HomeOutdoor Living BlogComposite Decking Comparison: Discover the TimberTech Advantage

Composite Decking Comparison: Discover the TimberTech Advantage

August 25, 2021
Composite decking comparison by TimberTech

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.

Prefer to Start With a Decking Overview?

Compare our 3 nature-inspired decking lines to find the right fit for your outdoor living space.

Composite Decking Comparison: Wood vs Composite

Composite decking comparison by TimberTech

One of the first decking material options you likely think of is traditional pressure-treated wood.

Traditional wood has long been considered the go-to material for decks, but that sentiment is changing. Even the best wood for an outdoor deck performs poorly when compared to composite decking.

Composite decking comparison reveals inferiority of 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.

Composite decking comparison of types of composite decking
Composite decking comparison superiority over 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.

The result? Highly durable decking that stays sturdy and richly-hued for longer than even the densest hardwoods.

Composite Decking Comparison: Wood vs Composite Cost

Composite decking comparison vs wood

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*

* 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

Composite decking comparison of decking technology

While all composite decking products have innovated beyond wood, not all have innovated at the same pace — or to the same standard.

Because how long your deck stays beautiful and in top shape will vary based on the tech behind the brand and product line you choose. LEARN MORE

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

Kinder to the planet

That said, if you want a superior decking line that’s not only a composite decking category leader — but a category disruptor — look no further than the TimberTech AZEK® decking line.

Stuck on PVC Decking Myths?

TimberTech AZEK is anything but old-school PVC. Learn how this capped polymer line innovates its way to 1st place.

Better technology gives you a longer-lasting, enduringly beautiful deck that requires minimal maintenance.

Composite Decking Comparison: Decking Brands on Durability

Composite decking comparison of decking 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.

Capping Technology

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.

Settle for Nothing but the Best

See how industry-leading warranties from TimberTech outpace competitors like Trex.

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

Composite decking comparison of 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.

TimberTech AZEK

Superior, high-performance decking made from fully engineered material. Offers unbeatable durability and aesthetics, giving you:

TimberTech PRO

Premium composite decking protected with innovative, 4-sided capping made with Mold Guard® Technology that gives you:

Other Composites

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

Composite decking comparison of 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.

We use advanced technology to create nature-inspired aesthetics that give you real-wood looks — without wood’s drawbacks.

Deck board color swatches without labels

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 Vintage Collection English Walnut vs Ipe Wood Comparison

TimberTech AZEK English Walnut® vs Ipe Wood

TimberTech AZEK Vintage Collection Mahogany vs Mahogany Wood Comparison

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

Composite decking comparison overall winner is TimberTech

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.

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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