Decking Boards: From Finding the Best Material to Thinking Through Cost

March 26, 2021
HomeOutdoor Living IdeasDecking Boards: From Finding the Best Material to Thinking Through Cost

Decking boards can seem super simple, right? And yet…they can also get a little nuanced.

We get it. After all, you already know your deck surface is made up of decking boards (pretty simple).

But when you “zoom in” to examine the boards closer, the picture changes. You might begin to notice significant differences across different types of boards and decking collections (more nuanced).

Those differences can introduce questions like:

  • “What decking boards are best?” or:
  • “How much do decking boards cost?”

No worries. We’ve got the always-easy, never-boring insight you need on all things decking boards.

Still Thinking Through How to Get Started? Let TimberTech be your guide. We’ll coordinate contractor quotes & answer any questions you have. LEARN MORE

Step 1: Discover the Best Decking Material for Your Project

Decking boards TimberTech AZEK Vintage Collection in Coastline with outdoor chair

Finding the best boards for your particular backyard build will depend on several factors.

First and foremost, you should consider “best” in terms of performance.

Performance has to do with how well your deck protects against weathering (fading, staining, cracking, etc.), invasion by moisture (which contributes to mold/mildew growth), and other erosion agents. Performance is key to durability and long-term cost savings.

Warranty coverage is always a good barometer when you’re looking into performance and durability.

You may also be interested in knowing which boards are best for sophisticated design, or which offer the best value for the cost.

Read on for guidance on choosing the right decking for your project across all three dimensions: performance, design, and cost.

Get Guidance on Cost

Learn more about what influences the cost to build a deck, then jump into our Decking Cost Calculator to get started.

Step 2: Explore Composite Decking 101: What It Is & Why It Matters

Having familiarized yourself with the performance, design, and cost benefits of composite decking, you’re ready to take a deeper dive and explore differences across TimberTech® decking lines.

TimberTech offers you two different decking board options: capped polymer deck boards and capped composite deck boards (more on this in Step 3).

Decking boards featuring TimberTech AZEK Harvest Collection in Slate Gray with outdoor dinning area
Get Answers to Questions Like:
  • What is the cheapest capped composite decking?
  • Can composite decking go over concrete?
  • Is composite decking as attractive as wood? (Spoiler: YES!)

With the right insight, you’ll be ready to drive your project forward with top marks. Jump in!

Step 3: Learn the Types of Composite Decking & How to Choose

By this step, you know:

Decking boards vary in cost, appearance, and durability — among other factors.

TimberTech decking boards are just as attractive as wood — but far outperform traditional lumber.

Decking boards from TimberTech are either capped polymer or capped composite.

You’re almost a decking expert at this point. Your next step? Taking a closer look at the two types of composite decking we offer:

Decking boards featuring TimberTech AZEK Vintage Collection in English Walnut with Couple sitting on outdoor furniture

Capped Polymer Decking

  • TimberTech AZEK® decking.
  • Superior moisture and weathering protection.
  • 100% synthetic materials.
TimberTech Reserve PRO Reserve Collection Dark Roast firepit

Capped Composite Decking

  • TimberTech PRO® and TimberTech EDGE® decking.
  • 3- and 4-sided capping.
  • Blend of recycled wood and synthetic materials.

Enjoy this easy-to-understand guide on differentiating between the types, so you find the right boards for your build.

Step 4: Get Up Close & Personal With Decking Board Fastener Options

Now that you know some of the differences and nuances between TimberTech decking lines, there’s one more item to consider in terms of the decking boards themselves: board shoulders.

Board shoulders refer to how the board appears from the side. Shoulder profile influences fastening options. We offer square-shoulder and grooved deck boards.

Square-Shoulder TimberTech AZEK Harvest Collection Brownstone


TimberTech AZEK Harvest Brownstone Grooved-Shoulder


Some of the factors that will influence which deck board profile you choose might include:

  • Which of the three TimberTech decking lines you choose.
  • Whether you want to install hidden fasteners — those that can’t be easily seen when looking across the deck surface.
  • If you want the option for top-down or pneumatic installation.

Read on for a clear, guided breakdown of board shoulder profile types, which to choose, and how to think through your fastener options.

We know that there’s a lot to consider as you think through realizing your ideal outdoor living space — and we’re here to help.

Enjoy Convenience & Nix Stress: Helpful Resources

Modern alpine steel cable railing

Looking for DIY Project Guides
& Insight?

Check out our Deck Building Resource Center for:

  • How-to videos.
  • Install best practices.
  • Helpful process steps.
Deck fascia for rustic refinement

Need an Expert
You Can Trust?

Our TimberTech-registered contractors are experts in installing our products.
Partner with a professional — and rest assured your deck is built right.

The best way to get a feel for TimberTech decking boards — and to really envision your future deck? Feeling actual deck boards.

Order up to four free samples so you can see and feel the difference for yourself.

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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