For a product that’s not supposed to move, decks sure are growing.
Metrostudy, an expert on residential construction data and a sister company to REMODELING, says favorable economic conditions point to a 4.6% increase in the number of decks that will be installed this year compared with 2017. Look for roughly 158,000 more professional deck jobs nationwide this year, raising the total number produced to 3.6 million, Metrostudy predicts.
When those decks get built, several new products promise to reduce installation times. Some were introduced at the Remodeling | Deck | JLC show last October, while others won’t debut until the International Builders’ Show. Most of the advances are for wood-plastic composite and all-plastic decking, which trail behind treated-wood decks in popularity but deliver far higher margins per linear foot.
Competition remains fierce in all segments. According to the 2017 edition of the Remodeling Brand Use Study, the top three brands for treated wood were Lonza’s Wolmanized Wood and Era Wood, Great Southern Wood Preserving’s YellaWood, and Viance’s Preserve and EcoLife products. Lonza came in first as the brand specified or used most, while YellaWood led in the quality rating.
A threesome also topped the category for composite and vinyl decking products: Trex, Azek, and TimberTech. Trex was specified or used most while Azek led in quality. These three also were tops for deck railing, with Trex first in all categories.
The following is a roundup of some notable new products coming your way in 2018:
Deckorators’ new Fastendry claims to combine weatherproofing and fastening into one solution. Fastendry is designed to fit into the slotted edges of Deckorators composite decking to provide a watertight seal that prevents rain, melting snow, and debris from passing through the spaces between boards, according to the company. Fastendry is available in 12-, 16-, and 20-foot lengths and complements Deckorators’ Vault, Heritage, Vista, Classic, and Frontier deck boards.
TurboClip sticks each include 16 universal hidden deck clips and one “grip clip” at the end. The plastic clips are pre-loaded with stainless steel screws, and as each clip is fastened to the joist, it is snapped off the stick. The manufacturer says the clips are compatible with all major brands’ composite deck boards and will be available in early 2018.
MoistureShield has rolled out Vision Composite Deck and Trim Boards. This line comes with MoistureShield’s CoolDeck technology, which the firm says optimizes heat reflection so the boards absorb less heat than conventional capped composites. The deck boards are available in 12-, 16-, and 20-foot lengths, and the trim boards come in 12-foot lengths. The boards come with a lifetime fade and stain warranty.
Green Bay Decking has released Optima Deck. The manufacturer says its new product has the lowest moisture absorption of any composite decking material, the highest stability in extreme freeze–thaw cycles, and one of the most slip-resistant surfaces on the market. Optima Deck is available in three colors, in what the firm describes as a realistic, wood-look finish.
DuraLife has come out with a Step-Clip Fastening System. This new proprietary system works with all DuraLife grooved decking products, and the company says it reduces deck installation time by 50%. No screws are needed to install Step-Clips, just a hammer or nail gun. The clips are made of 1-inch-wide and 23-inch-long polypropylene interlocking strips that can accommodate four deck boards each.
Fairway Architectural Railing Solutions introduced new railing solutions: the S100 Steel Railing and A210 Aluminum Railing. The S100 railing features 6- and 8-foot widths and 28-, 34-, and 40-inch heights and is stair-adjustable up to 42 degrees. The A210 also has new features, such as the horizontal cable infill and an ADA-compatible secondary aluminum 1.5-inch handrail.
The Dextor Power Hand will appeal to anyone who installs a lot of hardwood decking. The Power Hand is a clamp that can be powered by a cordless drill/driver equipped with a clutch and an 11mm hex bolt bit. Depending on the width of your decking, the Power Hand can be used to clamp three or four boards at a time and is capable of providing more than 400 pounds of pulling or pushing force to straighten the decking, according to inventor and Dextor Works CEO Lars Mikkelsen. Suggested price is $169.95.
Azek Decking introduced a hand-driven version of FusionLoc, an exclusive fastener for Azek and TimberTech decking. The company says the fastener will resist expansion and contraction, uplift, and joist racking. It contains five clips per strip to reduce installation time. FusionLoc is installed with a stainless steel deck clip and screw and is fully removable.
Azek and TimberTech have each released three new colors. Azek’s Vintage Collection now includes Coastline, English Walnut, and Weather Teak. The new colors in TimberTech’s Legacy Collection are Sequoia, Espresso, and Whitewashed Cedar. Each line features a 30-year limited fade and stain warranty.
Deckorators also unveiled new railing solutions: the SLX Invisirail and ALX Classic Pre-Assembled Rail. The SLX Invisirail is a glass railing system made with tempered glass panels and stainless steel posts. Deckorators says the SLX eliminates most sight-line obstructions. The ALX Classic Pre-Assembled Rail is available in 6- and 8-foot pre-assembled sections, which the firm says saves time on baluster installation. The ALX is made from heavy-gauge aluminum, and Deckorators says it is resistant to scratches and corrosion.