Best non-wood decking material

Old 04-14-17, 09:45 AM
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Best non-wood decking material

Live in Kansas, have a deck I'm going to replace on the back of my house that was poorly done and posts are warped so I'm going to start from scratch. The completed deck with be roughly 16' x 24'. It will be on the back of the house where it is 3 stories above ground, it faces directly South and has no natural shade. I plan on using some type of retractable awning for some shade and to cut down on the heat/sun bouncing off the back of the house onto the deck. I want to know what is the best material to use for lower maintenance than wood where I'll be re-staining it every couple of years. I haven't heard of a single product that doesn't fade and fade badly in direct sun like I'll have. Does anyone have any REAL world experience with a decking material/brands that will stand up to the harsh sun I'm going to subject it to? Thanks!
Old 04-14-17, 12:11 PM
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Welcome to the forums! You limit yourself with "non wood" products for decking. It will boil down to Trex, Veranda or other brands of the same stuff. Early Trex , IMO, was a disaster. It warped, delaminated, and faded. Today's products have apparently hit the learning curve and do a much better job. I did a 16 x 24 swim dock and 4 each 4' x 16' floating ramps a few weeks ago. Sueared edge with screws through the face. Looks good. I gave the owner the option of PT versus the plastic ($1200 versus $5k), and he took the Veranda. I will start Monday on 12' x 40' replacement deck with the slotted Veranda with hidden fasteners.

I would say do your homework, price wise and visit the different vendor's sites to see what type warranty they offer, and check the reviews on different sites as well.
Old 04-14-17, 12:57 PM
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I am a huge promoter of composite decking, I have personally had 3 wood decks (hated every one) and 3 composite decks (love them).

I fully understand the cost impacts but every year that we simply clean and then run around barefoot, ok we'll stop there, confirms we made the best long term decision.

I'm biased, I started with Timber Tech and have never looked back.

BTW 2 of 3 decks face west and I'm sure some fading but the fact that I've never had to replace a board for any reason, sorry, so who cares!!!
Old 04-14-17, 01:18 PM
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Composite decking brands available vary with location but I think you would want to go with something light in color, as the darker ones fade and get hot in the sun more than the lighter ones.
Old 04-14-17, 01:32 PM
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Yeah, the lake is coming up, so the swim dock will be in use. It was a pale gray color, which I hope doesn't reflect too much heat to the feet. I looked at the material on the one for Monday and it is almost a mahogany color. We'll see.
Old 04-14-17, 02:09 PM
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I don't know anything about it but I painted a house where the boat dock used wood grained aluminum decking. Approximately the same size as the standard 1x6 decking. It had a factory [?] light grey color and you didn't really realize it wasn't wood until you walked on it. Work boots made a little klank, tennis shoes probably wouldn't.
Old 04-14-17, 05:30 PM
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I will second the mention of Timber Tech; I used it on my deck about 5 years ago and it still looks great. But it's pricey. Dark colors of composite decking get *very* hot in direct sun. Mine is dark brown and on bright sunny summer days it's quite uncomfortable to walk on barefoot. Lighter colors are probably better in that respect.

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