Trex Transcend Decking – Is it Really Better Than Both Composite and PVC Rivals?

This article is about Trex Transcend Decking. However I have decided to include my experience on a host of other composite type decking so you might use this information as a handy reference in your selection of the best valued product for your next project.

Transcend decking is a member of the newest generation of man made products. I often refer to it as a hybrid since it has combined the best properties of composite decking with the best properties of the new PVC decking products. Let me first touch on the features and drawbacks of these other two products and then I will explain why I believe this new Transcend product is a best value.

First let’s talk about composite decking since it has been around the longest. Composite is just what the name implies, depending on the product it is a combination of wood fiber and recycled plastic. A couple of great examples are the Trex Origins and Brasilia products. Composite products are very durable and they have made great improvements to the finishes and colors as exemplified in these two products. However the most common drawback or complaint I hear from my clients is in regard to the issues of fading and staining. These are common problems inherent to all composite products because of the fact that a large part of the material makeup consists of wood fiber. Wood fiber is porous and thus more likely to absorb stains. Because of its porous nature it is also more likely to give up some of its color over time and appear faded. While neither of these issues affect performance or overall durability of the product they do detract from the appearance, and after all you are spending a lot of money on a beautiful looking deck.

This brings me to the subject of PVC decking. PVC products like Timbertech XLM Plank are considered by many to be the answer to the issues of fading and staining. Because of their material makeup they are sealed on the exterior with a harder less porous PVC shell. As a result Timbertech puts a 25 year limited residential warranty on this product. The downsides to PVC are its price as it tends to be on the upper tier of product cost and in my opinion its appearance, as most products I have dealt with directly still have a rather plastic or unnatural look.

Now that we have touched on the basic differences between composite and PVC let’s take a more in depth look at why I feel Trex Transcend Decking is the best value on the market today. Transcend combines the cost effective technology of composite core with a tough durable stain and fade resistant outer shell of PVC on the top and two sides of each plank. I went to a very informational training session on this product line recently and the presenter started the session by laying three pieces of decking on a sheet of plastic then pouring ketchup, mustard, Italian dressing, and red wine in a large glob on the planks. We proceeded to cover topics on why this product was so different and installation practices related to the product for the next hour. At the end of the hour we all gathered around the sample and watched him clean everything up with just a water soaked towel. No stains, no discoloration, and best of all, No scrubbing to get it clean. The best part is that with all the value added durability this product is typically priced well under any true PVC product and is actually priced around the price of a good composite making it one of the best values on the market. Did I mention that it also comes with a 25 year limited warranty against staining and fading in residential applications?

Also for those of you who want to Keep it Green, Trex is made of 95% recycled materials, including plastic shopping bags, reclaimed wood and sawdust so Trex saves around 600 million pounds of plastic and wood scrap from landfills every year.

So there you have it, if a new deck is in your future I believe you owe it to yourself to research all your options but pay special attention to the question of how will the products you select hold up to the two biggest deck complaints today, staining and fading.

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