What Are the Best Composite Decking Brands of 2023?
Since it’s 2023, we wanted to update our guide to composite decking with more of the nation’s best composite lumber brands and talk about a few things to look for when making your choice.
Our updated 2023 guide covers the leaders in the composite industry, why each brand is an industry leader, and what to look for when deciding on a composite decking product.
Quick Guide: Composite Decking
Composite decking boards are made of artificial and natural materials, though some are fully synthetic. They tend to be pricier than most natural woods, but for good reasons: composite boards are much sturdier and require less maintenance than natural wood decks (which pose the risk of splinters and mold and often need to be re-stained every few years).
Most composite boards have a core made from plastic and wood, which are then capped with PVC to provide a hearty barrier from water, pests, and anything else nature has to offer. Some boards are solid HDPE (high-density polyethylene) all the way through.
But before we go into your composite decking options, let’s look at the things you should consider when picking a product.
What to Consider When Comparing Decking Materials
Before deciding the type of composite decking to buy, you’ll need to learn about the factors that make each brand worth purchasing. Let’s look at the factors to consider when choosing a decking brand.
While composite decking costs more than the alternatives, you’re getting a more durable deck that can withstand the elements, so you’ll pay for that benefit. Consider the installation process, your deck’s lifespan, style, and everything else important to you.
There are also value-adds to composite decking that you can consider:
- Non-slip surfaces
- Hidden fasteners
- Capped boards
- Scratch resistance
Ease of Installation
It doesn’t matter if you’re installing your deck yourself or working with a pro—your deck needs to be easy to install.
If you’re doing the job yourself, you don’t want to spend all your time cutting pieces to install them. You want things to be as plug-and-play as possible. You should be able to lay most of the material quickly and fasten them with the provided fasteners.
If you hire a professional deck builder to do the job, a complex material may require extra expertise and time. This can add to your cost if you don’t have installation included.
You hear a lot about how much composite decking can offer when it comes to upkeep. You won’t need to stain, seal, or paint your deck. In most cases, you only need to occasionally clean the surface with a bit of soap and water to keep it in great shape.
Although many of your composite decking options won’t require much maintenance, you still need to keep your deck in shape. Check the maintenance requirements of the different types of composite decking to see the best practices for maintaining the deck.
One of the best things about composite decking is its durability. This is especially important in Florida, where you experience a lot of sun and water exposure. Excess environmental stress won’t degrade your deck as quickly as other materials.
However, some composite materials are better than others. The cheapest decks will typically last around 25 years. If you buy a higher-quality product, you can expect a lifespan of 50 years.
Your deck’s durability also depends greatly on how you use your deck. For instance, if you’re using composite material to hold something like a hot tub, the joists need much more strength to support the weight. A fiberglass-reinforced HDPE material will be a much better option in this situation since it offers significantly more strength.
If the environment matters to you, buying composite decking materials from a sustainable company is something you must consider. Not every provider does enough to source their products ethically and in a way that doesn’t damage the earth.
Luckily, composite decking is some of the most sustainable products available to purchase. Composite decks use recycled wood and materials, so you don’t need to worry about taking wildlife away from the world when you build your deck.
Investigate the practices of the companies you plan to buy from to see what they say about their sustainability practices.
One of the things you can look forward to the most when purchasing composite decking materials is the look. There are many styles and colors to choose from.
Composite wood has become more similar to wood over the years. Depending on what you buy, it’s incredibly realistic and mimics wood well. But if you don’t care as much about realism, you can purchase something that doesn’t have the same texture as wood.
Color is another consideration when picking your composite wood. Unlike traditional wood, where you need to stain and paint your deck, composite wood comes in predefined colors. You’ll find a lot of colors in neutral tones like gray and brown, but you can also find alternate colors that make more of an impact.
These different features mean you can use your deck to compliment your home’s architecture and style while adding uniqueness to make your deck pop.
TimberTech is a much-loved brand specializing in composite boards and PVC decking. TimberTech boards are made of a core of recycled materials and then capped on all sides to withstand water damage and pests. TimberTech also carries the famous AZEK line, which uses capped polymer materials that contain no wood at all.
TimberTech is a fan favorite thanks to its beautiful colors and smooth textures that resemble natural wood grain. As of 2023, the TimberTech PRO® line features 13 colors, while the TimberTech AZEK® line has 11.
TimberTech offers a few different warranty options, ranging from their 25-Year Limited Product Warranty to AZEK’s 50-Year Limited Fade & Stain Warranty and Lifetime Limited Product Warranty.
Highlights of TimberTech
- Wide range of colors and widths
- Capped boards resist decay and mold
- Contains no organic wood particles (AZEK line)
- Lifetime Limited Product Warranty (and other warranty options)
Trex is the oldest name in the game—and every year, Trex continues to earn its place as one of the best composite decking brands. Trex composite boards are made of recycled plastic bags and sawdust, which are then capped on the top and sides to provide strength, resist warping, and reduce the need for maintenance.
Each of their three lines (TrexEnhance®, TrexSelect®, and TrexTranscend®) comes in various colors and price points. While other brands may offer more options than Trex, customers continue to love this brand because these boards stand up to the test of time year after year.
Most Trex composite decking products are covered by their 25-Year Limited Residential Warranty against fading and stains for some of their higher-end deck boards.
Highlights of Trex
- Wide range of colors and widths
- Carries a variety of matching decorative materials (such as lattice and fencing)
- Capped boards resist decay and mold
- 25-Year Limited Residential Warranty
WearDeck makes high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and fiberglass-reinforced boards that are valued for residential and commercial uses because of their sheer strength. These boards can hold up to 260 lbs per square foot on a 16” center. Their Custom Cut program allows customers to choose lengths of up to 28’ per board (compared to an average of 20’ for competitors).
Because WearDeck is solid throughout and contains no wood particles, it’s also incredibly resistant to mold and rot. With nine color choices, WearDeck may not offer the hue range of other brands, but their neutral shades easily blend in with almost any style.
Finally, there’s a reason why WearDeck says they’re “the last deck board you’ll ever need.” Their Lifetime Limited Warranty covers structural damage, splinters, warping, and more.
Highlights of WearDeck
- Contains no organic wood particles to resist decay and mold
- Options for extra-long, custom-sized boards
- Modern, neutral colors
- Lifetime Limited Warranty
AZEK PVC Decking
AZEK decking uses PVC plastic decking to create durable deck boards that resist water, last a long time, and require little maintenance.
One of the best qualities of AZEK decks is the durability of the products. AZEK products use capped polymers, which means the deck boards are better able to stand up to harsh weather conditions. AZEK trusts its product quality so much that it offers a 30-year limited lifetime warranty.
AZEK’s decking products are also attractive. You can pick from the vintage, arbor, and harvest collections. Each collection has several color options to choose from that offer unique looks.
Highlights of AZEK
- Capped polymer boards to prevent swelling, cracking, warping, and deterioration
- Low maintenance, with no requirement for sealing and staining
- Three different collections, each with a variety of styles and colors
- Great heat dissipation
- Limited 30-year residential warranty
Wolf Home Products makes high-quality composite decking. Their decking contains materials that make it resistant to mold, mildew, rot, and other harsh conditions across the United States.
Wolf decking has two primary lines: Perspective Decking and Serenity Decking.
Perspective Decking is an environmentally friendly line of decking made up of up to 94% recycled material. It’s a high-quality product with fine wood grain patterns that give it the appearance of real wood.
Serenity Decking is a durable product that works well in rainy and humid weather. It uses the ColorWatch100® technology to protect your deck from the sun’s UV rays to preserve color. On top of that, the durable material used in Serenity Decking makes it impervious to moisture. Thus, it’s the perfect choice for wet and humid climates.
Highlights of Wolf Decking
- Five colors to choose from in each product line
- Wood-like texture
- Sustainable practices (Perspective line)
- Hidden fastener systems
- Limited lifetime warranty
Final Rundown: The Best Composite Deck Brands of 2023
Here are our picks for the top composite brands by category:
- Most Eco-Friendly Composite Decking: Trex
- Best Color Range: TimberTech
- Strongest Pound-for-Pound Composite Decking: WearDeck
While each of these decking manufacturers is guaranteed to be a solid pick, the best composite decking brand for you depends on your budget, your location, and your style. At Decks & Docks, our goal is to help you find a brand that meets all your unique needs.
We’re proud to carry all of these leading brands—and more. Learn more about the composite decking brands we offer and order decking samples on our website, or contact us today to speak with an expert. We’re always here to lend a hand, no matter if you’re a seasoned pro or a DIY enthusiast.
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Dan has worked for Decks and Docks for over twenty-five years. He managed the original Decks and Docks store in St. Pete, which is our largest store. Dan is simply the best all around. He knows more about this company and our products than probably anyone else. Dan currently works in Sales at our corporate office.