like the day it was installed (not kidding). Let me know if you want anymore information.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 9:16PM
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bkutah I am wondering if you ended up going with the LockDry. I live in Utah as well and have to replace my deck after the current epoxy coating failed leaving a ton of wood rot. I need something waterproof as we have a covered patio below with lights under the deck. We are looking at DuraDek, but just saw LockDry. It's hard to find much info about it. Thanks!

Here is a link that might be useful: DuraDek

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 11:28PM
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Hey everyone I hope this helps many. I have been doing a lot of research for my daughters new deck. Not much out there I found. I am a very handy man and do everything myself. I have now done 3 decks in Lock Dry (Sandstone) and plan on doing my 2 at the cabin in it next. It is one of the easiest things to do. Super solid, cool on the feet and dry. My deck (22 X 16) was done in 2007 and not one issue. A couple of scratches from a dropped drill that I never fixed the paint on and still not corroding! I did 2 decks for my sister in law (12 X24 each) after 2 other forms of water proofing failed in a total of 4 years. That was in 2008 and still no issues. I am in the NW where everything rots and leaks and am super satified with the product. I have used glass railing on all but that is just preference. Now my daughter is looking for something for her new deck other than Lock Dry because she says the little lines hurt her feet. I think she needs to toughen up her feet and I plan on using Lock Dry if she lets me. Good Luck and Happy BBQing.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2014 at 1:16PM
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I am just finalizing a contract to have a Lock-Dry deck built. I got samples of it and the Arridek and felt that the Lock-Dry seemed to be a better product (and certainly has more color choices). The Lock-Dry units are thicker aluminum, more secure fit, and are powder coated to a more stringent standard (and it shows!). Both far exceed weight requirements for decking, but the test reports are a bit different so it is not a direct comparison.

This will be about a 600SF deck over a walkout basement, so about 11 feet high with steps.

The builder has a lot of deck experience and has worked with Arridek. We are doing Trex transcend railing, a Trex faschia, and wooden framing. Would love to have done the aluminum framing but $$$$$$. The framing definitenly different since the boards are at right angles to the house**. One of our beams will be gluelam to carry more weight with fewer beams.

Will upload pictures when it is done. We went with the saddle brown. I like the Dakota woodgrain but felt the cost was not worth the difference in price for me.

**you can run them parallel to the house but the wall of our house is 57 feet and the deck width will range from 6 to 14 feet.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2014 at 9:44AM
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