HomeOutdoor Living BlogComposite deck designs 101: achieving a real wood look

Composite deck designs 101: achieving a real wood look

November 17, 2021
Composite Deck Designs Color Blending Grain Pattern Finish Featuring TimberTech PRO Reserve Collection Dark Roast

Composite deck designs comprise many different customizable elements of your deck. From deck shape to railing design, to deck board color, your final deck design will be wholly yours. And the aesthetics of each composite deck board plays a crucial role in the overall look and feel of your space. 

Visualize your whole space

With our 3D Deck Designer. Play with every aspect of your deck design from size and shape to deck board color.

Want all the performance of superior decking technology, plus the nuanced beauty of nature? With TimberTech® Advanced PVC and Composite Decking you can ditch the status quo and claim the gorgeous composite deck designs your space deserves.  

Composite deck designs used in a deck board pattern

Looking for composite deck board patterns?  

Discover patterns such as diagonals, herringbone, picture framing, and more for a unique deck surface design.

Innovating beyond first-gen composite deck designs 

First-generation composite decking — as well as some current competitors — set the bar low for composite deck board aesthetics with a fake, plastic-y appearance.  

But at TimberTech, we believe you deserve better. That’s why we use innovative materials science to capture the real wood looks you love and the high-performance, low-maintenance living you expect from non-wood decking

Have a look yourself and compare decking samples from our TimberTech Advanced PVC Vintage Collection® with premium hardwood. Can you tell the difference? 

TimberTech AZEK decking and traditional wood samples in comparison

So how do we capture the beauty of nature in our boards? It’s a combination of three elements:  

 Attractive color blending 

 Realistic grain patterns 

 Inviting finishes 

Color blending in composite deck designs 

Look closely at a board of real wood and take note of its diverse array of whorls, lines, and coloring. TimberTech deck boards are designed specifically to resemble this natural, varied look – so you lock in all the beauty of a traditional wood deck, minus the maintenance and environmental impact

Composite deck designs featuring advanced color blending

What is color blending?

Color blending is the distribution of various pigments in our high-performance TimberTech Advanced PVC and Composite Decking decking products.  

Color blending creates natural-looking highlights and lowlights on boards.  

We offer four degrees of color blending that vary across our decking portfolio.  

Composite deck designs with solid color blending
Pictured: Slate Gray from the TimberTech Advanced PVC Harvest Collection®


No color blending color is consistent throughout the surface of the board.
Choose this for: A painted-wood look that delivers a minimalist final product.

Composite deck designs with moderate color blending
Pictured: Sea Salt Gray from the TimberTech Composite® Prime+ Collection® 


Some color variation is created through a subtle blending of different colors.
Choose this for: An authentic wood look with a sophisticated feel.

Composite deck designs with high color blending
Pictured: Mahogany from the TimberTech Advanced PVC Vintage Collection® 

Highly color-blended 

Greater variation of color with advanced highlights and lowlights.
Choose this for: A premium hardwood look for a high-style feel.


Composite deck designs with cascading color blending
Pictured: Tigerwood from the TimberTech Composite Legacy Collection

Uniquely color-blended 

Substantial board-to-board color variation with an overlay of gradually blended color.
Choose this for: A highly varied, reclaimed wood look for a one-of-a-kind deck.

Realistic grain patterns & finishes 

In traditional lumber, grain pattern refers to the arrangement of wood fibers seen when a piece of wood is cut. The finish is the final look applied to create various textures in the board surface.  

Just as different types of lumber show different levels of texture and grain pattern complexity, so too do our Advanced PVC and Composite deck boards.  

Explore our 3 decking lines

To find the right option for your (life)style.  

Note that it is the combination of all three elements — color blending, grain pattern, and finish — that contribute to the overall aesthetic of your deck.  

When selecting your deck boards, think about the final look and feel you want and choose composite deck designs that capture your style. 

Deck layout is a component of composite deck designs

Enjoy the rich color you love: no staining required 

Discover how TimberTech Decking delivers rich, fade-resistant color, so you enjoy a beautiful deck for decades to come.  

Composite deck designs: achieving your overall aesthetic 

After thinking through your deck board aesthetics, you’re now ready to consider other elements of composite deck designs to complete your space.  

Composite deck designs include deck layout

Deck layout 

Deck shape or layout is one of the more important elements of composite deck designs — and plays a role in how your deck functions, too.  

Deck board patterns are a component of composite deck designs

Deck board patterns 

How you lay your deck boards helps to create visual interest while creating focal points and differentiating separate sections of your space.  

Railing design is a component of composite deck designs

Railing design 

Railing is an integral part of composite deck designs. The materials you choose to customize your railing is tightly intertwined with its aesthetics.  

Plan your deck project budget

Learn about composite decking material cost and how a TimberTech deck can save you big in the long-run. 

Curated composite deck designs  

Whether you’re looking for a minimalistic deck, a bold statement-making space, or the perfect wood alternative that looks just like the real thing (without the hassle), we have you covered. 

Minimalist & clean

Minimalist and clean composite deck designs
Pictured: Slate Gray from the TimberTech Advanced PVC Harvest Collection 

The subtle-chic solid color and cathedral grain pattern give this deck a pure and simple feel that’s perfect for a modern, minimalistic style. 

Unique, character-rich style 

Character-rich composite deck designs
Pictured: American Walnut from the TimberTech Advanced PVC Landmark Collection 

The uniquely color-blended boards with a crosscut, matte finish lend a rustic, reclaimed wood look, ideal for statement-making composite deck designs.  

Sophisticated & eye-catching 

Sophisticated composite deck designs
Pictured: Mahogany from the TimberTech Advanced PVC Vintage Collection

Enjoy an ultra-realistic wood look reminiscent of premium hardwood with these highly color-blended boards featuring a wire-brushed, low-gloss finish.  

Composite deck designs: start planning for your outdoor living space 

Now that you know you can achieve the real wood look you love with TimberTech decking, it’s time to explore composite deck designs more closely. Order free samples of your favorite deck boards right to your door so you can see the nuanced colors and feel the textured grain patterns yourself.  

Be sure to place the samples outside where you can view them in natural lighting throughout the day which will give you better idea of which one (or combination) is right for 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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