Composite Decking – A Brief History
Composite decking has come a long way. It was only twenty years ago that homeowners were limited to one very synthetic-looking type of low-performing material. Today, composite decking comes in a variety of texturized grain patterns and rich variegated colors that replicate wood’s natural beauty. Additionally, composites have evolved into top-performing decking solutions with greater stain, fade and scratch resistance. So they don’t just look better; they last longer too. Here’s a breakdown of the industry’s evolution:
- 1995 – Composite decking hits the market with a material similar to medium density fiberboard. It was monochromatic in color and faded very quickly, so a far cry from the beauty and character of natural wood.
- Late ’90s – Grain patterns were introduced to create a wood-like appearance. But performance-wise, the material hadn’t improved much in that it was still susceptible to mold, scratching & staining. It also faded up to 30%.
- Early 2000s –AZEK launches a line of PVC decking products. This pure polymer formula offered better scratch & fade resistance as well as more thermal contraction/expansion on length. A variety of earthy tones and light pastel colors were also introduced, giving consumers more choice.
- Mid 2000s – Color streaking was introduced to replicate real wood decking. Trex was at forefront of this innovation with its “Brasilia” collection.
- 2010ish – PVC comes out with a darker range of colors with added color streaks, lending composites a more realistic look.
- Mid-late 2000’s to now – Capped composites are introduced, combining the performance benefits of polymer’s scratch & fade resistance with the cost-saving benefits of lower composite cores. Selection of variegated boards with greater color & streak selection continues to expand and evolve.
At this point, even Mother Nature can’t tell the difference between real wood and The Decking Superstore’s composite products.
Find out which composite product is best suited for your decking project
What are the most premium composite decking products?
- Trex Transcend Composite Decking – Boasting gorgeous grain patterns and luxury colors that mimic real wood’s natural beauty, this decking is the crème de la crème of composites and comes with 25-Year Limited Residential Fade & Stain Warranty.
- AZEK Vintage Collection – Renowned for its rich colors and realistic streaking, this high-end decking will take your outdoor living space to another level of beauty, and because it’s protected with Alloy Armour Technology™, it will maintain this stunning wood-like appearance for years to come.
What is the most budget friendly composite decking?
Our Top Budget-Friendly Choices
- Trex Select Composite Decking – Looking for the best bang for your buck? Look no further. With durable shell technology and nature-inspired colors, this simplified decking system creates attractive outdoor living spaces for a fraction of the cost.
- AZEK Harvest Collection – This capped polymer decking is a value-conscious option that offers the performance benefits of Alloy Armour Technology™ as well as the warm inviting beauty of soft traditional tones. Tough on the elements, but easy on the wallet.
- Fiberon Good Life Decking – Protected by a tough finish, this attractive decking solution doesn’t require any painting or staining and offers all the performance benefits you’ve come to expect from a composite – only at a price that won’t break the bank.
Lowest Cost Solid Investment
- TimberTech Terrain – Accessible for almost any budget, this cost-effective option is low maintenance, durable and has a charming, slightly texturized wood-like appearance. Bonus: Comes with 25-year limited warranty for residential applications.
Some great mid-tier selections
- Fiberon Good Life Decking – Designed to impress, engineered to last, this exceptionally beautiful decking comes in dramatic colors with multiple grain patterns. It’s also capped on all four sides with a durable, patent-pending PermaTech® surface material to ensure a long & low maintenance service life.
- TimberTech Legacy Decking Collection – Capturing the innate beauty of authentic wood grain, every color option in this top-performing series is imbued with warm inviting streaking and the kind of natural texture synonymous with hand-scraped indoor flooring – so perfect if you want to create an outdoor living area that feels like an extension of your indoor space.
- Fiberon Tropical Decking Collection – This exotic collection is rich with multi-color streaking and intensely beautiful tones, inviting you to create an outdoor living space that feels like your own private resort. It’s also scratch, stain & fade-resistant, which means more time lounging and less time maintaining your deck.
What is the best composite for fade & scratch resistance?
To be honest, all of our composite products have excellent fade and scratch resistance. To get a better idea of each of their respective warranties, please refer to our Composite Decking Comparison Tool page for more information.