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How to Choose the Best Durable Deck Material

February 25, 2022
For the best durable deck material choose new deck material from TimberTech

If you’re thinking in terms of durability, you know the importance of superior materials — and you also want an option that lets you enjoy your deck, instead of maintaining it. Choosing the most durable deck material ensures you’ll have a beautiful outdoor living space that’s designed to stand the test of time so you and your family can get the most out of your investment.

Benefits of making your new deck material the most durable deck material

Benefits of Choosing the Most Durable Deck Material

✓ Gives you structural integrity you can trust for a long-lasting deck.

✓ Requires minimal maintenance to keep it safe and beautiful.

✓ Offers long-term value with minimal risk of repair/replacement costs.

So how do you choose the best durable deck material? Follow these steps to find the right new deck material choice for your build.

Step 1: Explore Overall Deck Material Options

First up, learn what the options are for your new deck material and get familiar with what each has to offer. Materials for decks range from traditional wood options to engineered alternatives — and they vary significantly in terms of performance.

So, which is the best durable deck material? In short, it’s not traditional wood.

Is PVC Better Than Composite?

You’ve heard of ‘PVC’ and ‘composite,’ but which is better? Learn more about your options to determine which is the best for you.

Step 2: Learn Why Traditional Wood Is Far From the Best

When it comes to durable deck material, wood doesn’t make the cut for one simple reason: It is highly vulnerable to moisture.

Traditional wood decking is not the most durable deck material

Why Is Moisture a Problem for Wood?

As an organic material from surface to core, traditional wood, even pressure-treated lumber, is exposed to the elements. And sooner or later? Moisture will work its way into the boards, causing serious issues, including:

X Mold, mildew, and rot growth

X Cracking, splitting, and splintering

X Warping, like cupping and a soft feel underfoot

Why Moisture Costs You Time & Money

What does moisture damage mean for you? Inevitable repairs and replacements, even if you stick to a strict maintenance schedule of staining and sealing.

And what’s worse? The serious costs that accumulate year over year due to all that work. That means choosing traditional lumber for your deck costs you in terms of:


  • Hours spent looking at a less-than-ideal deck as it fades and/or warps.
  • Hours lost sanding, staining, and sealing.
  • Hours — or days — you can’t use your deck while repairs or replacements are being made.


  • Cleaning supplies to remove mold, mildew, and debris.
  • Materials for sanding, staining, and sealing.
  • Inevitable repair and replacement costs which can include materials and hired labor, if needed.

The Best Wood for Decks? Not Wood at All.

Discover how superior engineered options like TimberTech decking outperform wood in every way.

If traditional wood isn’t a good durable deck material choice, what is? It’s time to look to composite decking for your new deck material.

Step 3: Discover New Deck Material Options: Composite Decking

New deck material options include the most durable deck material

The best decking option shouldn’t only be the most durable deck material — it should also be the most beautiful. When it comes to wood alternatives, you’ve likely heard of composite decking. What you might not know? Not all composite decking is created equal.

TimberTech® decking offers you all the durability of a material expertly engineered for the long-term, plus the most realistic wood looks. So you enjoy all the nuanced beauty of wood, with far superior durability.

3 Decking Lines, 1 Right Fit for You

Explore our 3 decking lines to discover which is best for you.

Composite Decking 101

Composite decking is often used to refer to any decking that is man-made or engineered. Two popular  engineered decking options are capped composite and capped polymer decking.

Make your new deck material a durable deck material like capped composite decking

Capped Composite Decking

✓ Features a core and a protective 100% polymer cap.

✓ Core is made from a mix of recycled materials including wood flour and post-consumer plastics.

✓ More sustainable and durable than wood.

✓ Backed by competitive warranties.

Make your new deck material the most durable deck material capped polymer decking

Capped Polymer Decking

✓ Features a fully engineered core and cap made from high-performance polymers (PVC) — no organic material.

✓ Made from a mix of recycled materials including post-consumer plastics.

✓ More sustainable and much more durable than wood.

✓ Backed by industry-leading warranties.

While composite decking options are superior to wood thanks to their synthetic material components, not all composite decking products are created equal.

Within the composite decking category, there are significant variations in terms of performance and durability.

Get greater insight into your composite decking options to see which is best for your build. COMPOSITE DECKING COMPARISON

The Problem With Competitor Composite Decking

When it comes to competitor composite decking, the problems boil down to one serious flaw: exposed wood flakes in the core and cap.

Trex decking is not a durable deck material option

Exposed Wood Is Never Good

Exposed wood flakes are found in the supposedly protective caps and exposed cores on the bottoms and in the grooves of competitor decking.

The problem? Exposed wood makes these boards vulnerable to moisture penetration. Once moisture gets in, it can cause the same issues it does in traditional lumber, namely, mold, mildew, and rot growth.

Pictured: A close-up of a Trex composite deck board with visible exposed wood flakes

And the worst part? Even with wood in the cap, competitor decking looks fake and plastic-y — far from the nuanced beauty of traditional lumber. So, while competitor composite decking is vulnerable to moisture and fading just like wood, it doesn’t look a thing like it.  

The Solution: TimberTech Capped Composite & Capped Polymer Decking

Choose a durable deck material from TimberTech

At TimberTech, we believe you shouldn’t have to compromise when it comes to your decking. You deserve all the nature-inspired beauty of real wood with the superior performance of premium materials. Our decking boasts the real wood looks you love while innovating beyond the competition with unique capping made from high-performance polymers.

The result? Category-innovating decking with superior moisture and UV resistance and enduring beauty.

But we don’t just stop at category innovation. We go for category disruption with a new deck material that has no equal in the composite decking space: TimberTech AZEK capped polymer decking.

Step 4: Choose the Best Durable Deck Material: TimberTech AZEK® Capped Polymer Decking

The best durable deck material is TimberTech AZEK decking

TimberTech AZEK is made of a unique blend of polymers, with a majority being recycled material. With absolutely no wood in the core or cap, TimberTech AZEK is the best durable deck material, giving you unsurpassed durability, long-term value, and the most realistic wood aesthetics.

Dive into your TimberTech AZEK decking choices and order free samples of your favorites. EXPLORE TIMBERTECH AZEK

Best in Terms of Durability

Just what makes TimberTech AZEK the best durable deck material? It all boils down to technology.

A new deck material like TimberTech is a durable deck material option

Putting the ‘Tech’ in TimberTech

Our capped polymer decking is engineered with advanced materials science from core to cap which gives the boards unparalleled resistance to the elements.

So what does that mean for you?

A worry-free deck that can stand up to everyday wear and tear as well as the season’s biggest storms.

Plus, your TimberTech AZEK deck is protected with a Lifetime Limited Product Warranty so you have peace of mind that your deck is built to last — and your investment is protected.

Best in Terms of Aesthetics

Instead of the fake, plastic-y look of other composite decking options, our capped polymer decking gives you everything wood should be, without of the drawbacks.

Putting the ‘Timber’ in TimberTech

So just how do we achieve our hyper-realistic wood looks? With a coextrusion process that gives our board surfaces:

✓ Multi-tonal, nature-inspired hues

✓ Intricate wood grain patterns

✓ Attractive finishes

TimberTech delivers impressive durability and real wood looks

Just take a look at TimberTech AZEK decking samples next to their traditional wood counterparts to compare for yourself.

TimberTech capped polymer decking vs wood

And the best part? TimberTech AZEK is protected with a 50-Year Limited Fade & Stain Warranty, so you know your new deck material will stay gorgeous for not just years, but decades to come.

Plus, with three unique collections, you’re bound to find the perfect look for your outdoor living space.

3 Aesthetic Choices to Suit Your Style

Make your new deck material a durable deck material with premium hardwood looks

Vintage Collection


✓ Complex, multi-tonal color blending

✓ Wire-brushed grain pattern

✓ Low-gloss finish

Choose for: A premium hardwood aesthetic.

Make your new deck material a durable deck material with reclaimed wood looks

Landmark Collection


✓ Cascading color blending for high board-to-board variation

✓ Cathedral wood grain pattern

✓ Rustic crosscut, matte finish

Choose for: A character-rich reclaimed wood look.

Make your new deck material a durable deck material with painted wood looks

Harvest Collection


✓ Solid, monochromatic coloring

✓ Cathedral wood grain pattern

✓ Soft, smooth finish

Choose for: A sleek, minimalist painted wood look.

Best in Terms of Value

Premium decking like TimberTech AZEK is typically a greater upfront investment than traditional wood options. However, with superior durability also comes greater long-term value. And in the long-run, TimberTech AZEK can actually save you costs in the long-run.

How? With significantly less maintenance needs than traditional wood to keep your TimberTech deck in top shape.  

Traditional wood is not a durable deck material

Traditional Wood Deck Maintenance

Traditional wood deck maintenance will end up costing you year over year to keep it attractive and structurally sound.

Wood deck maintenance typically includes:

X Cleaning the deck with harsh chemicals and/or a pressure washer to remove dirt, mold, and mildew.

X Sanding, staining, and sealing for protection.

X Repairs / replacements of any damaged boards, joists, or other components

And repeat every year of your deck’s lifespan.

Enjoy minimal maintenance with a durable deck material like TimberTech

TimberTech AZEK Deck Maintenance

With its superior durability and enduring beauty, your TimberTech AZEK deck will only require minimal maintenance, including:

✓ Regularly sweeping away dirt and debris

✓ Removing seasonal accumulation such as fallen leaves or snow

Scrubbing the deck with a stiff, natural fiber brush and TimberTech DeckCleaner™

✓ Rinsing with a hose

And repeat as needed.

When you choose TimberTech AZEK as your new deck material, you can say goodbye to rigorous maintenance and say hello to low-maintenance outdoor living.

See the Best Durable Deck Material for Yourself

Make TimberTech durable deck material your new deck material choice

Now that you know which is the best durable deck material for your build, it’s time to see and feel the difference for yourself. Order free samples of your favorite colors of TimberTech decking straight to your door. Be sure to leave the samples outdoors, in all sorts of weather, to observe how the samples perform — and to get a sense of which color best complements your space.

See & feel the TimberTech advantage

Our capped PVC and capped composite decking lines combine recycled material with all the beauty of traditional wood.

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