Decking

How to Choose Between the Different Types of Composite Decking Materials

August 26, 2020

The world of composite decking can seem daunting at first glance — after all, you have to navigate terms like “capped composite” and “capped polymer” deck boards floating around. You might find yourself wondering just what it all means — and for that, you need a single, easy-to-follow guide to understand the types of composite decking.

Welcome to your (digital) cheat sheet.

Types of Composite Decking: Capped Composite and Capped Polymer

The term “composite decking” gets used when talking about two things:

  • Composite deck boards.
  • The alternative decking category in the decking industry.

When referring to composite decking in terms of the actual deck board, folks are referring to boards made from a mix of wood and recycled plastics (the core), encased with either a 3- or 4-sided synthetic and protective cap.

TimberTech® PRO® Grooved Composite Deck Boards

composite deck board breakdown different types of composite deck boards

Within the larger alternative decking category, there are two types of composite decking available: capped composite and capped polymer. Both fit under the umbrella of “composite decking” in the marketplace, so it’s important to know the breakdown of each.

Capped Composite Types of Composite Decking

Capped Composite Decking

  • Overall: made of a composite core and synthetic cap.
  • The core: made from a mix of organic wood filler and recycled material. Our capped composite boards feature up to 80% recycled material.
  • The cap: made from 100% synthetic material for major moisture resistance. Composite deck boards can feature a 3- or 4-sided cap.
Capped Polymer Decking Types of Composite Decking

Capped Polymer Decking

  • Overall: made of an engineered, polymer core and synthetic cap.
  • The core: contains no organic material for the elements to impact. Our capped polymer boards feature up to 54% recycled material.
  • The cap: made from 100% synthetic material for major moisture resistance and backed by a Lifetime Limited Product Warranty.

How to Choose Between the Types of Composite Decking

The primary factors that will influence your choice between the two types of composite decking will be:

  • Budget
  • Desired aesthetics/design
  • Performance

Considering Budget

It’s not only the type of composite decking you choose, but other factors like the size of your deck, the health of your substructure, and more that will influence overall cost.

Labor
Contractor-Cost-to-Build-a-Deck
Labor

Typically the greatest portion of your deck building cost.

Design-Cost-to-Build-a-Deck

Typically the greatest portion of your deck building cost.

BASICS
REIMAGINED
Design

The more complex your design (think a herringbone pattern or unique inlay), the more you will pay in labor costs.

Design-Cost-to-Build-a-Deck
Design

The more complex your design (think a herringbone pattern or unique inlay), the more you will pay in labor costs.

BASICS
REIMAGINED
Substructure

If you already have a substructure that’s in good shape, you can save money by just replacing the boards on top.

Substructure-Cost-to-Build-a-Deck
Substructure

If you already have a substructure that’s in good shape, you can save some money by just replacing the boards on top.

BASICS
REIMAGINED
Materials

Price will vary depending on whether you choose capped composite or capped polymer decking, plus which collection you pick within a given product line.

Materials-Cost-to-Build-a-Deck
Materials

Price will vary depending on whether you choose capped composite or capped polymer decking, plus which collection you pick within a given product line.

BASICS
REIMAGINED
Fastening

Often overlooked, fastening options range from basic screws to advanced color-matched fasteners and hidden clips, impacting your overall cost.

Fasteners-Cost-to-Build-a-Deck
Fastening

Often overlooked, fastening options range from basic screws to advanced color-matched plugs and hidden clips, impacting your overall cost.

BASICS
REIMAGINED
Slider

WORKING WITH A CONTRACTOR
will help you nail down the right budget, design, and composite material for your build.

Within the TimberTech decking portfolio, cost will vary depending on the product line you choose, as well as the collection within that product line.

Considering Desired Aesthetics

In addition to selecting a decking material that delivers the best long-term value for your outdoor living space, you’ll also want to have an eye toward the final look and feel of your backyard build.

Both types of composite decking by TimberTech offer a range of colors, grain patterns, and finishes. Check out this sampling of three collections to see how your unique design needs will inform your choice.

TimberTech AZEK® Vintage Collection®

Choose if you want a design that:

  • Features Multi-Width Decking.
  • Defies the status quo with heat bending.
  • Features nuanced color blending for a hardwood-inspired look.
TimberTech PRO® Reserve Collection®

Choose if you want a design that:

  • Features any combination of four contemporary hues.
  • Features rich color blending with dramatic highlights and subtle undertones.
TimberTech EDGE® Prime Collection

Choose if you want a design that:

  • Captures an opaque or painted-wood look thanks to a majority of monochromatic boards and a straight-grain finish.
  • Is attainable and attractive.

Considering Performance

You deserve a deck to enjoy — not maintain. That’s why we’ve backed our composite decking products with industry-leading warranties.

TimberTEch AZEK decking lifetime limited product warranty

Our capped polymer decking comes with an industry-best Lifetime Limited Product Warranty and 50-Year Fade & Stain Warranty.

In terms of maintenance, that’s five times longer than you can expect with traditional lumber.

When you choose either of the two types of composite decking from TimberTech, you choose a build that resists weathering, fading, staining, or invasion by mold and mildew — all common issues when it comes to traditional wood decks.

Now that you know the different types of composite decking to choose from, all that remains is to see and feel them 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.

Scroll to Top