It’s no secret that composite decking has become the new norm for many homeowners. These materials are able to stand up well against the unpredictable and sometimes harsh weather that we experience here in Colorado. While looking and performing like new for decades, composite decking offers the perfect solution for a low maintenance, high quality product.
Due to their popularity, there are so many different brands and material types to choose from. It can get overwhelming to say the least when it comes time to choose which is best for your lifestyle and specific needs. When deciding, keep in mind the level of upkeep you wish to put into your deck, the amount of money you’re hoping to spend, the color scheme (if any) you would like to match, and how long you need this material to perform properly. Below, we’ll break down the many major composite decking brands and hopefully provide you with the comparisons you need to make the right decision for your own home.
Trex decking is one of the leading composite decking brands in the world. It’s considered to be one of the first of its kind and truly a trailblazer for the composite decking industry. Trex’s materials come in three levels of quality under the brand names: Enhance, Select, and Transcend. The boards are composed of 95% recycled material and contain some plastic and wood flour particulates. Trex boards have a hard shell ‘cap’ on three surfaces surrounding its core. Trex Enhance, the lowest end product, is grooved on the bottom and comes in three simple colors. As you move to the higher quality Trex products, they no longer have underside grooves, the wood grain pattern becomes more realistic, and there is a more extensive selection for coloring. Trex materials are backed with a 25-year warranty, guaranteeing you decades of enjoyment.
Similar to Trex decking, Fiberon is also composed largely of recycled plastic and wood flour. Fiberon’s three levels of quality materials are dependent on the look and how they are wrapped with a hard shell. On the lower end, Fiberon’s Good Life is available in just a couple colors and is wrapped on three sides. It’s composed of less material due to its scalloped profile on the underside. On the next quality tier, Fiberon’s Advantage does not have that bottom groove, giving the board more material for structural soundness and a more natural wood look. And at the top of the quality spectrum, we have Fiberon’s Symmetry. Symmetry boards are capped on all four sides, making it a good option for those hoping to enjoy under the deck as well. It comes in more color varieties to choose from and is overall much higher quality than its predecessors. Like Trex, Fiberon products are also backed with a 25-year warranty.
TimberTech (Azek) Decking
Similarly to the other two options, TimberTech’s main composite decking options are composed of recycled plastic and wood. As the levels of quality increase, as does the amount of colors to choose from, density of wood (lack of grooves), and the realism of the wood grain improves. All in all, TimberTech composite decking is very similar to that of Trex and Fiberon.
In addition to their generic composite decking line, TimberTech also has “Azek” decking for customers to take advantage of. Unlike the previously mentioned brands, Azek deck boards are made entirely of PVC plastic. They offer the option for a harder shell and less-dense core, making for a lighter product that absorbs less heat. Again, this product comes in three tiers of quality and improves on coloring, natural look, and durability as you get higher. And lastly, TimberTech promises a 30-year limited warranty on all these products to take advantage of.
Overall, the choice comes down to the look and function you’re hoping for. Whether you’re looking for the best product at the lowest price, or the highest quality material available— all of these brands are so well-known and loved for a reason, you can’t go wrong. When deciding, keep in mind the hard shell surrounding the sides of your boards, this will indicate their longevity. In addition to the capping, grooves are meant to make your materials lighter, this will also lessen the durability of the board. As you compare and contrast these tradeoffs, be sure to also consider the existing design of your home and whether the decking boards have available options to flow seamlessly. It may be worth it for you to upgrade your chosen brand to ensure a natural look for years to come.
At Rocky Mountain Forest Products, we offer all of the aforementioned brands and then some. For more information on all of the composite decking brands we offer, head to our composite decking webpage. Contact our representatives today for a quote!