Capped Composite Decking vs Wood: How TimberTech Stacks Up

March 29, 2021
HomeOutdoor Living IdeasCapped Composite Decking vs Wood: How TimberTech Stacks Up

Composite decking vs wood: Which is better for your deck? There are multiple factors to consider before making your choice. To determine the best option for your deck build, you’ll want to look at composite decking vs wood against several variables:

Assess Composite Decking vs Wood On:

  • Durability
  • Cost
  • Maintenance
  • Aesthetics

But first, it’s important to understand what you’re choosing between.

Get the insight you need on everything you need, from types of composite decking to budgeting your project.

Deck Building Material Options

Within the two broad categories of composite decking and wood are several options.

Wood used for decks is often traditional lumber – such as pressure-treated wood, redwood, or cedar – or else exotic hardwoods like Ipe.

Different types of composite decking include uncapped composite decking, 3-sided capped composite, 4-sided capped composite, and premium capped polymer decking.

TimberTech AZEK Vintage Collection in English Walnut with greenery and trees

TimberTech® Capped Composite Decking

At TimberTech, we believe Better Tech, Better Deck™ and only offer capped composite and capped polymer decking.

Why? Because our advanced capping technology protects our boards from weathering and moisture damage, so you can enjoy a beautiful, durable deck for years to come.  


To get the most out of your decking investment, you want your deck to be structurally sound for as long as possible. Choosing more durable deck boards mean you’ll enjoy your deck for longer with less maintenance.

Composite Decking* vs Wood

TimberTech vs wood side by side comparison

Composite Decking


  • Organic material of wood is highly vulnerable to mold, mildew, and rot.
  • Color will fade in the sun and boards will warp and crack with moisture penetration and evaporation.
  • Average lifespan of a traditional wood deck is 10 to 15 years, with regular maintenance work every one to two years.

*Both capped composite decking, like our TimberTech® PRO® and TimberTech® EDGE® lines, and capped polymer decking, our TimberTech® AZEK® line.

TimberTech composite decking is engineered to stay beautiful and perform optimally, for you and for future generations.


The upfront cost of your deck is only part of the story — over time, repairs and maintenance requirements can increase your overall spend on your deck. While the costs for a traditional wood deck may be a bit lower upfront than a composite deck, the costs of wood deck maintenance add up quickly.

After the upfront cost of your deck, you’ll want to think about maintenance costs.

Potential Maintenance Costs of Your Wood Deck

Repair & Replacement

Common issues with wood decks include:

  • Loose or rusted screws or fasteners.
  • Mold, mildew, and rot.
  • Ledger board pulling away from house.
  • Cracking and splintering.
  • Insect damage.

Sanding, Staining, Sealing

Every one to two years, wood decks may require:

  • Regular sanding to buff out cracks and splinters.
  • Staining of the deck surface to maintain its rich color.
  • Sealing for moisture, weather, and insect resistance.

Deck Cleaning

  • Wood decks demand costly power washing and chemicals to kill mold and mildew.
  • Chemicals, stains, and sealants for wood decks can contain environmentally harmful Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that can leach into the ground beneath your home.

As for composite deck maintenance? TimberTech composite decks need only a routine wash and rinse with TimberTech DeckCleaner™.

Note that all decks should be routinely inspected to make sure ledger boards (the boards that touch the exterior of your home), joists, and other substructure elements are sound.

Composite Decking* vs Wood

TimberTech vs wood side by side comparison

Composite Decking


*Both capped composite decking, like our TimberTech PRO and TimberTech EDGE lines, and capped polymer decking, our TimberTech AZEK line.

A capped composite deck simply performs better, so you spend less time – and money – than you would spend maintaining a wood deck.


Maintenance is a weighty factor to look at when comparing composite decking vs wood. Maintenance requirements for your deck can cost you not only money, but time and effort, too, if you do the work yourself.

Composite Decking* vs Wood

TimberTech vs wood side by side comparison


*Both capped composite decking, like our TimberTech PRO and TimberTech EDGE lines, and capped polymer decking, our TimberTech AZEK line.


Between composite decking vs wood, aesthetics are a big differentiating factor. How your deck looks plays a role in how much maintenance it needs – which in turn affects your overall costs. A deck that’s designed to look beautiful with minimal maintenance will save you more in the long run than one that requires constant care to stay looking its best.

Composite Decking* vs Wood

TimberTech AZEK®

Exposure Test
TimberTech AZEK Exposure Test

Looks Good for Years

Nature-inspired aesthetics that provide the look of real wood.

Rich color that won’t fade in the sun.

Long-lasting beauty thanks to 25-, 30-, and 50-Year Limited Fade & Stain Warranties.

Ipe Wood

Exposure Test
Ipe Wood Exposure Test

Exotic Hardwoods

X Will inevitably fade to a dull gray.

X Tends to dry and contract, causing cracking.

X Warps and splinters over time.

Cedar Wood

Exposure Test
Cedar Wood Exposure Test

Traditional Lumber

X Fades to varying shades of gray.

X Contracts with evaporation, causing cracking.

X Warps and splinters over time.

*Ipe and cedar exposure tests demonstrate results of internal testing whereby the Ipe and cedar wood samples were placed on a rooftop and left exposed to the elements continuously for approximately 11 months.

*Test shows specifically our capped polymer TimberTech AZEK decking line, but all of our composite decking portfolio offers better protection from fading, staining, or performance issues than traditional wood.

With composite decking, you don’t have to sacrifice the traditional wood aesthetic for long-lasting durability – you get both. Our nature-inspired composite decking lines tap superior technology to look just like the real thing. Don’t believe us? Have a look for yourself:

Comparing TimberTech Composite Decking vs Wood

TimberTech composite decking is designed to look good for decades – not just a year or two.

The Bottom Line

TimberTech composite decking gives you the nuanced beauty of real wood with far greater longevity. If you’re looking to invest in a stunning, long-lasting, low-maintenance deck, the choice is obvious: Choose TimberTech.

Order up to four free samples today to see and feel the beauty and durability of TimberTech composite decking up close.

See & Feel the TimberTech Advantage

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

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