Menards UltraDeck Composite Decking Review

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ultradeck composite decking review

Composite decking is nothing new to the industry, but style color options and innovation continue to thrive and change. UltraDeck is one company of many that provides composite decking to the consumer.

Is the brand any good? Will the decking last? We answer these questions and a whole lot more in the article below.

While we rate, review and compare all lines of the vast UltraDeck series line ups, you get to learn the pros and cons of the brand, the decking and the company as a whole. Read on and find out if UltraDeck is the brand and option for you.

UltraDeck Composite Options

There are 6 different series of UltraDeck composite decking to choose from. Find the one that suits you best.

  • UltraDeck Inspire. The Inspire line is the top of the class, with fade, scratch and damage resistance, it has more to offer than the other types.
  • UltraDeck Fusion. Featuring tropical hardwood looks and a medium sheen, the Fusion line is sure to please any homeowner.
  • UltraDeck Triumph. Fade resistance and durability are the primary focus of the Triumph line. Unique water and moisture channels keep your deck safe and colorful.
  • UltraDeck Rustic. Natural weathering and fading is built-in to these planks that install with ease and look great over time.
  • UltraDeck QuickCap. QuickCap is a line that is special to UltraDeck. They are designed to install directly on top of an existing deck for ease and affordability.
  • UltraDeck Natural. The Natural line is made to fade to a natural coloring within one or two months. For Simple install and affordable pricing it doesn’t get much better.

Who is UltraDeck?

UltraDeck is a brand under the Midwest Manufacturing company that is sold exclusively through Menards in the Northern states. While online shopping and shipping bring the decking to the entire country, local shopping is limited to the states that have Menards store fronts.

While the exclusivity limits the reach, UltraDeck makes a decent composite decking that is both affordable and simple to install for anyone that can use a saw and a power drill.

You won’t find natural wood mimicking because of the plastic component of composite decking. However, UltraDeck does offer natural fading and colors along with more natural wood grain patterns.

Buyer’s Guide: Choosing a Composite Deck

buyers guide choosing composite deck

Before you can head to your local Menards or start shopping online, there are several factors worthy of consideration. Below, you will find those factors and an explanation of why they are important to your decision making process. 

Project Size

The overall size of your project is one of the most important aspects. You need to ensure you know how much space the deck will take up, where it will go and have some idea of how it will look.

This is all based on the coverage area of your decking. It also helps to know the square footage of space for your deck to know what to expect in terms of costs, installation needs as well as time and effort.

Environmental Variables

Another factor to think about is the environment. Weather, the amount of direct sunlight, temperature, humidity levels and much more will have a drastic effect on your decking. From fading to weathering and even life expectancy, those in colder, drier climates will have different needs than those in sunnier, more humid climates.

Raised or Ground-Level Construction

How the decking will be installed is another factor. Ground-level installation will require treated lumber for the frame and supports that above-ground installs may not need. This also includes second-story decks and riser decks.

Whatever your installation calls for, you need to know how your installation will end up and what material types you need to ensure a durable and secure decking. 

Additional Accessories

Aside from the actual decking there are a lot of accessories and extras to consider. For example, you will need to think about railings, posts, stairs, end caps, lighting and more. UltraDeck offers All of this, plus fasteners, clips and more.

Knowing what materials, extras and accessories you need will not only help you get a complete project but will also aid in planning your budget and getting installation quotes.

Board Styles and Colors

With UltraDeck you have a slim choice of styles and colors. Compared to other brands like Trex and DuraLife, the Menards brand has less options to consider. All told you will find 2 to 4 colors per line up giving you a total of 19 colors and grain patterns to decide on. 

Installation Options

Composite decking can be a DIY project if you have the time, energy and knowledge to properly frame and plan a deck. If you do not (or don’t want to be bothered) you can also hire out the installation to decking professionals.

If you want help finding the right pros in your area, we have partnered with Networx to bring you a free tool that will put you in touch with local, vetted and reviewed professionals. Try it out today!

Cost and Warranty

Budget is also a major factor for many homeowners and you need to know that you are getting value for your money. With UltraDeck the average cost for the planks is slightly lower than industry average, but you still need to plan for your total project.

With UltraDeck you also get a warranty. Based on the style and series, that warranty will cover the decking for either 10 or 25 years. The actual terms, conditions and requirements also vary so make sure you read through the agreement before you buy.

UltraDeck Reviews

ultradeck reviews

In this section we will cover the individual series and lines of decking from UltraDeck. Each one is rated, reviewed and compared to help you identify which one, if any, are right for your home and project. Read through the reviews to figure out where to focus your time and efforts.

UltraDeck Inspire

The Inspire line is the top-tier series from UltraDeck. The boards are capped on 3 sides and offer 4 individual colors. With more natural wood grain patterns to replicate domestic woods and tones of tan, gray and reddish-brown, they have a low-sheen and offer the most realistic version of any of the UltraDeck options.

Along with the colors and grain patterns you also get the full 25-year warranty that protects against wear and tear, damage, and fading. With the hidden fastener system and simple installation over a pressure treated lumber frame, you can hire out the project or install as a DIY weekend.

UltraDeck Fusion

If Inspire is the top of the line, Fusion is next in the series to be at the top. Split into two different categories, Fusion gives you a fade resistant capped board that is easy to clean and maintain as well as wood grains that mimic exotic wood species.

The Fusion line and Fusion 2.0 lines are identical in almost every way. Both offer a 25-year warranty, both have high impact and scratch resistance and both will offer a medium sheen for a glossier finish.

The difference is that the original fusion line offers two colors, Coastal Cedar and Driftwood Gray that have natural color variations included to give the deck a more natural wood look. Fusion 2.0 comes in Rosewood and Walnut colors that give you a low sheen/gloss finish.

UltraDeck Triumph

UltraDeck Triumph is the next inline towards the top and is the first midline series in the line ups. This is also the last of the series to offer a full 25-year warranty, which needs to be considered when looking at the brand as a whole.

For the cost effective solutions that are still budget friendly, Triumph is the option to look closely at. It only comes in two colors, though, so your choices are a bit more limited. With Pecan or Slate you get a deep coloring that will last for years.

With fade, scratch and dent resistance, the capped boards are easy to install and offer years of reliable service and durability. It is more affordable than both Inspire and Fusion but you won’t get the rich grain patterns and low gloss options either.

Because of the higher sheen these boards tend to look more plastic in the sunlight than the other two options listed above.

UltraDeck Rustic

Rustic is the first line with the 10-year warranty option and is even more affordable than the previous lines. However, that cost savings comes at a drawback (for some).

The boards are not capped so they do fade over time. You will even see the effects of the fading in as little as 30 days. You do get four color options, though, including Cedar, Gray, Redwood and Hickory.

Some owners like the natural fading design and the fact that it happens at different rates give more personality and character to the deck over all. Still, some owner’s were not expecting the fading and complained about the durability of the line.

If you are expecting the fading and are looking to save money, the uncapped boards of the Rustic line have what you need. They also offer low maintenance and easy cleaning to make your chore list even shorter.

UltraDeck QuickCap

The UltraDeck QuickCap line is not a traditional composite decking board. Unlike the other lines, QuickCap is designed to install on top of an existing deck. You can use the hidden fastener system to install the planks directly into the current decking without having to remove or even repair your wood deck.

With QuickCap you can hide imperfections, uneven surfaces and even lose boards. While it is advised to repair or resurface your existing deck first, the overall install is quick and easy. With a 10-year warranty and natural fading, you get a great looking deck without removing your current deck.

You also get three colors to choose from, Cedar, Gray and Redwood, to match and work with the Rustic line up. These are also a great way to use your current deck while expanding beyond what is already there when using the Rustic boards to extend or expand your surface area.

UltraDeck Natural

Finally, the UltraDeck Natural line is a system of composite decking without caps and without UV treatments that allow you to stain and finish your decking how you see fit.

The boards are double sides with a wood grain finish and a brushed finish. For the wood grain finish you get quick fading and a natural weathered wood appearance. You can flip the boards over to the brushed side and apply stain, paint or treatments to add the deck look you need.

If you do plan to stain, though, you will need to wait about a year before you can apply. This gives the decking time to settle, expand and fade so the composite will accept and hold the stain.

Like the Rustic and QuickCap options, this highly affordable decking solution comes with UltraDeck’s 10-year warranty. A DIY install and hidden fastener system allow you to complete your deck on your terms and timelines while saving money on professional installation.

What People are Saying

For those that have done their research or know what they are getting when they buy Ultra Decking solutions, the reviews are high praise and happy customers. Most talk about the durability and ease of install as the top reasons to go with the brand.

However, unless you live in an area where a Menards is located you are buying blind. This is a big problem for many of the negative reviews that state the decking was not what they were expecting. This can come down to not knowing what they are getting or not doing proper research, though.

As long as you buy with some research behind you and hopefully a physical inspection at a Menards in your area, you shouldn’t be disappointed.

UltraDeck Cost and Warranty

The cost per linear foot will average out to about $3.50 across all the lines. This, of course, will vary depending on the series you go with and the board size you choose. Most options will come in either 8, 12, 16 or 20-foot lengths and the cost will go up with each size.

There are two warranties to make note of and you can either qualify for the 10-year warranty or the 25-year warranty. Aside from the coverage length, the main difference is that the 25-year warranty covers the capped planks which offer fade and color protection.

The 25-year warranty is available with the Inspire, Fusion and Triumph series boards. For the Rustic, Natural and QuickCap options you will get the 10-year warranty coverage.

At a Glance

Here we look at all 6 line ups in a simple to understand chart. We compare the various options on colors, fade resistance, warranty and cost. Note that the cost is based on a single 12-foot plank. Other sizes (8, 16 and 20-foot options) will have a different price. Local and regional price differences may occur, too.

SeriesColorsFade ResistantWarrantyCost
Inspire4Yes25-year$42
Fusion4Yes25-year$24
Triumph2Yes25-year$18
Rustic4Partial10-year$22
QuickCap3Partial10-year$11
Natural2No10-year$12

Pros, Cons and Ratings of UltraDeck Composite Decking

pros and cons ultradeck composite decking review

UltraDeck does have a lot to offer the consumer, but as with most things there are negative sides, too. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of UltraDeck composite decking and rate the brand as a whole on several key factors.

ProsCons
Affordable pricingNot readily available in all areas
Choice of fade resistanceUncapped planks fade quickly
QuickCap over-deck install optionsColor matching for repairs can be difficult.
Decent warranty across entire line 

Ratings

  • Selection: 3
  • Warranty: 3
  • Durability: 3.5
  • Installation: 3.5
  • Price: 4
  • Quality: 3
  • Eco-Friendliness: 3.5

 

  • Overall Rating: 3.3

UltraDeck Vs. Trex: Which One is Better?

Compared to UltraDeck, Trex composite decking offers you only 4 lines. You have about the same color options from more natural wood tones to the vibrant reds, browns and tans.

However, Trex decking is much more expensive. This is the biggest issue most will find out when looking at the two brands, so let’s get it out of the way now. Trex is much more expensive overall than UltraDeck.

For the price, though, you get a 25-year warranty on all lines, compared to the 10-year and 25-year warranty with UltraDeck. This means that when you buy Trex, you don’t have to jump through hoops or remember which type of coverage you have, as it doesn’t change.

For durability we rely on consumer reviews ratings and third party testing. Trex makes all of this publicly available, where UltraDeck does not. In comparison to what we do know, though, the top-tier lines (UltraDeck Inspire and Trex Transcend) both hold up well to nature, weather, foot traffic and dropped items.

All in all, though, you get a higher value and better product from Trex. It is also widely available all over the US and sold in more outlets. The UltraDeck exclusivity with Menards means it is harder for many to get a hold of and must order sight unseen through the online option.

Known Issues with UltraDeck Composite Decking

As with most products, there are going to be issues, complaints and problems. UltraDeck is no exception. For the most part anyone that does order and install the decking has little to complain  about. The main issue starts when people are unaware of what they are buying.

The uncapped versions are to fade resistant, for example. Even though it is clearly shown what the decking will look like when new and after only a couple of months, people still complain it fades too fast.

Another common issue that comes up is the fastener systems that UltraDeck uses. The hidden fasteners and screws are common among composite decking but aren’t the most durable. Overtime, with constricting and expansion the fasteners can come loose.

Frequently Asked Questions

faq ultradeck composite decking review

In this section we will answer some of the most commonly asked questions about UltraDeck and composite decking in general. If you have other questions, feel free to use the comment section below.

Q. Can you stain composite decking?

  1. In most cases the answer is no. For capped and treated, painted and powder coated boards you will not be able to stain them., However, the UltraDeck Naturals line is uncapped and untreated allowing it to take and hold a stain. The brushed side of the board can have stain applied a year or more after initial installation.

Q. Can you repair damaged UltraDeck boards?

  1. In almost all cases this answer is also no. Sanding, refinishing and removal after installation will void the warranty and any cracked or damaged boards should be replaced, not repaired.

Q. Can you rip an UltraDeck board for install?

  1. Yes, using a chalk line to mark your rip location you can cut the boards just like any standard piece of lumber using a circular saw, jigsaw or table saw to get the job done.

Q. What is the best way to keep an UltraDeck deck clean?

  1. Soap and water and a little scrubbing with a push broom will be your best option. You can also spray off leaves and debris with a garden hose. For stubborn messes, you can also use a pressure washer as long as you follow manufacturer’s instructions of spray fan nozzle with no more than 1500 PSI.

Conclusion

UltraDeck composite decking offers an affordable solution to your decking needs. With capped and uncapped options you can get the deck you need at a price you can afford.

The main drawback is that UltraDeck is only sold through Menards and not readily available across the country. While anyone can order through the website, you won’t be able to see samples or look at the decking in person unless you can make it to a Menards store.

Is UltraDeck right for you? Only you can decide, but hopefully this article has helped guide you and shown you what to expect from the brand and the product as a whole.

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AUTHOR

Nora has more than 5 years experience in the floor covering industry, acquiring vast knowledge about installation and material selection. She now enjoys working as a writer and an interior decorator. Her work has been featured in The Spruce, Homes & Gardens, Southern Living and Real Homes. See full biography here.

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