Contractors and homeowners have been very strict when it comes to quality, durability, longevity, and price of materials that they put in what they are constructing.
When talking about deck flooring, it is a must that you put quality materials. They are prone to the damaging effects of direct exposure to sunlight and other elements, hence, can be brittle and might fade in time.
Traditionally, people have been using wood materials for decking and construction, in general. However, as time passes, people have been switching to composite decking as an alternative to deck flooring.
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In this post, we shall specifically look into fiberon and trex decking; two of the most popular composite decking which you can consider.
In this article:
- What is Fiberon decking?
- Pros and cons of Fiberon decking?
- What is Trex decking?
- Pros and cons of Trex decking
- What are the similarities between Fiberon and Trex decking?
- What are the differences between Fiberon and Trex decking?
- Final verdict
- What kind of paint do you use on Trex decking?
- Why is my Trex deck turning white?
- Are Fiberon fasteners compatible with Trex decks?
- How much space do you need between Fiberon deck boards?
- What is the recommended joint spacing for Trex decks?
- Can composite decking be screwed?
- How long do composite decks last?
- Is composite decking better than wood?
- Is composite decking vulnerable to molds?
- Does composite decking get hot?
- Can composite decking be power washed with vinegar?
- Are composite decking prone to warping?
- Is it safe to put grills on composite decks?
- Can you put rugs on composite decks?
- How do you fix a faded composite deck?
- What are the alternatives to Trex and Fiberon?
What is Fiberon decking?
Fiberon is way newer than trex but it has been making significant traction among builders and homeowners today. Fiberon is known for creating very durable composite and PVC decking that assures a no stain, no fade kind of decking, which is very practical for the equally practical homeowner.
On the aesthetic side and more, Fiberon decking is also considered as an eco-friendly wood alternative which offers warmth and a high level of appeal of natural wood without having to exert effort for its maintenance.
Compared to wood decking, Fiberon definitely outshines the latter as they also offer different colors for you to choose from. It is also easier to fit in the tones of your homes and buildings because of this feature.
Pros and cons of Fiberon decking?
Although Fiberon is a reputable brand, it also comes with its own pros and cons. To objectively know what one could get from Fiberon, here are some of the most notable pros and cons that you should be aware of:
|Offers a 50-year limited warranty which is a big plus compared to other brands||Warranty this only applies to selected products.|
|Provides full synthetic composite decking options giving it a no-fade feature.||Observed fading in less than five years.|
|Offers a wide variety of colors which you can choose from depending on what complements your home.||Considered as an expensive brand and some products are less available in the market.|
|Offer other decking essentials such as railings, lighting, fascia, and risers.||Scratch resistance is lower compared to other brands.|
|Low-maintenance composite boards.||Lower end options come in fewer color choices.|
What is Trex decking?
Trex decking has been around, twice the age of Fiberon in the market. It is considered as the original composite decking company, serving its market for more than sixty years now.
They have been made popular because they were the go-to decking option when wood materials are not considered. Its main feature is its signature smooth tucking and shaped decking which wood cannot offer.
Trex decking is made of high-quality plastics, offering low-maintenance, water and weather resistant features. Trex are known because they make great platforms like the patios, raised pathways, especially decks. However, they cannot be used in making house frames and a shed.
Trex’s main products are deck boards which have 3 lines and 5-8 colors and textures which you can choose from. Just like Fiberon, its main goal is to provide quality materials while having the responsibility to make your decks have a beautiful view.
Pros and cons of Trex decking
Builders and homeowners have a lot of reasons to love Trex decking. As much as it has reputable strengths, it also has its own fair share of cons. Hence, here are some of the pros and cons of Trex decking for your preference:
|Offers 25-years of limited warranty for their wide range of products.||High initial costs.|
|Low maintenance and compared to wood decking, it has minimal issues on fading.||It is not the go-to choice of builders and contractors because of experiences of brittleness.|
|Offers different colors and designs which you can choose from to make your homes more attractive and stylish.||Comes with just 5-8 colors and textures.|
|Trex do not just offer decking but patios, raised pathways to match your style.||Its fasteners are way expensive compared to wooden decks.|
|Weather resistant, termite resistant and not as hot as pressure treated decks.|
|Cheaper compared to Fiberon.|
What are the similarities between Fiberon and Trex decking?
In fairness to these two decking brands, they also have some similarities, although not very vast. One of the most heightened similarities between the two would be being more low-maintenance, and cheaper alternatives to wood decking.
As composite deck brands, they also bring to the table notable upgrades compared to seating with just wood materials.
For one, they are both weather resistant. They also make the deck slip-free, making it functional year-round. They also offer a wide range of colors and fastening systems, among others.
In all other aspects, they have a firm difference. But when it comes to being eco-friendly, both take pride in recycling plastic materials for their products and are banking on this process for their corporate responsibility.
What are the differences between Fiberon and Trex decking?
When it comes to visual appeal, Fiberon and Trex truly do seem alike. However, they have a lot of differences which you cannot see and compare at first glance. Thus, it is imperative to know their points of comparison for you to have a better glance on what to choose when it comes to these two and relative to your needs and preferences.
When it comes to capping, Trex consistently caps in decking on three sides while Fiberon follows the way the deck is being capped. When this feature is faced off, the aesthetic appeal would be the main difference.
For instance, Trex features three sides: the transcend, better and good. Transcend has an upscale, natural, and distinctive wood pattern, offering a variety of colors and unique grains. It is also more cost-effective compared to Fiberon.
In terms of materials, Trex uses 95% recycled material in all of its decking products. As for residential railings, it uses 50% aluminum and in commercial railings, it uses 70% recycled aluminum.
Trex also uses plastic, wood, scrap wood as materials in their composite decking. On the other hand, Fiberon claims that 94% of its materials are also made or recyclables. Both, nonetheless, claim that they use eco-friendly materials.
In terms of availability, Trex is more available in the market, both online and in physical stores, compared to Fiberon. Trex has been very popular to consumers for its years of service that is why they have been widely available in the market.
This is the reason why Trex is considered as one of the go-to choices for decking. Fiberon on the other hand, has kept up, and is now made more available in the market.
In terms of warranty, Fiberon stands out from Trex as it has a 50-year warranty limit while the latter only has a 25-year warranty. However, the 50-year limit warranty of Fiberon is not applied to all its products.
As far as deck boards are concerned, Trex offers a 25-year warrant while Fiberon offers 20-year warranty. The warranty covers issues on fading, regular staining, staining from contact with the mildew or mold and many more. Either or, choosing between these two would surely give you the highest quality and service possible.
5. Color options
Colors give impact to anything, thus an important factor for every material put in a building or a home. These two brands have the same color palette featuring an array of grays and browns in different shades.
Aside from the color and aesthetics, installation also has a lot to do with the fastening system each brand employs for more secured decking.
Trex for one, is filled with glass nylon fastener while Fiberon uses EPDM plastic. Both nonetheless, are COMO partners, a deck fastening brand which is known for its performance and durability.
The next noticeable difference when it comes to installing is the face nailing. Fiberon has continuously been partnering with different manufacturers in order to provide exclusive features to its product like providing color-matched screws for more aesthetic appeal.
Fortunately, both brands do not require a high level of maintenance. For one, Fiberon only requires two times of cleaning each year.
Failure to do so voids the warranty that is why it is a must to have at least two cleaning sessions when choosing Fiberon. On the other hand, Trex does not recommend or require a specific number of cleaning days annually.
When cleaning the decks from these brands the DIY way, both would benefit from using a mild soap, such as dish detergent, and water with a soft-bristled brush. The amount of time given to cleaning means a newer, shinier, and more attractive deck for everyone to see and enjoy.
Since Trex has been present way long before Fiberon, it comes with a lot of accessory products. Available accessories extend not just to decking but also for accessories needed in outdoor kitchen markets, offering a line of cabinets, sink, counters, and others.
Compared to Trex, Fiberon has more limited accessory ranges. When it comes to this aspect, Trex is given a major plus.
This one is a primary factor to consider when it comes to decking. Many link durability and longevity with its price that is why more have been concluding that the higher the price, the longer it will serve.
However, this does not apply to all. Sometimes, its availability to the market is the measurement of whether the price is high or low and that is true for Fiberon.
As for price comparisons for specific products, Fiberon is generally more expensive than Trex too. For Trex, a 16’ Enhance board is around the price of $40, while a 16’ Fiberon Good Life board costs $43.
Trex and Fiberon are both claiming that they are eco-friendly brands especially the use of recycled plastics in their board decks. Through this, both have been claiming that they are helping the environment eradicate the so many plastics around just everywhere and make it into something useful and attractive.
With everything that we have considered, and in all aspects mentioned, we give the final verdict to Tex. Its many years in the market and the reputation it has established speaks for itself already. Beyond this, it has proven its brand in terms of performance, specifically when it comes to quality, durability, and longevity.
The wave of better reviews that it continually generates in respected consumer review sites also says a lot about why it continues to be the better choice. Most importantly, its availability in the market is also a manifestation of its reputability.
Aside from what we have covered, it is also important that we have a rundown of some of the essential information about some Trex and Fiberon characteristics that you should be aware of. Hence, here are some FAQs about Fiberon and Trex decking for you.
Does Fiberon scratch easily?
Just as the wood decking is prone to being marred, the surface of the composite decking can also be scratched.
However, because Fiberon has been known to have the features of having the availability of horizon decking and protection advantages, it became more resistant to scratches. So, when the first thing you want to address is scratching or if scratches make the decking less attractive, then choose Fiberon.
Is Fiberon decking slippery when wet?
Fiberon has high water resistance, proven under a slip test conducted by the Fiberon company itself. Fiberon has exceeded the recommendation of professionals under the slip testing department that is why when talking about slip resistance, Fiberon is a firm choice.
It has a more stable traction when it comes to its composite surface. This is an important factor to consider in decks as it could determine the level of usefulness of the deck year-round and the level of safety when using it.
Does Fiberon expand and contract?
Any materials such as wood, composite, metal and other more will have to undergo a linear expansion caused by the changing weather conditions. When this happens, some problems might arise according to the way they are fastened or to their original form before the expansion process.
Though they do expand and contract, it is not an immediate issue to be concerned of. When you choose Fiberone, keep in mind that it expands over time and can be maintained through regulations and proper addressing of the problem and look for the manual or search for any other options that are present.
Can Fiberon decking be power washed?
Yes, but it requires extreme caution as it may damage your composite decks. Remember that when something wrong happens from washing, your long-time warranty will be affected as they will no longer accept it. So, it is advisable that you take in a high level of caution when power washing your Fiberon decks.
Can Trex decking be painted?
Yes. Deck staining compels homeowners the need to paint it to conceal them. Should you wish to paint your Trex deck, it is ideal to use an acrylic latex exterior primer then coat it with semi-gloss latex paint. When having to stain your decks, make sure that you pick the right materials.
A paint can renew the look of a material but only when applied properly. So, when having the chance to renovate the home deck, give it a try and close your stain problems with the right choice of paint.
Why is Trex composite decking better than using hardwood decking?
Trex offers higher performance and quality materials that is why it is considered better than using hardwood decking. Trex has a lot of advantages such as being resistant to termites.
Aside from this, it has a greater aesthetic appeal with that elegant look which no longer needs to be oiled or painted anymore. Trex is way better than all brands or manufacturers and although it is known to be costly, the price exceeds the quality it serves.
What kind of paint do you use on Trex decking?
While it is true that paints make materials creative, colourful and attractive, the right choice of the kind and color matters when deciding to paint your composite decks.
To achieve a sleek and shiny finish on composite decking, use a high-quality latex paint. When it comes to the finish paint, you may opt to use a semi-gloss satin to make a more beautiful view.
Why is my Trex deck turning white?
White wood spots in your Trex deck would be an indicator of its wood particles being exposed to the sun extremely. This means that the seal of your deck is already damaged and that the inner particles have been bleached by the sun and rain.
Are Fiberon fasteners compatible with Trex decks?
No, but there is a specific Fiberon fastener for universal fastening purposes. In this, we are specifically talking about the Fiberon Phantom, which is designed to become a universal fastener which is generally compatible with all decking brands including Trex decks. As for all other Fiberon fastening systems, they are designed to work with Fiberon materials only.
How much space do you need between Fiberon deck boards?
The most adequate space recommended when installing Fiberon deck boards would be 4.8mm to provide better ventilation and drainage for small debris to be removed.
A minimum of 6.4mm space in between deck boards and permanent structures should also be observed for a sturdier deck form.
What is the recommended joint spacing for Trex decks?
While there is no fixed rule of thumb, it is recommended that there should be 16-inches on center. This is the measurement used in standard composite decking installation to make sure that everything is straight and cohesive.
Can composite decking be screwed?
Yes. Aside from hidden fasteners, one way to secure the composite deck would be through screwing in the hollow composite deck. While this is the go-to installation scheme for wooden decks, it is also applicable for composite decking.
How long do composite decks last?
Since we have discussed two of the most popular decking brands out there, it is valid to ask the average longevity of composite decks. A rough estimate would be in between 20-30 years. Even with the minimal maintenance and upkeep, the use of hard plastics in composite decking reinforce their longevity.
Is composite decking better than wood?
The truth is, wood, in its expensiveness, is still better than composite decking when it comes to durability. Composite decking materials are generally weaker in form and structure compared to wood materials.
As such, they have to be fastened well so that they can support their own weight. This is also the reason why composite decks would require smaller joint spacing compared to wood materials.
Is composite decking vulnerable to molds?
Yes, unfortunately. This is one of the drawbacks of composite materials because they are made of wood flour and plastics. The mention of wood flour already highlights why composite decking is vulnerable to molds.
This is especially disadvantageous since the molds could seep in between the joints or boards, structurally damaging the longevity of the composite decking.
Does composite decking get hot?
This is another drawback to composite decking. It is said that direct exposure to sunlight by composite decking would reach temperatures of up to 76F.
This is significantly greater than the temperature of the surrounding air. Some studies would even say that the temperature in composite decking surfaces would be double the temperature of the day.
Can composite decking be power washed with vinegar?
You would find it weird but a vinegar and baking soda solution would be a good combo when power washing composite decks with heavy stains. Unlike wood, composite decks are more resilient to the acidity of vinegar. They would not fade with the solution and rest assured that the stains shall be removed at an instant.
During spring and the rainy days, composite decking might turn green due to molds. When you have this perennial problem with your composite decking, the best vinegar type to use would be white distilled vinegar.
Are composite decking prone to warping?
Fortunately, composite decking does not warp but they can buckle and sag with the passing of time and the level of their exposure to weather and other elements.
Sagging is generally attributed to faulty installation of the joists. Buckling and sagging are also commonly caused by fluctuations of temperature and thermal expansion.
Is it safe to put grills on composite decks?
Yes. This is a plus for composite decks. All composite decks have a minimum class rating of C which means that compared to wood, it has a layer of protection when it comes to potential fire hazards coming from traditional coal grills. But to be sure, it is always recommended to put a fire mat or pads beneath the grill to protect the deck from coal spills and extreme heat.
Can you put rugs on composite decks?
Just as on wood decks, there are certain rug materials that would leave marks on composite decks. When this happens, you would find uneven coloration in your deck.
The rug materials that you should not put in your composite decks would be those with rubber, latex, and vinyl backing. The best rugs to use for composite decks would be those colorfast woven rugs and those made from high-quality polypropylene mats.
How do you fix a faded composite deck?
When fixing a faded composite deck, it is recommended to use a gentle and delicate method of washing so as not to damage the composite deck. Thus, using an oil-based solution would fix your faded composite decks. Here is a simple visual that would give you some of the basic steps in fixing a faded composite deck.
What are the alternatives to Trex and Fiberon?
Although Trex and Fiberon are the two most popular composite decking in the market, you would be glad to know that there are other alternatives to Trex and Fiberon which you could also check out. If you are wondering what these are, it would be the following:
- Cali Bamboo
- Dura Life
- Envision Composite Lumber
- CertainTeed EverNew
Choosing the best brand or manufacturer that would give your decks a high level of sophistication is a builder or the homeowner’s responsibility. This is the reason why asking and researching about the best decking brands would be essential.
In this post, we looked at Fiberon and Trex, being two of the most reputable decking services in the market. While there are significant differences between these two, they have unique similarities and a fair share of pros and cons.
Between the two, Trex has been around the market on a far longer scale than Fiberon. In all other aspects, it is also relatively on a better edge than Fiberon. Nonetheless, Fiberon also has its upsides, including lengthier warranty coverage and more high-end features. Nonetheless, they are both in a league of their own and although we have given the final verdict to Trex, Fiberon is still a prime choice.