Category Archives: Composite Decking Reviews

Best Decking for 2021

Tigerwood Decking
Tigerwood Decking

In 2021 as homeowners are still reluctant to travel many are in search of the best decking to build their own backyard oasis.

Most homeowners are familiar with the usual decking materials such as pressure treated pine decking, cedar and composite products.

The demand for some of these products has increased greatly due to many homeowners still stuck at home wanting to expand their outdoor living space.

Some of these decking options like pressure treated pine, cedar or redwood decking are softwoods.

Softwoods can look beautiful and last many years but they do typically require annual maintenance to prevent premature rot and decay.

Many homeowners don’t like the thought of maintenance and believe that composite products are “No Maintenance”.

The reality is some of these composite manufacturers years ago advertised their products as “No Maintenance”, homeowners painfully realized this was far from true.

Many homeowners quickly experienced their “No Maintenance” decks would grow mold so fast that many had to power wash their decks almost weekly.

We’ve yet to find a composite product that homeowners haven’t experienced issues with so as of now we don’t recommend or sell any.

If this is an option you want to pursue we strongly suggest doing some google searches for the “brand + complaints and problems” to see what homeowners have experienced.

Top Decking Options for 2021

Our top decking that we usually recommend is Ipe wood but that is the most expensive due to its proven durability, beauty, longevity and demand.

Ipe wood is a South American hardwood known to last up to 75 years on commercial applications like the Coney Island boardwalk with no chemical treatments.

Our overall top pick for decking in 2021 when durability and price are a concern is Tigerwood decking.

Imported from South America Tigerwood is another exceptionally beautiful hardwood deck option that is known to last 30+ years.

Can Composite Decking be Recycled?

For years the decking industry has gone back and forth as to what is a “green” decking option and what isn’t. In an industry where everyone boasts their product is the best, how are we supposed to make an educated decision when buying a new deck?

Some composite decking does use recycled materials, but does that mean the boards themselves can be recycled? The majority of the time the answer will be no. Our findings suggest that the composite deck boards that can’t be recycled are made from wood and plastic fibers which are combined using bonding agents that deter any machine from separating them.


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Advantage Ipe™ Can Withstand HOW Much Weight?!

On this episode of DeckBusters™, Mike and Emily test Advantage Ipe™ against today’s modern decking options (capstock composite and PVC).

You might be surprised to see the results. Then again, if you know anything about the rugged, natural durability of exotic hardwoods, you probably won’t be too shocked. But, how do the latest plastic options hold up under the weight of a two-ton mid-sized SUV?  Check out this bending strength test to find out!

Watch the Premiere Episode of DeckBusters™ – Decking Vs. Axe

DeckBusters™ is finally here! Click to watch various decking materials get put to extremely high impact testing. We’ve said that Advantage Ipe™ is tough…but how tough? Click below to watch the surprising results! (Every board we tested was one-inch thick (5/4×6).

Should You Repair Your Dock with Composite Decking?

Florida composite dock

Swelling. Peeling. Mold. Those are three of the problems dock owners struggle with on a daily basis.

Do you have to repair your dock and are considering composite decking? Doing your research into what makes the best material for docks is no easy task. Sure, you can find written decking reviews all over the place. You’ll also be flooded with claims that synthetic decking is low-maintenance. But, as with most things, the proof comes from how these materials actually perform over the long term.

Check out these photos to see what you can expect from a dock made of composite decking.

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There’s one common denominator in all of three of the docks you see in that gallery: water. The every day exposure to moisture is a major contributing factor to the swelling, peeling, and overall failure of composite deck boards used for docks. What about the new types of capstock decking options in the market today? One thing is for sure, the science cannot be ignored. If any part of these boards are exposed (such as the ends of the boards or any screwed down surfaces), problems like mold are bound to happen.

At the end of the day, choosing a proven hardwood like Advantage Ipe™ is your best bet. There’s a reason why cities and architects across the world choose Ipe for marine applications, boardwalks, and other projects. Call us today to see why repairing your dock with hardwood decking from is a safe, and solid choice.

USS Constellation in Baltimore Uses Ipe Decking


During our visit to Baltimore for the 2012 DeckExpo, some of our employees visited the historic USS Constellation. While they were learning about the history of this vessel and its role in United States history, they also noticed that the interior walkways of the ship were made of Ipe.

Inside this historic ship which had such a vital military role in the shaping our nation, Ipe decking was chosen to be the material that supports people during their visit. Take a look at the slideshow below to see how pristine the wood looks despite being used in such a high traffic area.

In this same slideshow you’ll also see an example of how Cumaru wood is used for a marine siding application. This beautiful Brazilian hardwood was used to wrap around the Inner Harbor Cruises ticket booth. Take note of how evenly and smoothly the wood is weathering despite the fact that it’s surrounded by salty water and air.

Last but not least, we have another example of how composite decking reacts when used for commercial projects. It you inspect closely, you’ll discover how this plastic decking is failing under the sun and everyday use. Imagine what it will look like in just a few years!

If you’d like to learn more about how Advantage Ipe™ and Advantage Cumaru™ will work for your commercial or marine project, give us a call 1-877-232-3915 and take advantage of our Fall Decking Sale.

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Composite Deck Problems in Florida

Composite deck in Florida with mold spread all over the decking.

I was walking to my doctor’s appointment when I came across a walkway made of composite decking. The deck boards looked like new…but as you can see, the deck was plagued with these dark grey spots. As I was taking pictures, two women passed me. I overheard one ask, “What the heck is THAT?”

Mold? A chemical reaction of some sort?

While you might read that this kind of problem is strictly a surface problem, this picture (to the right) tells another story.

As you can see, this mold-like substance has actually penetrated through the surface and is present inside the core of these deck boards.

But, still…why?

Think about it. A lot of composite decking is made up of wood fibers. When you combine Florida’s naturally humid climate, soft wood fibers, and ever-present mold spores, this composite deck can be seen as a petri dish for mold and fungus.

For years, composite deck marketing has focused on the product’s longevity,  being “eco-friendly,” and its long-lasting look. But if you live in Florida, being aware of these possible problems can be just as important as the initial cost or any short-term savings.

So…this begs the question. If it’s possible for composite decking to react adversely to Florida’s climate, how would Ipe, or Cumaru decking hold up?

Well, let’s take a look at one example:

Ipe decking used on the Miami Beach boardwalk.

This is a picture of Ipe wood decking used in the famous Miami Beach boardwalk. As you can see, the boards, while gray, have endured exceptionally well against the elements. And, when you throw in sand, salt water, and the daily pounding it has to endure, it’s amazing how well the wood has held up. Here’s a link to more picture of Ipe decking in Miami.

The secret to the success of hardwoods like Ipe and Cumaru isn’t magic. It’s not anything man-made. It’s simply nature. The oils, tight grain pattern, and high density combine to act as a natural preservative thereby increasing your deck’s overall lifespan and performance.

What do you think? If you’re considering remodeling an old wood deck in Florida, what materials are you considering? What questions do you want answered about hardwood decking? Leave a comment we’ll answer your questions!