azek harvest/terra? timbertech xlm? trex escape & transcend? help

tyjyJuly 23, 2012

I am at my WITS END going crazy trying to sort through all the compliments vs. complaint contridictions with decking choices. About ready to have a nervous break down trying to make the right choice. Please help!

We are replacing an old PT deck, about a foot off the ground, located on the north side of the house, in Wisconsin climate (current joists 16" on center). I have five deck samples before me that have the grayish color I'm looking for. Can someone PLEASE tell me the difference and what you would recommend?

TimberTech XLM Grooved Plank: RiverRock color

Azek Harvest Collection: Slate Gray color

Azek Terra Collection: Tahoe color

Trex Escapes: Pewter color

Trex Transcend: Gravel Path color

I am SO hoping I get some responses. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.....!

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Two pieces of advice, Timber Tech and Azek are both good quality products and Trex in my opinion run the other way!

1 Like    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 11:14AM
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Thanks so much for the reply. You seem to follow the general concensus of most forum posters, especially regarding Trex.

But I have a basic question:

When folks mention the brands, ie: Timber Tech, Azek as being "good", does that mean ALL the STYLES are good because the brand name is good?
(reason asking is because TT has a PVC style AND a capped composite style, so does that mean both are evenly "good" products?)

Same thing with Trex. People say it's "bad" but is that ALL the Trex products/styles?
(reason asking is because I thought the "Transcend" style is relatively new so possibly doesn't have the poor qualities that earlier versions had or the ones that were sued over. Is Trex "Transcend", in particular, new and improved, or does one still forget it?)

Just confused

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 8:01PM
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Personally I feel the Tiber Tech product line as a whole is all a good product, Trex has had so many issues in the past I would stay away from anything that had the Trex name on it.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 9:27AM
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we used TT earthwood evolutions in pacific walnut. we did look at azek. did not get any samples from trex. actually the 2 stores we went to did not even carry trex.

a couple of points: TT has a good reputation and they had what i wanted as far as color. DH was good with it. he was installer. so far so good. we have had it installed about a not much mileage. get back to me about 3 years, lol. hoping it last much, much longer especially for the price.

azek: we liked it, but much more $$$ than TT. so we axed that right off. TT is very expensive, but for us, it was the best option. so we sucked it up and spent the $.
we wanted least amount of maintenance as no staining, sealing, and water proofing so that's why we went with composite.

hope we are pleased in the long run, time will tell.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 4:43PM
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We love, love, love our Azek decking (Morado color which I believe is in the Arbor Collection) It sat covered in plastic in the Caribbean heat and rain for 6 months and it was perfect when we came to install it - not one section of moldy decking :)

We did install 12" on center and it has an amazing solid feel to it.


Here is a link that might be useful: pictures of our Azek decking

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 5:38PM
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Thanks Pia! I like it a lot! I really like the look and the way you finished off the ends. I appreciate you taking the time to pass this on, it helps so much!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 6:07PM
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Go with the TT. I have looked at it all, And I will say this the prices of all decking is nuts. But I am using TT XLM for my deck.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 4:12PM
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Hi, we live in Southern California and I found this website VERY helpful including this specific thread. I am sure by now the OP has already decided on the kind/type of decking to use, but for anyone that is also looking at this thread, I wanted to share my experience with having Trex Transcend installed.

We had replaced a 20+ yr old Trex deck that was inherited when we bought the house. That deck was still in amazing condition, but it was the framing that had dry rot so we just decided to redo the whole thing.
Ultimately it really come down to whether to stick with Trex or go with another type of decking material from ipe wood to Trex competitors. It was really difficult because there are quite a few competing fake products out there and then of course the tried and true 'real' wood.

The arduous part for us was getting through the negative posts about Trex products. I am not a contractor so I am only talking about from a home owners point of view.
From a big picture point of view, I dont know anyone can really make broad statements about a company's products when they have several product lines, a stock price that is over $30/shr. I just dont think a company could possibly last that long,e specially in the homebuilding industry. Clearly they must be doing something right vs the mess they are probably most known for from over a decade ago.

For us deciding on this specific line was not about which was 'better', wood vs fake. It also wasnt about 0 maintenance claims either. I think we would have been fine with any of the products. We chose this because we liked the hidden fastener system and the splinter factor. But really these are minor details and totally subjective.
Our contractor was vastly experienced with all the materials we were considering and was neutral about which we chose.

Some tips if you are getting this line:
- Make sure the contractor knows what they are doing. Trex is very specific about how it is installed.
- Dont expect 0 maintenance. This is simply naive. Anything that has to sit out in the elements will be prone to natures way.
- Get the hidden fastening system if you like the aesthetics of indoor flooring. Yes you can have that installed on many other systems including wood, but we were most impressed with the Transcend fastener system.
- Think about where you live and look at what contractors do and the successes they have with certain materials. Trex or other fake wood products might not be fully realized in your area.

At this point I dont think you can wrong with any product, especially the real thing. Just weigh up the options that are best for you and the lifestyle you have as it relates to how you will use the deck. Its possible that you can save a lot more money in the short/long run when weighing up these options.

As far as the photo, we went with Spiced Rum and Vintage Lantern picture frame and fascia boards. White Transcends rail system. The deck is ~630 sq ft and the framing was done to spec per manufacturer in terms of spacing etc. In other words, there will be no sagging. I believe they went with 5/8 spacing on the boards.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 12:09PM
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Lemongrover, I found this thread while searching for recent opinions on Trex Transcend. Your comments were very pragmatic and helpful because sorting through the conflicting reviews is a challenge. Your deck is just beautiful and looks similar to what we are considering, Lava Rock with white rails. I know that you don't go through the seasonal changes that we do in Michigan, but I was wondering if you are still happy with the product and installation? Have you had any issues with staining, fading or scratching?

Thanks very much!!

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 9:28AM
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We've got an Azek deck in both the slate gray and the Tahoe; the latter is used for accent coloring. It's fabulous. It is expensive, but we've had minimal fading issues and absolutely no problems with mold/algae. After this difficult winter,it looks like absolutely nothing happened to it. As has been said, both TT and Azek are expensive, but you get what you pay for. We're very pleased with our selection. Stay with a solid PVC product and not a PVC clad composite, if you can afford it.

That said, I would not even try to parse the many negative comments and justify using the Trex lines. We've got neighbors and friends who have various Trex products for decking, and seems to me that they are all problematic, from fading to moss/algae to staining. I would stay far, far away from anything made by Trex. There is a reason why they have had class action lawsuits against them.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 10:59AM
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We just installed Azek/Acacia using the new nail gun developed for composites. The installation gun is Fabulous! A stainless nail drives at an angle into the support timbers. This nail has a pin and the next board is driven onto the pin to hold its spacing. The video on the Azek site shows the process, but the results are a perfectly spaced installation with no visible fasteners. Praise for the Azek product will have to wait for the test of time, but so far so good.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 4:33PM
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I see a lot of these posts are a few years old and currently we are looking into the Azek product for a 800 sq ft deck. It is super pricey and I would like to hear from the consumers who have had it for a few years in full sun exposure how they like it. Thanks!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2015 at 4:38PM
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I'll add that Fiberon is another brand that seems to be getting installed in my area (Midwest). In fact I was at a deck dealer who sold all 4 brands - Azek, Fiberon, Timbertech and Trex. I couldn't get a great answer of why Y was better than Z.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2015 at 5:09PM
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