2010 International Builders' Show Product Preview: Trex Transcend and Fiberon Horizon Composite Decking

Consumer Reports News: January 21, 2010 04:33 PM

Composite decking materials offer the promise of years of a good-looking deck that requires little or no maintenance. But as we've reported, some products can suffer from mold growth when used in damp, shady areas. (Even though composite decking is mostly plastic, it does contain some organic material, which mold has an affinity for.)

Trex and Fiberon have each introduced composite decking with a polymer shell that's designed to stymie mold growth and make it easier to clean up if it does appear.

Trex Transcend decking (shown) comes in 1-inch-thick square or grooved boards with wood-grain patterns in four colors; matching railing is available in six colors. The company claims that anything spilled on the deck will come off with just soap and water. The decking is covered by a 25-year limited fade and stain warranty, which includes coverage of "mold or mildew," provided that the you clean up any such growth within a week of its first appearance. Trex Transcend is available at lumber yards and through special order at Lowe's and Home Depot. Cost is about $3 per linear foot, uninstalled.
Fiberon Horizon is finished with a protective coating that the manufacturer calls PermaTech. The grooved or square boards are roughly 1 inch thick and come in six colors, as does the railing. A variety of spills are covered by a 20-year limited warranty, but staining from mold gets no specific mention—the closest is "structural damage from fungal decay." Horizon decking, available through Fiberon dealers, contractors, and distributors, costs roughly $2.50 to $2.70 per linear foot, uninstalled.

Look for upcoming 2010 International Builders' Show coverage via our Twitter page, blog posts, and videos.

Ed Perratore

Essential information: Read our buyer's guide to decking, which includes information on different types of decking, choosing a material, and ways to keep your deck safe and in tiptop shape.

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