Deck Material – Wood Deck or Trex Deck?

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  • Author Bestinclass Network
  • Published March 22, 2007
  • Word count 619

"Deck Material - Wood Deck or Trex Deck?

Many people looking to building a new deck are stuck with the question of the best materials to use for their construction. There are two major classes of deck materials: wood and composites. Both materials have pros and cons, but it is ultimately up to the homeowner to decide what type of material is best to use when building their deck.

Wooden Deck

Wood has been the most popular choice for deck builders in North America for many years. This is thanks to superior qualities of wood when it comes to durability, reliability, and versatility. You can easily cut wood to fit any style of deck design, whereas this might be harder to achieve with less versatile composite materials. Since wooden decks are so popular, there are also a much greater numbers of pre-designed deck plans that you can use in your own background. Not to mention, wooden decks are often more aesthetically pleasing and can instantly add style or personality to your home.

Unfortunately, wood may not be the best material to use due to the beating it takes from Mother Nature. Both sunlight and heavy rains can cause significant damage and deterioration to wooden decks over time, so it is important that you properly maintain your wooden deck if you want to make it last longer.

A common problem experienced by many owners of wooden decks is flaking paint. If the paint was originally applied on a dirty or oily surface, it will probably have a problem sticking to the wood over time. Even if applied correctly, continued exposure to the sun's rays will cause the paint on wooden decks to chip away. To fix this problem, use a paint scraper to remove loose chips in problem areas. Then, sand the surface of the wooden deck and re-apply primer. When the primer is dried, you can repaint the wood.

The biggest part of maintaining your deck is keeping a close eye on its overall condition throughout the year. Regular applications of a water repellant coating will help reduce the negative effects of the continuous wetting and drying cycle that wooden decks are subjected to. There are many products on the market that will help you clean and treat your wooden deck to help preserve it for years to come.

Trex Deck

Trex decks are made from a type of composite deck material which is a mix of wood and plastic. This combination in Trex deck products allows the consumers to reap the benefits of each material. The plastic element of Trex decks shields the deck from insect damage and excess moisture, while the wooden elements provide stability and traction while protecting the plastic from UV damage. This combination means Trex decks are one of the best materials to use if you don't want to worry about costly repairs and time-consuming maintenance.

Other Composite Deck Materials

Aside from Trex decks, there are many other wood-plastic composite materials available from which you can construct a beautiful deck. The recent surge in sales of these materials has been sparked by the relatively small amount of maintenance the material requires. Many people believe that composite is the best material to use because it does not require repeated staining or waterproofing. Since composite materials come in a variety of colors, this eliminates the need to continuously re-paint your deck, and makes it easier to design a deck to suit your taste. One disadvantage of choosing composites to build your deck is their high price tag. While many people believe wooden decks are more expensive than composite, this is not the case. Make sure your budget can accommodate composite materials before deciding to use them.

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Susan Koelble
Susan Koelble · 13 years ago
We had a Trex deck installed in 2001. The instructions were followed both in the spacing of the boards and the number of underbracing. Within a year the deck was covered with mildew and sagging in several places. The boards had swollen so badly that the water could not runoff because of the sagging. When the children were playing in the pool a black grit would cling to them. We contacted Trex land were given the run-around for several years and then just gave up. This year we purchased a power washer and after three days of backbreaking work, I was able to get most of the mildew off. However, the deck will have to be taken up, additional bracing installed and the spacing of the boards will have to be adjusted. Since the deck wraps around our pool, which is free style, we will have to purchase all new boards for the lower deck. We purchased this material because we are getting older and wanted something as maintenance free as possible.

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