Open Accessibility Menu

What you need to know about composite decking

A new deck will utilize a multitude of outdoor building materials including everything from pressure-treated wood for framing to a number of material options for railings and a dizzying array of other choices. One of the more important considerations for your new deck is the flooring boards.

Choosing the correct flooring board for your new deck will affect how much maintenance you do, how your deck will look and also your price. While pressure-treated pine decking is a tried and true decking material, almost all of our clients now choose a low maintenance option. You owe it to yourself to learn a little about the composite deck alternatives to pressure-treated wood when choosing your decking material. Not only are there a dizzying array of products and companies in the marketplace but the technology is always evolving and improving.

Custom deck staircase with railing and lighting
TimberTech and AZEK composite deck and stair in Parkville MO

The first thing you really need to know is that the man-made decking products available today are several generations advanced from the offerings of 15-20 years ago. The original composites were a blend of plastic and wood fiber designed to have improved resistance to rot and decay. They were very successful in those two areas, but they fell short in how they held up against staining, scratching, and spotting. The industry listened and manufacturers continued to improve and upgrade their offerings. Blended wood/plastic composite are still the least expensive way to manufacture man-made boards and they are still available today.

Custom deck with white railing
AZEK deck in Shawnee KS

Today’s manufactured decking is leaps and bounds ahead of those first products. Companies like AZEK and TimberTech have made significant investments in research and technology to create multiple product lines that address all of the key concerns expressed by homeowners and builders. PVC decking boards have been consistently surpassing consumer’s expectations. PVC decking has been improved to maintain color and resist scratches and scrapes. PVC decking may have stain and fade guarantees.

The other major man-made decking product that you will see is called capped or wrapped composite. The inside of each board is a pulp/plastic blend and the outside is PVC. Capstock is less expensive to produce than 100% PVC. As with 100% PVC products, the color, texture, and looks of wrapped boards will vary from company to company, but they have improved dramatically over the past 10 years. From a few yards away, it may be challenging to tell the difference between capped and natural wood.

Dining area on covered porch and deck
AZEK covered deck in Overland Park KS

What does all this mean to you? Look beyond the color choices of the deck product lines you are considering. Do a little homework on the companies that manufacture them. How long have they been in the business? Are their consumer reviews good from customers who have lived with the product for several years? Take advice from an experienced builder. Ask for a few referrals so you can take a field trip to see the different types of products in the field.

Company design award logo
No matter your custom outdoor living requirements, Archadeck of Kansas City can design and build the perfect deck for your home and family. If you’re ready to begin, get in touch with our award-winning designers for a free consultation at (913) 704-6240.