Ultra Deck Fusion Coastal Cedar Review
A recent Deck using Coastal Cedar
We recently had the pleasure of working with Ultra Deck Fusion from Menards. A client of ours had this product installed on his older deck three years ago. The previous installation was subpar, and we determined the whole deck needed to be reframed. We disassembled the deck to re-use the decking and steel railing. The staircase and treads were also replaced. The decking is Ultra Deck Fusion Coastal Cedar. This product is in stock at Menards which was a good thing because we needed a few more boards.
Ultra Deck Fusion is a capped composite board made by Midwest Manufacturing and has a 25-year warranty. The product sells for about $2.25 per linear foot at Menards. There are two colors in this line and they come in 8’, 12’, 16’, and 20’ lengths. The planks come either grooved or with a solid edge. Each plank is capped on the top and sides but not the bottom. This is Ultra Deck's mid-range composite offering. The bottom is scalloped to lower the cost for the manufacturer. There are several ways to fasten the boards including a few types of hidden fasteners.
The boards are of decent quality but are noticeably less dense than other more expensive composite boards on the market. The cap was very thin and seemed like it was painted on. The cap is 1/32nd thick. The coloring is variegated and looked great after installation. They also come with a cladding board for skirting and fascia. The boards were straight and not too heavy. They feel solid when walking on the deck and they look great when the product is finished. If installed correctly this is a great board to choose from if the price is your biggest concern.
The installation process is typical of composites. I would not recommend using the T-clips as we did on this install. The clips came attached to a Torx drive screw and the package came with two driver bits. The screws were quickly found to be of poor quality and often stripped out. This deck was 15’x 14’ and we went through 5 driver bits and many stripped screws. The T-clips were not tall enough to allow the board to get underneath and would often lay at an angle preventing the next board from sitting tight enough. The T-clips were effective once we figured out to not drive them tight until after the boards were installed. These clips left a large gap of 1/4" inch or bigger between planks. The decking installation took a lot longer than anticipated. There are other faster hidden fastening systems available on the market. Most of which are much more expensive. Speed of installation, as well as the effectiveness of the fastening system, are important factors to consider. When we install this product again, we will choose square edge boards and use a camo fastener from the side.
Overall Ultra Deck Fusion is a good product. Installed correctly and using the best fastening system is ideal. This product should perform well over time and we recommend it if you want a low maintenance deck at a lower cost. Other products offer better warranties and are better boards, but at this price point, Ultra deck is a good option. If the color is not your main concern, this decking could be the best choice for you.