There are many benefits to adding a beautiful deck to your home. Investing in a quality deck can extend your home to a relaxing outdoor space. But before you jump in, you’ll want to decide on decking materials. Composite decking material has become the #1 pick for homeowners because it lasts longer, no sanding or staining is involved, and they’re more durable.
TimberTech and Trex are among the most popular composite decking manufacturers. Both companies produce high-quality products. However, many of our customers ask about the difference between them. Here is some basic information to help you decide which composite decking manufacturer is right for you.
A Brief History of Trex
Trex invented the composite decking board in 1996 and is widely known as a pioneer in the wood-alternative industry. In 1998, Trex patented its first single-color composite decking boards. Trex made the boards from plastic, which would have ended up in a landfill, to withstand the elements much longer than wood decks. Over the years, Trex has undergone several upgrades to its decking boards as technology has advanced. They now offer a full line of products for your outdoor living needs.
A Brief History of TimberTech
TimberTech’s launch came shortly after Trex. Similarly, TimberTech also entered the composite decking market with only one color. However, advances and innovations have allowed TimberTech to offer a variety of styles and colors, as well as other outdoor living products like PVC railing. TimberTech is now a part of CPG building products.
Materials & Capping
Comparing the difference between Trex and TimberTech requires a general understanding of how composite decking is made. Both companies use a mixture of recycled wood fibers and plastics to manufacture the core of the decking boards. A primary difference between the two companies is how the boards are capped. Composite decking boards are coated with a durable protective shell to prevent mold, staining, and fading. This thin protective layer is called the cap, which can significantly prolong the life of composite decking.
Trex decking caps only on the top of the boards. Because moisture will inevitably get into your decking material, Trex leaves the bottom uncapped so the board can breathe and expel moisture.
On the other hand, TimberTech boards are fully capped, meaning the coating wraps around each board completely. TimerTech fully caps each board, intending to completely seal out moisture.
Both approaches are similar to a window installation. One approach is to seal out all moisture, while the other assumes moisture is inevitable and creates a way for the moisture to escape.
Because a deck is exposed to the sun, moisture, frigid winter temperatures, staining, and potential scratching, durability is a major concern for homeowners. All outdoor materials will eventually fade over time, but you can expect minimal fading from both manufacturers within the first few years.
A way homeowners can test the durability of the two brands is to run a key along the top of the sample boards. This can help you determine which boards resist scratching more effectively. This may not be a concern for all homeowners, but for some, it’s a deal breaker. In our opinion, Trex is slightly more resistant than TimberTech. The difference is slight. So if your final decision is based on durability alone, it’s a toss-up.
Composite decking is more expensive than traditional wood materials, but it will save you time and money on maintenance and repair in the future. Trex and TimberTech offer several tiers of decking products. While it is difficult to specify pricing, a realistic price range for a 14’x16’ composite deck with stairs is $28k-32k. On the lower end, TrexSelect is comparable to TimberTech Terrain, though TimberTech tends to be more expensive. In a high-end comparison, Trex Transcend and TimberTech Legacy, Trex offers durability while TimberTech offers realistic-looking boards.
Remember that the final price will ultimately depend on your unique deck project. The size of your deck, fasteners, finishings, railings, and other add-ons will play a factor in your final cost.
Both Trex and TimberTech provide their customers with a 25-year limited warranty. This covers all defects in workmanship and materials, including splitting, splinters, rotting, and structural damage. However, Trex offers a 25-year fade and stain warranty, while TimberTech offers their customers a 30-year fade and stain warranty. But both manufacturers have similar restrictions that govern the warranties.
With either company, when a customer takes advantage of their warranty, they will either replace the damaged boards or refund a portion of the money for defective items. It is also important to understand that with both companies, the older the deck is, the less of a percentage you will receive for replacement costs.
- 1-10 years old: 100%
- 11-13 years old: 80%
- 14-16 years old: 60%
- 17-19 years old: 40%
- 20-22 years old: 20%
- 23-25 years old: 10%
- 1-10 years old: 100%
- 11-12 years old: 90%
- 13-14 years old: 80%
- 15-16 years old: 70%
- 17-18 years old: 60%
- 19-20 years old: 50%
- 21-22 years old: 40%
- 23-24 years old: 30%
- 25-26 years old: 20%
- 27-30 years old: 10%
Which is Better for You?
Since its humble beginnings, composite decking has come a long way, and Trex and TImberTech have led the way. If you are looking for a low-maintenance, weather and scratch-resistant composite material, you can’t go wrong with either brand! It’s a tough decision, but the professionals at Forsman’s Finest are here to help. We would love to sit down with you and discuss these products in more detail and provide you with samples to help you make the best decision for your project. Contact us today to discuss your decking project or to get an estimate.