Not sure which low maintenance decking material to invest in for your home? For your outdoor living space, there are a variety of materials from manufacturers like TimberTech, AZEK and Trex and include: composite decking, solid PVC decking and capstock decking. Not all of these are the same. We use these brands because we know they perform well and their manufacturers will stand behind them should there ever be an issue. There are lesser cost synthetic deck products, but buyer beware. How do you select the best one? Two factors to consider in your decision include style and cost.
When considering the style of each product, the available colors, textures and pattern features are what you need to examine and compare. Does the color palette include hues which will complement or supply contrast for the exterior of your home? Depending upon your personal taste or preference for texture, board surfaces are available with a subtle wood-like appearance or hand-scraped hardwood grooves which more accurately resemble real wood. Some products go a step further regarding their style by including variegated streaking within the color and grooves for a more authentic grain pattern.
Low maintenance decking products don’t require annual painting, staining or sealing – ever. Cleaning is a snap with the spray of a garden hose and occasionally a little soap and water for spills or grime. They also have lifetime or 25 year warranties that protect against warping, cracking, cupping and more. Each company has a different warranty but across the board, the protection is fairly comprehensive and incredibly long. Capstock products also are warrantied against fade and stain for the life of the product.
All of these features and options for these advanced low maintenance decking materials affect the cost, especially when compared to wood. Keep in mind wood decking needs annual maintenance and may have a life of 10-15 years depending on maintenance, sun, and wear; composites will last 25 years or more. The degree of price difference depends on the brand and style of boards but are more expensive than wood.
Although the three categories of low maintenance synthetic decking possess certain similarities, they also have distinct differences as shown in the detail of each below.
Traditional wood/plastic composite material, such as TimberTech, has a combination of wood fiber and resin with a wood-like profile. This pairing of wood and plastic provides an impressive durability (the likes of which wood has never been able to provide), an uncanny resistance to splintering and rotting and is extremely economical. The downside is the potential for discoloring; due to the presence of wood in its formula, wine, oil and grease can stain the deck because of the porous nature of the wood fibers. These practical decking options are designed for the value-conscious customer looking for a lifetime of low maintenance.
Solid PVC decking such as AZEK, is impervious and offers superior stain, insect, mold/mildew, scratch, fade, and split resistance. Grease, oil, wine or fruit punch will not discolor this decking material and there’s never a worry regarding patio furniture or pet scratches with solid PVC. Color for color, it will feel a little cooler to the foot. It is generally more expensive than comparable capped composite.
Capstock decking is considered to be the wave of the future by many. It consists of a composite material which is wrapped in a protective polymer, high performance shell. Capped composite manufacturers include Trex (the only non-PVC coated option) and TimberTech and have a 25 year warranty. Capstock decking offers the best of both worlds through superior stain, fade, scratch, and insect resistance while still giving you the beauty of real wood with moderate pricing.
Still not sure?…we can help. Archadeck of Fort Wayne is a trusted and respected industry leader in the northeast Indiana area. We have the experience to consult effectively with our customers on manufacturer and material selections and will help you choose the right material to suit your needs, lifestyle and budget. Contact us today to learn more about synthetic and other outdoor living material options. Call or email for a free consultation: at (260) 969 – 8663 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.