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Opinions on PVC Capped Composite Decking?

Posted by lmalm53 (My Page) on
Mon, Sep 12, 11 at 10:24

Our 22 year old cedar deck is in need of total replacement. We live in an area surrounded by woods on all sides. The nearly constant shade, moss,mildew, carpenter bees, woodpeckers, squirrels have all done serious damage to our deck especially over the last few years.

We have no plans to move and want a new deck that will last another 15-20 years and still hold some value when we do have to sell.

I have read numerous posts here going back many years on the debate over softwoods, hardwoods, composites and full PVC decking materials. I know we can use cedar again and expect another 20 years or so but we need something requiring less maintenance and more resistance to insect, animal and environmental influences.

I have learned from my reading that NO material is maintenance free, fade, stain, scratch or mold free. I also know the cost is quite a bit higher for the synthetics although that difference may be less when comparing the tropical hardwoods to some of the composites.

I am most interested in hearing responses from persons with experience using the newer "Capped Composites" in which the composite core is wrapped in a PVC covering on all 4 sides. Supposedly this removes any organic materials on the surface which is so susceptible to mold and deterioration.

I am looking at products like Horizon's Fiberon, Timbertech's Earthwood Evolutions and Trex Transcend. I have heard a lot of negatives on Trex's warranty and poor response to clients which concerns me. I am not sure how to compare what seems to be similar products by these 3 companies but would appreciate any input from persons owning, installing or having direct knowledge of their pros and cons.

This is going to be a huge undertaking for us financially and we are hoping for a final product that will be serviceable, as low maintenance as possible and best suited for the challenges of the environment surrounding our home.
Thanks for any insights you can offer!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Opinions on PVC Capped Composite Decking?

I also am intersted in this topic.

Trex capped material is only done on three sides last time I looked

However I am keen on knowing how the 4 sided capped decking is holding up seeing as how its so new.

Input. John

RE: Opinions on PVC Capped Composite Decking?

There is a new hardwood product just entering the U.S. market after much success in Europe. The brand name is Thermory ( It is a thermo-treated hardwood decking made from American ash. It has all the advantages of the best tropical woods (category 1 durability, beautiful appearance, etc.), but without the environmental negatives.

RE: Opinions on PVC Capped Composite Decking?

Thermo treated is hardley new.

I question " without the enviromental negatives " you speak of the thermal energy foot print of this material is vast. We are talking 8/9 hours in a high temp/ steam kiln.

Hardly inviro in anyone's book. The energy involved with this material would be better used growing 25 ipe trees with change coming back.


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