Welcome to the great composite decking debate: Trex or TimberTech; which one is better?
This is the most likely question on your mind if you’re in the market for a composite deck to update your outdoor space. Of course, you may already know you want composite over wood and PVC – but which brand is right for you?
TimberTech and Trex are the two most popular composite decking brands. They are known for their long-lasting and insect-resistant decks contributing immensely to sustainable construction. Therefore, deciding which is best for you might be challenging.
In this article, I’ll compare Trex and TimberTech composite decks to help you make an informed decision.
Many factors are highlighted in the great composite deck debate, from environmental impact to price. So, let’s dive in and find out which one you should choose!
The Trex Company was founded in 1996 through the buyout of a division of Mobil Corporation. Since its inception, Trex has focussed on perfecting composite decking as an alternative to wood decks.
Although founded in 1996, the company went public in 1999, differentiating itself as the leading producer of the best composite decks.
The company’s products are available in more than 40 countries, boasting huge annual sales amounting to $1.2 billion.
Due to its innovative culture, Trex remains top of the scale regarding composite decks. Having been the first company to combine the durability of recycled plastic with the natural beauty of wood fibers to make high-performing composite decking, Trex has vast experience in its art.
The company’s composite decks have the beauty of natural wood and come in various colors.
TimberTech is also a leading composite decking producer, founded shortly after Trex in 1997.
The company has a long history of producing top-of-the-line composite decks in various shapes, sizes, and colors. It is known to put quality and durability above all when making composite decking.
Although it started with one decking board in only one color, the company put innovation at the forefront to enhance its products.
TimberTech has developed three product lines through its innovative culture, each with different collections. The three product grades include:
- TimberTech Azek with four collections
- TimberTech Pro with three collections
- TimberTech Edge with three collections
Currently, the company produces a wide range of decking boards. From browns and grays to complex multi-color blending, TimberTech makes many boards to suit all tastes.
Azek company acquired TimberTech in 2012, and they are both owned by the parent company, CPG International.
It’s worth noting that CPG International kept the Azek and TimberTech brands separate. That’s why you still find TimberTech and Azek decks on the market.
TimberTech is more expensive than Trex decking. However, each brand offers decks in tiers that increase in price as you move up the tiers.
Although it’s difficult to be specific about pricing due to the many variables to be considered, the average cost for Trex composite decking is $15 to $30 per square foot, depending on the composite grade, size, and materials.
On the other hand, TimberTech composite decking costs approximately $23.50 to $37.00 per square foot, depending mostly on the collection.
The main difference between TimberTech and Trex lies in capping.
While Trex covers only the top part of its boards, TimberTech decks are four-sided capped, meaning every part, including the bottom, is covered. Thus, TimberTech decks are more moisture-resistant than Trex since they are covered on four sides.
However, the unique extrusion process employed by Trex makes their composite decks more durable.
The negatives about Trex decking include the following:
- The bottom side is susceptible to moisture since it’s uncapped.
- Like any other composite decking, Trex is more expensive than wood decking.
- Its surface can be slippery when wet due to the presence of polymers.
- Its appearance is not as aesthetically-appealing as natural wood.
Your Trex deck is warping because of excessive heat, most likely due to overexposure to the sun. Trex decking undergoes thermal expansion that contributes to warping when exposed to the sun for a long time.
Although Trex decking is UV color fade resistant, it can still warp if exposed to too much heat.
To prevent warping, make sure you install your Trex deck in an area that’s not exposed to direct sunlight or excessive heat.
Trex warps in the sun due to excessive heat, leading to thermal expansion. The deck expands when it absorbs heat from the sun. Consequently, it expands, bends, and becomes flexible.
Trex is the most popular composite decking, and it contributes immensely to sustainable building.
Unlike Timbertech decks that use up to 80% recycled materials, Trex decks have up to 95% recycled plastics and wood.
TimberTech is like Trex because they use recycled polymers and reclaimed wood fibers to make composite decks. They both manufacture reliable, durable, and high-quality composite decking.
TimberTech Azek is the longest-lasting composite decking. Capped polymer boards from TimberTech Azek have a 50-year fade and stain limited warranty. Therefore, they can serve you for at least 50 years before developing serious structural issues or fading.
TimberTech capped composite decks last between 25 and 30 years. On the other hand, TimberTech’s capped polymer has the longest lifespan of at least 50 years.
In comparison, Trex decks have a lifespan ranging between 25 and 30 years.
TimberTech composite decking has a longevity of between 25 and 30 years. This is based on the company’s warranty on its composite decks, which is between 25 and 30 years.
TimberTech composite boards become slippery when wet, especially due to standing water.
These boards become slippery because of the water-resistant polymers that allow the accumulation of standing water. Therefore, it’s advisable to drain standing water from the boards to prevent sliding.
TimberTech decking doesn’t scratch easily because the company has invested in curing technology that makes the materials highly resistant to scratches. Thus, the decks can stand up to the rigors of use by both pets and humans.
It’s worth mentioning that both TimberTech and Trex have low maintenance due to their engineering design. The combination of polymers and wood fibers makes them stronger and highly resistant to the elements, rot, mold, and insects.
Like any other decking product, TimberTech gets hot when exposed to the sun. This is because polymers absorb infrared and visible wavelengths of radiation, which are then converted into heat.
Choosing lighter colors for your decking can help to reduce the heating of your decking boards in direct sunlight by reflecting a greater proportion of the sun’s incident energy.
A cheaper alternative to Trex decking is wooden decking. However, Trex offers the most affordable composite decking, so choosing Timbertech will usually be more expensive than Trex.
Final Thoughts On Trex Or TimberTech For Decking
Considering every comparison feature, Trex and TimberTech are closely tied in maintenance, appearance, longevity, and overall value.
Although the cost of TimberTech is between 20 and 40 percent higher than Trex’s, both brands have various tiers with options that come in at almost the same price.
While TimberTech is better for moisture-prone areas because it’s entirely capped, Trex is ideal for places with more drastic temperature fluctuations.
Now that you have a head-to-head comparison between Trex and TimberTech, here are other sustainable construction methods to complement whichever deck you choose.