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What is the Best Decking Material?

What is the Best Decking Material?

What is the Best Decking Material?

Between materials ranging from different types of wood to a wide variety of composites (primarily consisting of a mixture of wood and plastics), the simple act of deciding on one particular material for your decking can be a daunting task.

Traditional wooden decks range in price depending on several factors including the type of wood used. A more expensive wood will typically last longer and requires less routine maintenance. One drawback when using wood as a decking material is the extra maintenance required in comparison to a composite decking material. On a wooden deck, stain/sealer must be reapplied at least every 1-2 years. Wood is also significantly more susceptible to warping, splintering, cracking, and rotting.

Pressure treated wood is the least expensive form of wooden decking. It has undergone a process that forces chemical preservatives into the wood through the application of high-pressure. These chemicals protect the wood from insects and decay, but they are also harmful to your health if burned and inhaled. They are also corrosive, so use stainless steel fasteners, and always remember to wear gloves and eye protection when installing a deck composed of pressure treated wood.

All-plastic decking is also available. Typically, it’s the most expensive material and is the least eco-friendly. It also looks and feels completely unnatural, which tends to be a major turn-off for most homeowners looking to add functional beauty to the exterior of their property.

While some people assume wood to be the more eco-friendly material, composite decking is longer-lasting and made from a mixture of wood (mostly sawdust or waste from the hardwood furniture industry) and recycled plastics that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill. Timbertech has reduced its trash sent to landfills by 90% and uses 332 tons of recycled material annually. 99% of the waste created by Timbertech’s manufacturing process is reclaimed. Composite decking can also easily be broken down and remade into composite decking again and again.

Trex and Timbertech are two leading companies that offer composite-based decking, and their products are comparable in price. Timbertech offers a 25-year warranty on all its decking products, and no one else in the industry has a longer or more extensive warranty. In addition, Timbertech has a responsive customer service team, a long track record of satisfying customers, and a quality product. Trex, on the other hand, has lost various class action lawsuits that took place years apart from each other, signifying they’re manufacturing issues have potentially remained uncorrected. In 2004, a New Jersey court approved a class action settlement of Kanefsky v Trex Co., Inc. As part of the settlement terms, Trex agreed to pay the cost of replacement of their product as well as labor costs. Many years later, in Ross v Trex Co. Inc., the United States District Court for the District of Northern California approved the settlement of yet another class action lawsuit in which plaintiffs claimed their defective Trex composite decks experienced surface flaking. In Mahan v Trex Co., Inc., the United States District Court for the District of Northern California granted preliminary approval to a settlement agreement for a nationwide class action alleging misrepresentations, among other issues. There is even a website,, dedicated to expressing dissatisfaction with Trex’s products and customer service. Their tagline is “It’s not just a new kind of deck. It’s a new kind of headache.”

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9125 N. State Route 48
Dayton, OH 45458
Phone: (937) 885-1948
Fax: (937) 885-9027

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