If you’ve found this article, it’s likely you’ve been considering Trex for your composite deck and are now wondering whether you should be considering any worthwhile alternatives. We’re excited to tell you that the answer is a resounding “YES!” Trex has built a composite-decking empire and grown to be the highest-volume manufacturer in the industry. It’s emerged as the decking of choice for a great many projects and personalities. As decking contractors, and in Northern Virginia specifically, we’re continually evaluating projects and technologies as they become introduced to the market. In our experience, we’ve found a few notable alternatives to Trex decking that offer unique differentiators. One brand, in particular, has earned our team’s approval and our company’s loyalty, hands down.
What is Trex all about?
Before we point out how other composite decking brands differ from Trex, it is essential to understand what Trex offers. At the heart of it, Trex is composite decking – sometimes called a “wood alternative.” When compared to wood, their composite decking is far more durable and longer-lasting. It will not splinter, rot, warp, or split. It’s impervious to invaders like mold, fungus, carpenter bees, termites, and other insects. Where wood contributes to deforestation, composite decking diverts material from the waste stream into rugged consumer products. Trex alone prevents 400 million pounds of plastic and wood from ending up in landfills. It’s ultra-low maintenance, requiring no seasonal painting or sealing. It’s easy to clean, comes in a wide range of colors, and is resistant to fading and staining. Tiered product collections mean there’s an option for every budget and design sensibility. In sheer variety of products, they’re prolific, offering everything from deck boards to landscape lighting and outdoor furniture. Trex offers “good, better, best” tiered product collections, and a 25-year Limited Residential Warranty protects its composite decks.
Comparing Composite Decking to Composite Decking
When compared with wood decking, composite decking delivers many advantages over traditional options. However, in today’s marketplace, multiple companies are competing to produce the highest-performing, longest-lasting, and best-looking composite decking products. From our perspective, the real winners are contractors like us and homeowners like you. Out of their competition, we get an ever-expanding array of options to choose from, greater value, and better customer service. The time for selecting composite decking based on its advantages over wood has come and gone. Your composite deck should be built from material that beats out other wood alternatives in the ways that matter most to you.
NOVA’s Choice: TimberTech AZEK
Why be shy about it? At NOVA Landscape & Design, we’ve chosen TimberTech AZEK for all of our composite decking projects, and we’re delighted to share our reasoning. Right out of the gate, TimberTech AZEK products come with a Limited Lifetime Warranty and a 50-year Fade & Stain warranty – the best available today and far longer than those offered by Trex. While it’s true that Trex has made strides with streaking technology and woodgrain pattern, TimberTech AZEK has gone even further, developing a complex multi-color variegation technique that blends up to 6 colors. Some composite decking brands contain wood fillers in their cores, which makes them vulnerable to moisture damage. TimberTech AZEK decking contains no wood fillers. It’s the lightest composite material on the market, and its full range of products consistently stays cooler than even other brands’ lightest colors. By offering multiple board widths, TimberTech AZEK has made some of the most versatile composite decking in the industry.
Trex declares itself “the most eco-friendly decking on the market,” but TimberTech AZEK is also in the running for that title. With sustainability at the heart of its mission, the company is singularly devoted to creating sustainable deck materials. In addition to sourcing material from the waste stream, TimberTech has built a state-of-the-art recycling plant. It also recycles 96% of the water used in its facilities, leverages energy-efficient systems for power, water, heating/cooling, and lighting, and repurposes the scraps of its board-making process back into production.
Dura-Life has emerged as a compelling alternative to Trex by introducing polypropylene plastic decking to the market. With a material that’s stiffer, harder, and stronger than other polymers, Dura-Life can deliver longer stable spans than competing brands. Their unique “Your Choice” program foregoes the traditional “good, better, best” product tiering format, allowing homeowners to match any color profile to any performance level. That means their lowest-cost products deliver the same aesthetic appearance as their most premium offerings. When it comes to natural appearance, Dura-Life combines variegated-color technology with non-repeating wood patterns for a remarkably wood-like appearance. With a 25-year Fade & Stain warranty and some of the most rigorous quality control and color testing in the industry, Dura-Life gives homeowners freedom of choice when designing the decks of their dreams.
Fiberon is a company built on a history of firsts. It developed the first multi-tonal and embossed decking boards, the first hidden fastener system, and the industry’s original stain-and-fade warranty for capped composites. This industry-leading brand is consistently pushing the envelope in its devotion to being the source of the best-looking, best-performing composite decking available. Fiberon also comes through consistently on value, offering performance and style at every price point without compromising quality. While Trex makes an excellent-quality premium product, its lower-tier options are inconsistent in durability and value. The difference in price across product lines is minimal, but the relative sacrifice in quality is significant.
It’s your choice!
To take a note from Dura-Life, the brand of composite you land on for your deck project is your choice. We encourage you to read up on the differences between brands, as those differentiations do make a difference in our industry. It only takes a Google search to uncover each of these brands’ commitment to quality and customer service. Be sure to choose a trusted manufacturer that aligns with your needs and values, then find an experienced and established contractor to install your composite deck. And if you’re looking for a TimberTech AZEK decking contractor in Northern Virginia, request an estimate from NOVA Landscape & Design today!