Traditional wood decks require frequent repairs, staining, and sealing, which can lead to rot, insects, and warping. Without proper upkeep, these decks can become unsafe. To solve these, composite decking is needed.
However, with so many brands available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one. To make it easier for you, I’ve created a list of the best composite decking brands.
A Quick History of Composite Decks
The history of composite decking shows that it has undergone significant improvements and advancements over the past two decades, evolving from a synthetic-looking and low-performing material to a durable and attractive decking option that replicates the beauty of natural wood.
Initially introduced in 1995, composite decking had a monochromatic color and faded quickly. Grain patterns were introduced in the late ’90s, but the material was still susceptible to scratching, mold, and staining.
In the early 2000s, AZEK launched a line of PVC decking products that offered better fade and scratch resistance and more color choices. Color streaking was introduced in the mid-2000s as a means to imitate the appearance of real wood decking, and PVC came out with darker colors.
During the mid to late 2000s, capped composites were developed by combining the cost-saving benefits of lower composite cores with the performance advantages of polymer materials.
Today, homeowners have access to various high-quality composite decking options that offer the benefits of wood without the drawbacks. The following sections will take a closer look at some of the composite decking brands available today.
Trex is a popular brand in composite decking, offering a vast array of products at affordable prices. They provide an extended warranty of up to 25 years covering cracking, splintering, stains, and fading on their boards.
Trex makes their composite decking boards using raw materials like plastic film, waste wood fiber, solid wood materials, and plastic bags, using compression molding to ensure their products last longer than regular wood.
Their products for outdoor living spaces include under cornhole boards, deck railings, spiral stairs, pergolas, fencing, furniture, deck lighting, and decking. Trex Decking is committed to producing all products with 95% reused materials.
Trex composite decking has been recognized with multiple awards for its environmentally conscious initiatives, such as the Readers’ Choice Award from Green Builder Magazine and being designated as the most dependable outdoor decking brand by Lifestory Research.
#2: TimberTech (AZEK)
TimberTech is one of the top composite deck brands that use plastic polymer and wood fiber to create durable Timbertech boards. They offer a range of decking products, such as surface railing, trim boards, decking, and molding components.
TimberTech provides a wide array of styles and colors, and their boards come with a 25 to 50-year fade and stain warranty. Although TimberTech is more expensive than other brands, they offer high-quality products.
Timbertech’s product line, called Pro and Edge, is composed of 80% recycled composite materials, while their Azek product lines contain up to 50% recycled materials.
Additionally, they provide free samples of their best composite deck boards to aid customers in selecting the ideal color scheme for their decking project.
Fiberon composite decking is a North Carolina-based company that has been producing fencing products, railing components, and surface decking since 1997.
Fiberon’s boards have a stain and fade-resistant quality due to a wood composite core bonded with a solid PVC “Permatech” outer shell.
They offer several product lines, classified as “good,” “better,” and “best,” with different features and color options. Fiberon boards comprise 50% synthetic plastic PVC and 50% reused wood.
Every item they offer is accompanied by a limited warranty of 25 years, while their premium products boast an extended guarantee of 50 years.
This warranty ensures that customers can have peace of mind regarding the quality and durability of their purchases, with the company standing behind their products for an extended period of time.
Nevertheless, to keep Fiberon decks clean, their deck builders advised using soap and water or a mild household cleaner with a non-metal scrub brush at least twice annually. Also, they advise against using pressure washing equipment that exceeds 2,500 psi.
#4: Envision Composite Lumber
Envision Outdoor Living Products is a company in Pennsylvania that creates heavy and dense decking boards using a compression-molding manufacturing process.
They offer five product lines, including EverGrain, Ridge Premium, Expression, Inspiration, and Distinction, with various wood tones and gray colors. Envision’s decking boards are made of reused composite decking materials like recycled plastic and have a 25-year limited warranty.
Their pricing per square foot is similar to Trex composite boards, with instructions provided for installation. Envision recommends cleaning its products semi-annually with a standard garden hose and mild dish detergent.
They do not advise staining or sealant, sanding, and pressure washing Envision products.
Cali-Bamboo is located in San Diego and specializes in the production of interior flooring options, TruOrganics surface decking planks, and BamDeck.
Instead of wood fibers, the BamDeck composite comprises 40% recycled plastics and 60% reused bamboo fibers, whereas TruOrganics is made entirely of 100% recycled wood fibers.
There are a total of nine installation styles, three color options, and four surface textures available across their product lines. They are LEED-qualified, termite-resistant, and weather-tested.
The price of Cali-Bamboo’s products per square foot will vary depending on the specific product, but TruOrganics is positioned at the higher end of the pricing spectrum.
TruOrganics has a warranty of 25 years, whereas, BamDeck offers a warranty of 15 years for residential use and ten years for commercial use.
DuraLife Composite Decking offers two railing and decking product lines, Hardwoods and Landscape.
They come in four colors and four wood grain tones each and is made of 80-90% post-industrial and post-consumer material without toxic chemicals and preservatives.
DuraLife decking is highly resistant to damage and stains and has a 25-year limited warranty. The decking planks are produced through an extrusion process, with an outer shell made of co-extruded polypropylene and a composite core.
EverNew is produced by CertainTeed, and its product line includes porch systems, decking, and railing. These vinyl materials are manufactured in Pennsylvania and are maintenance-free and stain-resistant.
This decking has a nonporous surface and is offered in three colors and various lengths. The boards themselves are hollow and installed using concealed or hidden fasteners, with the ends capped for a finished appearance.
The products are lightweight and are made of 100% hydropower. In addition, the company provides an UnderShield Water Diversion System to prevent water from entering the area beneath the deck, and their products are backed by a lifetime stain warranty.
Lumberock Premium Decking is a company located near Chicago that creates tongue-and-groove products made of a blend of mineral components and high-density polyethylene plastic, which includes impermeable planks.
The decking they offer is available in a variety of sizes and has a wood-like texture finish, with a total of 12 color options to choose from. Additionally, they provide some railing and fascia board components.
As the products do not include organic decking materials, they are less prone to mildew and mold. Additionally, they are highly resistant to harm from salt and water and come with a lifetime warranty.
#9: Barrette Outdoor Living
Ohio-based Barrette Outdoor Living has two composite decking collections available: the Landscapes Collections and Hardwoods.
Both use a proprietary blend of recycled hardwood fibers and plastic called PolyPro, which is designed to prevent fading with the company’s ColorLock system.
Barrette’s decking is capped with a clear polypropylene coating and offers an online process for choosing profile, color, and matching railing. It comes with a 25-year limited warranty against fading.
How to Choose the Right Composite Deck Boards
Although composite decking usually has a longer lifespan than wood, certain items come with more extended warranty periods than others.
A cheap price tag for a composite deck does not always indicate inferior quality.
Color and Aesthetics
The decking’s appearance is fixed and cannot be stained, and painting is typically not advised. Manufacturers started incorporating color streaking to make a more realistic look.
The composite decking industry has come a long way in quality, durability, and visual appeal. And the companies discussed above are some of the best composite decking brands on the market today, offering excellent quality, long-lasting performance, and aesthetic appeal.
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