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Decking

Which Materials to Choose for the Longest Deck Lifespan

February 19 2020
decking durability composite decking
TimberTech AZEK Vintage Mahogany Feature Image.png

If you’ve been wanting to introduce a space for relaxing, entertaining, and taking in the great outdoors, a high-performance deck is an excellent way to do so. Because building a deck can be a significant investment, you’ll want to consider deck lifespan in terms of durability, maintenance needs and costs, and warranty coverage. At TimberTech, we believe that you should spend your time enjoying your deck — not maintaining it — so we’ve developed our high-performance capped composite and capped polymer decking lines. If you’re looking to create a new outdoor living space for your home and deck lifespan is high on your priority list, drag the slider below for quick-and-easy insight on different decking materials. Then keep reading to learn just why our products are the way to go.

Which Materials Deliver the Longest Deck Lifespan?
Distressed Wood Deck Boards
PRESSURE-TREATED LUMBER

Pressure-treated lumber will need to be replaced every 10–15 years due to the decomposition of its organic materials. Maintenance and replacement costs add up.

TimberTech EDGE Deck Lifespan
3-SIDED CAPPED COMPOSITE

The TimberTech® EDGE™ line comes with a 25-Year Limited Warranty. That means a deck lifespan that’s potentially 2.5 times that of traditional wood.

TimberTech Pro Terrain Stone Ash Deck Lifespan
4-SIDED CAPPED COMPOSITE

The TimberTech PRO® line boasts a 30-Year Limited Warranty — even though many competitors only offer a 25-year warranty on their premium composite lines.

TimberTech AZEK Vintage Weathered Teak Deck Lifespan
CAPPED POLYMER

The TimberTech AZEK® line comes with an industry-best Lifetime Limited Warranty. Our innovations in materials science allow us to produce a board that won’t warp, splinter, fade, or buckle.  

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Pressure-Treated Lumber
3-Sided Capped Composite
4-Sided Capped Composite
Capped Polymer

See and Feel the TimberTech Advantage

Capped corners, high-performance cores. See for yourself how we’re changing the decking game.

The Deck Lifespan of Pressure-Treated Lumber and Softwoods

Wood Deck Before Autumn Chestnut.jpg

For years, pressure-treated lumber and softwoods have been among the most popular choices in deck materials because they provide a handsome finish at what might seem like a comparatively low price — but looks can be deceiving. With that initial affordability comes years of maintenance fees, staining, sealing and general upkeep. That will translate to back- and budget-breaking labor over the course of your deck’s life.

Here are some other factors that impact the deck lifespan when you choose traditional wood decking:

  • Wood deck boards will need to be maintained (sanded, stained, sealed, deep-cleaned, etc.) at least every three years.
  • Even when properly maintained, pressure-treated lumber will show inconsistent coloring and quality over time.
  • The unavoidable erosion of organic materials in wood deck boards means they will need replaced every 10–15 years.

Just look at how the initial cost of pressure-treated lumber compares to our entry-level composite decking, TimberTech EDGE™:

Cost Over 10 Years

Pressure-Treated Lumber vs. TimberTech EDGE Prime Boards

Cost Over 10 Years Pressure-Treated Lumber Vs. EDGE Prime Boards-01202020-v2.jpg

The estimated average cost of composite deck boards and pressure-treated lumber decking costs are based on the national average for a 16' x 20' deck. Meant for visual representation only. Actual costs may vary.

That’s just initial cost, though. Remember: if you choose to build with traditional wood, you will have to deal with regular, costly maintenance including sanding, staining, and board replacement. Today, homeowners are catching on to the long-term costs and subpar performance associated with wood; in the U.S., composite decking is the fastest growing category in the decking industry. How does composite decking stack up against wood in terms of performace?

Just look at the side-by-side to see how pressure-treated wood weathered the storm — spoiler: it didn’t.

The Deck Lifespan of Capped Composite Boards

TimberTech PRO Terrain Stone Ash Deck.jpg

Capped composite boards, such as those offered in our TimberTech EDGE and TimberTech PRO lines, capture all the nuanced beauty of traditional wood but leave behind wood’s susceptibility to weathering, warping, and fading — all weaknesses which will shorten deck lifespan.

The core of our capped composite boards uses 100% recycled wood and up to 80% recycled materials, and the incredibly durable caps are made from high-performance polymers that resist moisture and stand up to UV rays. Combine this materials innovation with realistic grain patterns and rich hues, and you have deck boards that stay beautiful for decades to come.

Backyard escapes made from our TimberTech PRO composite decking enjoy a long deck lifespan thanks to:

  • An industry-leading 30-Year Fade & Stain Limited Warranty — five years longer than the warranties of many competitors.
  • No wood fillers in the cap for serious resistance to mold and moisture damage.
  • 4-sided capping, which keeps the core free of moisture and other weathering agents.
  • TimberTech Mold Guard™ Technology in the cap to keep hungry mold spores out of your investment — and your deck’s structural integrity exceptional.

The Deck Lifespan of Capped Polymer Boards

TT AZEK Vintage Mahogany Rooftop Deck.jpg

Capped polymer boards, like those in the TimberTech AZEK line, combine aesthetic excellence (think detail-rich grain patterns and color-blended hues) with premium performance. With this type of decking, you get enviable beauty without sacrificing durability. Plus, TimberTech AZEK deck boards include no organic material in the core or cap — meaning they’re one of the most moisture- and weathering-resistant decking materials on the market. When considering what to build with to maximize deck lifespan, few alternatives can surpass the weathering-resistant, polymer-powered composition of TimberTech AZEK decking.

Anticipate a long deck lifespan if your outdoor oasis is made from TimberTech AZEK capped polymer deck boards thanks to:

Determine the Cost of Your High-Value Deck

Start by plugging in the dimensions of your decking project and let us crunch the numbers.