Capped Composite Decking vs Wood: How TimberTech Stacks Up

November 6, 2020

Why consider the benefits of composite decking vs wood? Because choosing the right deck materials can mean the difference between locking in a beautiful, high-performance outdoor living space, or choosing a lower-quality wood deck that comes with long-term costs, fleeting aesthetics, and more maintenance.

Meanwhile, TimberTech® composite decking gives you an attractive, high-performance alternative, one that offers substantial advantages, including:

  • Long-term cost savings
  • Superior durability
  • Less maintenance
  • Enduring beauty

What Are Composite Deck Boards Made Of?

Composite Decking vs Wood Composite Deck Boards Sustainable to the Core

Our capped composite decking, offered in the TimberTech PRO® and TimberTech EDGE® lines, is made of up to 80% recycled material.

The core is a mixed blend of wood fibers and composite material coated in a protective cap. Unlike wood, our decking is resistant to mold and mildew, insect damage, and the elements.

The result: Decking with all the beauty of natural wood, but without the fading, staining, or maintenance costs.

Simply put, our composite deck boards won’t warp, rot, or weather like wood does. Less opportunity for damage to your deck means more opportunities for you to enjoy it.

The Long-Term Cost Savings of Composite Decking vs Wood

If you’re deciding between composite decking vs wood, consider this: The lower price point of traditional wood is often misleading due to its long-term maintenance needs. Alternatively, the maintenance costs for capped composite decking are significantly lower than traditional wood because the deck won’t require routine staining, sanding, stripping, or power-washing.

A capped composite deck simply performs better and is less vulnerable to weathering, meaning you’ll spend less over time than you will maintaining a traditional wood deck.

Pressure-Treated Lumber vs. TimberTech EDGE®

Initial vs 10-year Maintenance Cost

cost over 10 years pressure treated lumber vs. edge prime boards 01202020 v2
Estimates are based on a 16’ x 20’ deck.

Over a 10-year period, the costs for maintenance of a pressure-treated wood deck are more than three times that of a composite deck. Meanwhile, initial costs of a TimberTech EDGE® deck is only 5% more than pressure-treated wood.

The takeaway: TimberTech EDGE® decking showcases much lower long-term costs when compared to traditional lumber.

Ipe Premium Hardwood vs TimberTech AZEK®

Initial vs 10-year Maintenance Cost

Costs after 10 years Ipe Premium Hardwood vs TimberTech AZEK
Estimates are based on a 16’ x 20’ deck.

Over a 10-year period, the maintenance costs for Ipe are almost four times that of a capped polymer deck, while the initial costs of building a capped polymer deck are slightly less than one made with Ipe.

The takeaway: TimberTech capped polymer decking costs less than premium hardwoods like Ipe.

Superior Durability: How Composite Decking Outperforms Wood

When comparing composite decking vs wood, durability is one of the biggest differences.

As an organic material, wood has little protection against the elements, even if it is pressure-treated, sealed, and stained. Over time, UV rays, rain, snow, wind, mold, and mildew will cause damage that will require repairs and replacements.

In short, pressure-treated wood decks mean more time, money, and attention than composite decking.

Composite Decking vs Wood Damage of Traditional Lumber

Just consider how moisture and exposure to the elements affect composite decking vs wood:

TimberTech Composite Decking vs Wood: Moisture Test

Wood is vulnerable to moisture due to its organic makeup. With every rainfall, a wood deck will inevitably become soaked and can begin to rot. Meanwhile, TimberTech composite decking boasts a fully synthetic cap that is resistant to moisture, so the integrity and appearance of each board remains intact for the long-term.

TimberTech AZEK®

30-Day Moisture-Contact Test

TimberTech AZEK 30-day Moisture-Contact Test

Cedar Wood

30-Day Moisture-Contact Test

Cedar Wood 30-day Moisture-Contact Test

TimberTech Composite Decking vs Wood: Exposure Test

In addition to moisture, decks put up with a lot of weathering, from harsh sunlight and temperature fluctuations, to insect damage, to regular wear and tear. Even harsher than weathering agents is this harsh truth: exposed wood will fade over time.

TimberTech composite decking, on the other hand, retains its appearance and integrity for decades — and we’re so confident, our TimberTech AZEK® line boasts an industry-leading Lifetime Limited Product Warranty.

TimberTech AZEK®

Exposure Test

TimberTech AZEK Exposure Test

Ipe Wood

Exposure Test

Ipe Wood Exposure Test

Cedar Wood

Exposure Test

Cedar Wood Exposure Tes

Enjoy Less Maintenance With Composite Decking

It’s no secret that traditional wood decks need substantial maintenance work over the years to retain their appearance and structural integrity.

Wood deck maintenance often requires a lot of effort from you and can include the following:

distressed wood deck boards

Maintenance for Traditional Wood

  • Inspection of the deck every year or two for signs of damage.
  • Cleaning the deck (often includes power washing and using a harsh chemical cleaner to kill mildew, mold, and eliminate discoloration and stains).
  • Sanding any cracks or edges.
  • Repairing or replacing any damaged deck boards or joists.
  • Staining or painting the deck boards.
  • Applying sealant to the deck.

Yet, even with routine care, wood decks will lose their attractive appearance and weaken over time because no stain or sealant can indefinitely protect a deck made of organic materials from deterioration.


Maintenance for Composite Decking

Composite decking requires far less maintenance.

To keep your durable, weather resistant TimberTech composite deck clean, your maintenance schedule will look something like this:

Periodically use TimberTech® DeckCleaner™ to scrub a small section of your deck with a brush, thoroughly rinse it off with a hose, and then repeat until the entire deck is clean.

(No, really, that’s it).

The bottom line? TimberTech composite decking requires minimal maintenance to retain its pristine beauty and uncompromising structure. That means you can focus on enjoying your deck — not maintaining it.

Composite Decking Promises Enduring Beauty

TimberTech PRO Legacy Collection in Pecan with Classic Composite Series Drink Rail

TimberTech offers a variety of color-blended collections and varied grain patterns that give your outdoor living space the nuanced, natural look of wood — but without the loss of aesthetic beauty.

We ensure our composite decks age beautifully thanks to superior technology in our protective capping that keeps moisture, weather, and insects out — and gorgeous colors and textures locked in.

Our nature-inspired composite decking lines look just like the real thing. Don’t believe us? Have a look for yourself:

Comparing TimberTech Composite Decking vs Wood

With composite decking, you don’t have to sacrifice the traditional wood aesthetic for long-lasting durability — you get both.  

The Verdict: TimberTech Composite Decking vs Wood? No Contest

When it comes to the benefits of composite decking vs wood, it’s no contest.

TimberTech composite decking comes with the right elements for long-term cost savings, superior durability, less maintenance, and enduring beauty.

Take the next step in designing your perfect outdoor living space and get up to four free samples delivered right to your door.

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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