You’ve heard of composite wood decking; it’s an alternative to wood that you never have to stain and that’ll last for decades.
You may have also heard about its rocky entry to the decking market. You might be unconvinced that it’s a good choice. The product on the market today isn’t your parent’s composite. Composite decking has come along way since it was first introduced.
We’re bringing you up to speed on how composite has changed over time and what people are excited to buy today.
Composite decking came on the market in the 1990’s, with brands like Trex, TimberTech, Fiberon, MoistureShield, and EverGrain making their debuts. Composite decking generated a buzz of excitement around the low-maintenance alternative to wood decking.
Consumer’s hopes were dashed when the new products fell short of its promises. Early composite decking products were porous blends of plastic and sawdust that tended to stain and fade easily. Buyers complained of mold and mildew build up as well as warping and cracking boards. Some of the major decking manufacturers even faced class-action lawsuits for the sub-par products.
Because of the poorly-designed early composite decking, many homeowners lost faith in composite decking following the 1990’s. But, closing in on 20 years of market experience, those manufacturers who are still in business have learned from their tough beginnings. Products are more sophisticated now, based on decades of research and testing.
The Evolution of Composite Wood Decking
Some brands have discontinued their original lines of composite decking completely, while others have refined them through testing and research. Today, the standard of quality is a capped composite, which has a PVC shell encircling a composite core. The cap functions to seal moisture and insects out, amplifying the integrity of the boards. It also allows for flexibility with coloring and texture, while ensuring a uniform composition of the structural core.
Trex discontinued their last uncapped product in 2014, after introducing a new capped decking line. TimberTech, MoistureShield, and EverGrain kept their (much improved and less expensive) uncapped lines and also offer multiple capped composite options.
Homeowners Love Capped Composite
The love for composite decking is stronger than ever, with sales growing each year across North America. A study recently found that buyers are favouring higher value, better performance, longer life, and better aesthetics in their decking purchases. More homeowners are buying capped composite decking than ever before.
The Vancouver, BC area has seen a significant sales growth in recent years, with a notable shift from uncapped to capped composite materials. The infamous wetness of the region makes the moisture protection of the PVC cap essential for composite decks to last without warping or mildew buildup.
Homeowners choose composite decking over wooden decking for a number of reasons:
- Get the classic look of wood, without the work.
- Never sand or stain your deck again.
- It’s fire resistant, burning at much higher temperatures than wood.
- Long-term cost is lower than traditional wooden decks.
- Recycled and non-toxic materials are an environmentally-friendly choice.
- Stands up to moisture and extreme temperature changes with minimal wear.
- Comes with one of the best warranties of any decking material (average 25 years)
- No slivers, mold, or mildew.
While uncapped composite’s lower price is enticing for some, ultimately, aesthetics and durability are most important to homeowners. The top composite brands are fairly comparable in quality and durability. The final choice is less a question of what brand and more often comes down to the colors offered.
Citywide Sundecks Composite Wood Decking Construction in Vancouver
At Citywide Sundecks, we prefer to build with TimberTech and AZEK composite decking products. These brands have a history of innovation, with a huge emphasis on research and technology. Between the two, our clients have 23 different colours to choose from, so they can get exactly the look they want.
TimberTech is a traditional wood/plastic composite product, while AZEK Decking is a pure PVC plank. With AZEK, we can build patios at ground level or even floating decks without an issue of water damage. Both brands are owned by CPG building products and are backed by 25-year and limited lifetime warranties.
If you have questions about resurfacing your existing deck with composite or building a new composite deck, we can help. Call 604-786-3325 or fill out the form below for a free quote.