Trex® Transcend® decking is TOO HOT in many flavors!
So...I spent quite a bit of time designing and preparing to build a new deck. I didn't want to spend a bunch of money (or time) as the existing deck was not that old. The problem with the existing deck was, despite it being built by what I believed to be a reputable builder, it was constructed nowhere near as well as it should have been and, in fact, was never permitted. Shame on me...yes...most certainly. I should have been all over the permit status of a project taking place in "my own back yard", but I wasnt. It was a very busy year and I was trying to run a company and raise my kids, so I "went with a feeling" and trusted what I was told, instead of going with my gut instinct. I just didn't pay close enough attention and I ended up taking the entire sub structure down and starting over.
I'll share some of the details about the failure of the previous deck builder later, but for now I want to focus on the matter at hand. Since none of you that may read this are likely to come across the same deck builder, but MAY consider Trex® Transcend® deck material as your "deck material of choice", I want to get this out there.
As I previously stated, I spent quite a bit of time evaluating several different composite decking manufacturers, as well as reading countless reviews for them. The top differences being listed as longevity and quality, necessary substructure, and then...how hot the different decks were on a given day based on the environment.
Sadly, I didn't pay enough attention to that final detail. I had ordered and paid for samples of each of my possible Trex® selections, as well as several other manufacturers samples. I lined them all up on a sunny Northern California day and let them sit...for several hours.
What I found was that, generally, the darker the material, the hotter it was to the touch, and the more heat it retained. I pretty much expected that. Of the different manufacturers, the Cali Bamboo® product was the clear winner as far as heat was concerned. The problem I had with Cali Bamboo® was that there were limitations in board length, as well as skirt width and length, as compared to the Trex® Transcend® product.
So...I buiilt my deck with what I considered a VERY EXPENSIVE Trex® Transcend® material. I won't get into the detail of the challenges of working with the material or some of the available attachment methods as they've been documented elsewhere. Instead, my main focus will be on the way the deck feels when you walk on it.
It's 82 degrees here in my township and, right now, my deck is too hot to walk on, much less stand on, in bare feet. This is something I love to do on a deck, or even just generally. By way of comparison, I spend quite a bit of time on the beaches near Santa Cruz, barefoot, and only when it gets up to 95+ do I have any difficulty standing or playing in the sand. It is also too hot for my dog. She comes up on the deck and will sit for about 30 seconds, then she starts lifting her paws, left then right, then back, and on and on, until she finally gets tired and leaves the deck. Now, if you don't want your dog on the deck, this may be a positive thing, but I like being able to hang out with my dog on my deck.
Sadly, I cannot do this now unless it is evening and below 82 degrees. This really makes me sad, because I thought I did my due-dilligence in determining what to build my deck with.
The colors I chose were Spiced Rum for the double border, and Havana Gold for the field as the Havana Gold was the second coolest. The coollest of the Trex® Transcend® offerings was Tiki Torch. I wish so much that I'd have chosen it for the field, but I didn't. Now, when I want to hang out on the deck when the sun is out, I MUST bring a beach towel out for me...and my dog, and that doesn't even work to dissipate the heat from the Spiced Rum double border. In my opinion, Spiced Rum is WAY too hot to consider as anything other than an accent that won't be walked on, or, - oh the painful thought - sat on.
So...(for the third time using "so") if you are considering a Trex® Transcend® product, and hoping to walk on your deck in the sun barefoot, you may want to perform a bit more due dilligence than I did, and order your samples - yes - you'll have to pay for them - and actually leave them in the sun for a few hours on your average hot sunny day, take your shoes off, and stand on them.
Of course...if you are somewhere close to me in Northern California, you are welcome to come over and check it out on my deck :)
All the best to you all!
P.S. the deck is actually a beautiful deck, and I'm not trying to trash the Trex® company at all. I just think it is appropriate to know what you're getting into before spending thousands of dollars on a product. I'll follow up with some before and after pics.
Best to you all!