Capped Composite Decking vs Wood: How TimberTech Stacks Up

November 4, 2021
HomeOutdoor Living IdeasCapped Composite Decking vs Wood: How TimberTech Stacks Up

Composite decking vs wood: Which is better for your deck? Spoiler: It’s no contest. Composite decking wins.

While traditional wood has been a staple in the decking industry for decades, it is not your only — nor best — option. Newer engineered decking options are worth a look for their low-maintenance, high-performance attributes.

To make an informed choice, there are several factors you’ll want to consider. Determine the best option for your deck build by looking at a wood deck vs composite deck against several variables:

Assess Composite Decking vs Wood On:

  • Durability
  • Cost
  • Maintenance
  • Aesthetics

Get Familiar With Your Deck Material Options

Traditional wood and composite decking are both broad categories that encompass different types of decking. Get a brief look at your deck material options before diving into comparisons of a wood deck vs composite deck.

Answer how long does decking last in terms of pressure treated lumber

Traditional Wood

Traditional wood includes pressure-treated lumber, other softwoods like cedar and redwood, as well as hardwoods like Ipe and mahogany.

Performance and appearance vary between wood species, but one thing is consistent: sooner or later, all wood requires rigorous maintenance.

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Capped Composite Decking

Our capped composite decking is made of majority recycled wood and plastic fibers, protected with a fully engineered cap.

With its protective cap, capped composite decking boasts superior durability compared to traditional wood and requires minimal maintenance.

Display swatch of Coastline deck boards

Capped Polymer Decking

Our capped polymer decking is made of high-performance polymers and protected with a fully engineered cap.

Capped polymer decking offers unbeatable durability, minimal maintenance, and realistic wood looks for a high-performance, enduringly beautiful deck.

Looking for the Best Wood for Your Deck?

Turns out, the best isn’t wood at all. Discover the TimberTech difference.

Now that you’re familiar with your deck material options, you’re ready to get into the deciding factors that will influence your choice of a wood deck vs composite deck, starting with cost.

Composite decking vs wood and wood deck vs composite deck featuring large home and furnished deck with stairs

Get an Estimate on Deck Cost

Use our Cost Calculator to get an estimate on what it takes to build your deck.

Cost

Looking at the upfront costs of a wood deck vs composite deck is only part of the story — over time, repairs and maintenance requirements can increase your overall spend on your deck.

See for yourself the difference in upfront and long-term costs of pressure-treated lumber vs TimberTech EDGE capped composite decking and Ipe hardwood vs TimberTech AZEK capped polymer decking.

Upfront & Long-Term Costs of
TimberTech Composite Decking vs Wood*


When it comes to the costs of composite decking vs wood, traditional wood typically features lower upfront costs than composite decking. However, the long-term costs of wood deck maintenance add up quickly.

That means fewer laid-back afternoons spent lounging in the great outdoors, and more weekends burned staining, sealing, cleaning or worse yet — replacing.

Potential Maintenance Costs for a Wood Deck


Deck Cleaning Costs

Needed every 1 to 2 years or on an as needed basis:

$ Rent or purchase a power-washer and/or purchase chemical cleaners to kill mold and mildew.

$ Chemicals, stains, and sealants for wood decks are costly to the environment, as they can contain potentially harmful Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).

Sanding, Staining, & Sealing

Needed every 1 to 2 years or on an as needed basis:

$ Rent or purchase a power sander or purchase sandpaper to buff out cracks and splinters.

$ Purchase wood deck stain and the proper applicator to apply rich color to the deck.

$ Purchase sealant and the proper applicator for moisture, weather, and insect resistance.

Repairs & Replacements

On an as needed basis:

$ Purchase new screws or fasteners to replace those that are loose, rusted, or damaged.

$ Purchase new deck boards to replace irreparable warped, cracked, or splintered boards.

$ Hire a contractor and purchase materials for an entire deck replacement of a structurally unsound wood deck.

Why Non Wood Decking Is the Better Choice

Learn how non wood decking gives you the true low-maintenance outdoor retreat you’re looking for.

Composite Decking* vs Wood


TimberTech vs wood side by side comparison

Composite Decking

Low long-term costs thanks to minimal maintenance needs.  

Little risk of repair/replacement costs thanks to premium durability and optimal lifespan.

✓ Can increase the resale value of your home.

Wood

X Racks up maintenance costs for sanding, staining, and sealing nearly every year.

X Higher chance of costly repairsdue to wood’s vulnerability to moisture and the elements.

X Full replacement likely 10 to 15 years after installation.

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

THE TAKEAWAY
A TimberTech deck simply performs better, so you spend less time — and money — than you would spend maintaining a wood deck.

Durability

Durability and deck lifespan are closely tied — the greater your deck material’s durability, the longer it will last. And when you think of your inviting outdoor living space, you likely picture a beautiful, finished, and ready-to-enjoy deck — not yet another project ready to eat up time and money.

When it comes to a wood deck vs composite deck, durability and lifespan vary considerably. Choosing the most durable deck material, means you get the most out of your decking investment and enjoy your deck for longer with less maintenance.

Composite Decking* vs Wood


TimberTech vs wood side by side comparison

Composite Decking

Mold- and mildew-resistant thanks to fully engineered capping that locks moisture out.

Resistant to fading, staining, and warping, thanks to all-weather decking material.

Splinter-resistant for a safe surface.

Potential lifespans of approximately 25 to 50+ years.

Protected with 25-Year, 30-Year, and Lifetime Limited Product Warranties.

Wood

X Highly vulnerable to mold, mildew, and rot, due to organic material make up.

X Color will fade due to sun and weather exposure.

X Boards will warp, crack, and splinter due to moisture penetration and evaporation.

X Average lifespan of approximately 10 to 15 years. X No or very limited structural warranties.

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

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

Composite decking vs wood and wood deck vs composite deck featuring furnished deck behind blue home with ottoman

Don’t Compromise — Optimize

See what makes TimberTech AZEK capped polymer decking the optimal deck building material.

Maintenance

When it comes to composite decking vs wood maintenance, composite is a clear winner. Traditional wood — whether an exotic hardwood or basic pressure-treated lumber — demands rigorous, costly, and downright time-consuming maintenance year over year.

Composite decking maintenance? Just a scrub and rinse with the proper cleaner and brush on an as-needed basis.

Composite Decking* vs Wood


TimberTech vs wood side by side comparison

Composite Decking

No sanding, staining, or sealing — ever.

Requires a routine scrub with TimberTech DeckCleaner and the appropriate brush, then rinse with a garden hose.

Wood

X Requires an unwieldy power washer and harsh chemicals to clean.

X Requires sanding, staining, and sealing every one to two years.

X Requires costly repairs/replacements of damaged boards over time.

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

But don’t just take our word for it: Hear from those who’ve made the choice to nix costly and stressful upkeep.

HEAR FROM A

HOMEOWNER

“TimberTech has provided a deck that requires little maintenance and enhances the beauty of our home.” – Homeowner in Cincinnati, OH

THE TAKEAWAY
With a TimberTech deck, you say goodbye to high stress and hello to low-maintenance outdoor living.

Aesthetics

Between composite decking vs wood, aesthetics are a big differentiating factor — but not in the way you might initially assume. If you think you can only get the rich warm look of wood with the real thing, think again. With innovative materials science, TimberTech decking features nature-inspired aesthetics that look just like real wood.  

Don’t believe us? Have a look for yourself:

Comparing TimberTech Composite Decking vs Wood

So what’s the main difference between the aesthetics of a wood deck vs composite deck? It all comes down to performance.

Composite decking vs wood and wood deck vs composite deck featuring l-shaped wicker couch and end table on composite deck

TimberTech Decking: Beauty That Endures

The protective capping technology of TimberTech capped polymer and capped composite decking locks in the rich color and nuanced grain patterns of each board, while locking out UV rays and moisture. So, you get a great looking, low-maintenance deck where you can enjoy the great outdoors without worry.

Composite decking vs wood and wood deck vs composite deck featuring worn Ipe decking

Traditional Wood: Beauty That Fades

Wood is vulnerable to weathering agents like UV rays and moisture, both of which can cause the pigments in the boards to change. The result? Unsightly fading and discoloration.

While wood deck stain or oil can restore color, it’s a temporary fix. 

Composite Decking* vs Wood


TimberTech vs wood side by side comparison

Composite Decking

Nature-inspired, real wood aesthetics that resist fading.

Rich color that doesn’t require staining.

Beauty that endures with minimal upkeep.

Wood

X Vulnerable to fading and discoloration.

X Requires staining and/or oils to maintain rich color.

X Will inevitably discolor and deteriorate, even with maintenance.

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

THE TAKEAWAY
TimberTech decking gives you the real wood look you love without the disappointment of wood’s deterioration.  

Capture the Beauty of Nature. Nix the Harm.

TimberTech decking boasts real wood looks without contributing to deforestation. Winner, winner.

Wood Deck vs Composite Deck? No Contest.

Composite decking vs wood and wood deck vs composite deck featuring small deck in alcove with wicker furniture

When it comes to composite decking vs wood, the winner is clear: TimberTech capped polymer and capped composite decking beats wood in every way. So, if you’re looking to invest in a stunning, long-lasting, low-maintenance deck, choose TimberTech.

See the nuanced beauty and feel the durability of TimberTech decking up close by ordering free samples of your favorite colors. Be sure to place the samples outside to get the best sense of which color, or  combinations of colors, look best in your space.

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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