Looking for a composite decking comparison? You’ve come to the right place.
What you know: Your home needs an incredible outdoor living space, defined by an attractive deck built to last.
What you need to know: Which decking material is the best for your build? You’ve likely heard that engineered decking far surpasses traditional wood. But how do you decide between different brands, ensuring the right value and the right aesthetics?
Pull up a (deck) chair.
Composite Decking Comparison: Wood vs Composite
One of the first decking material options you likely think of is traditional pressure-treated wood.
What’s No Good About Wood?
As an organic material, wood is vulnerable to the elements 24/7.
Moisture and organic material create the perfect breeding ground for mold, mildew, and rot — all of which take a serious toll on your deck’s appearance and structural integrity.
That can translate to costly deck repairs and replacement.
What Is Composite Decking?
“Composite decking” as a category refers to different types of engineered decking. Most composite decking is capped (protected on the edges). Two main subtypes of composite decking are:
- Capped composite: Engineered with both wood and recycled plastics
- Capped polymer: Made of 100% high-performance polymers
All composite decking is designed to be longer-lasting than wood.
Why Is Composite Decking Superior to Wood?
Instead of being fully exposed to the elements, capped composite decking features protective capping that shields the boards from moisture and UV rays. Capped polymer decking contains NO wood in either the core or cap, for unrivaled protection and enduring beauty.
Composite Decking Comparison: Wood vs Composite Cost
The stark differences of composite decking vs wood become even more apparent when you compare the upfront and long-term costs of the two materials.
Upfront & Long-Term Costs of TimberTech Composite Decking vs Wood*
Pressure-Treated Lumber vs TimberTech® EDGE® Prime+ Collection: Upfront Costs
Pressure-Treated Lumber vs TimberTech EDGE Prime+ Collection: 10-Year Costs
Ipe Hardwood vs TimberTech AZEK® Vintage Collection®: Upfront Costs
Ipe Hardwood vs TimberTech AZEK Vintage Collection: 10-Year Costs
* NOTE: The estimated average cost of capped polymer deck boards, Ipe hardwood, capped composite deck boards, and pressure-treated lumber decking costs are based on the national average for a 16’ x 20’ deck. Meant for visual representation only. Actual costs may vary.
TimberTech gives you a high-performance deck that will save you money in the long-run.
Composite Decking Comparison: Decking Brands on Tech
While all composite decking products have innovated beyond wood, not all have innovated at the same pace — or to the same standard.
First-gen composite boards were stronger than traditional wood thanks to their engineered components — but their wood fibers and lack of capping? Not so great. The wood in the boards eventually succumbed to moisture and UV rays, creating discoloration and promoting mold growth.
Innovating Beyond: The Best of the Best in Composite Decking
In contrast to early composite decking — and even modern-day competitors — TimberTech has emerged as the best of the best. Why? Because all three of our decking lines are:
✓ Backed by innovative materials science
✓ Inspired by nature
✓ Designed to perform
Better technology gives you a longer-lasting, enduringly beautiful deck that requires minimal maintenance.
Composite Decking Comparison: Decking Brands on Durability
Durability is about more than strength of material — it’s about getting the most out of your decking investment. The more structurally sound a material is, the less likely it’ll require repairs or replacements — and it also often means maintenance can be kept to a minimum.
When running a composite decking comparison, there are two useful factors to consider in terms of durability:
- Capping technology – Which tells you how well the board is protected from the elements.
- Warranties – Which tells you how long the deck is expected to last.
If you value superior technology and industry-leading warranties, choose TimberTech.
Our capped polymer and 4-sided capped composite boards are fully protected from the elements, giving you a deck that stands the test of time — and looks good while doing it.
Our warranties include Lifetime, 30-Year, and 25-Year Limited Product Warranties for a deck you can count on for decades to come.
TimberTech capped polymer and capped composite decking boasts superior durability that can’t be beat — and gives you a long-lasting deck you can count on.
Composite Decking Comparison: Decking Brands on Long-Term Value
In any composite decking comparison, it’s not just upfront costs you need to take into consideration — you also need to think about long-term value. Upfront costs are the initial costs for material, while long-term costs are those that will accumulate over the lifetime of your deck.
Long-Term Costs to Consider
The biggest differentiating factor you’ll need to consider when thinking about long-term costs between composite decking products is long-term performance. Why? Because higher-performance decking means a longer-lasting deck for you — and an avoidance of costly deck repairs or replacement.
Superior, high-performance decking made from fully engineered material. Offers unbeatable durability and aesthetics, giving you:
- Superior resistance to moisture and weathering.
- Enduring, nature-inspired beauty protected with a 50-Year Limited Fade & Stain Warranty.
Premium composite decking protected with innovative, 4-sided capping made with Mold Guard® Technology that gives you:
- Outstanding mold, mildew, and weathering protection.
- Realistic wood looks protected with a 30-Year Limited Fade & Stain Warranty.
Often unprotected with no capping or protected partially with 3-sided capping that leaves part of the boards exposed. Partial protection gives you:
- An opening for mold and mildew growth.
- Industry average protection of a 25-Year Limited Fade & Stain Warranty.
A high-performance TimberTech capped polymer or capped composite deck will remain just as beautiful and structurally sound for decades to come.
Composite Decking Comparison: Decking Brands on Premium Aesthetics
In your composite decking comparison research, you likely came across boards that look plastic-y and fake. This is a common complaint from homeowners — “composite decking doesn’t look realistic.” Not so with TimberTech.
Find the Right Color for You
From deeply saturated hues to light and bright tans, we have just the right color for your space.
TimberTech: Inspired by Nature, Innovated for You
Take a look at TimberTech AZEK boards next to real wood samples — would you be able to tell the difference?
TimberTech AZEK English Walnut™ vs Ipe Wood
TimberTech AZEK Mahogany vs Mahogany Wood
TimberTech decking delivers the real wood aesthetic you want, without the fading or deterioration you don’t.
Composite Decking Comparison? With TimberTech, It’s No Contest
Now that you know TimberTech capped polymer and capped composite decking offers you the best options for your outdoor living space, it’s time to handle some samples.
Find the right color or combination of colors for your deck by ordering up to four free samples. When you receive your samples, place them in the area your deck will be built so you can get a sense of how they look at different times of the day.