Adding a deck to your home is always a great idea! You can use it for BBQs with friends and family, as well as just relaxing and sunbathing. A deck will upgrade your home and add an interesting feature to it. With a deck, you can get the most out of your space.
If you’re reading this guide, you’ve probably begun researching composite decking. If that is the case, you’ll definitely know the two most popular composite decking materials – TimberTech Azek and Trex. They can be found everywhere in North America and they’re often compared to each other.
In this guide, we will focus on the TimberTech Azek vs Trex debate. We will compare their styles, durability, warranties, and prices. We hope this guide will help you make the right decision for your deck!
Overview of TimberTech Azek vs Trex
TimberTech started working with composite decking back in 1997. Over the years, Azek grew to become a leader in the field of composite decking. Back in the day, white PVC railing was the only option, and look at the selection now!
There are 3 types of decking with 3 product lines. The first product line, TimberTech AZEK, is a premium line with the finest quality. It is followed by TimberTech PRO and TimberTech EDGE. Look at them as in order from highest to lowest, regarding both quality and price.
AZEK is obviously the best, but PRO is not far behind it. Each product line is good in its own way.
Trex is crowned with inventing composite decking. It was invented back in 1996. Trex is truly a pioneer in the wood-alternative industry.
The selection began with a single-color decking board, which was patented in 1998. The brand took plastic that would’ve been disposed of anyway and recycled it to make a composite decking board. The board in question would survive difficult weather conditions better than actual wood.
Each collection has different price points, thus they’re meant for different markets. If you want to compare and contrast the collections, you can visit the official website. You’ll find detailed descriptions of all the products.
Main Differences Between Azek and Trex
Trex is made to look like actual wood, but it’s made out of 95% recycled materials. That includes sawdust, reclaimed wood, and plastic. As a result, Trex looks more natural than other composite materials. The patterns on the boards make them look like real wood.
Azek is made from PVC material, which is very tough and weather-resistant. It is also made to look like wood, but it doesn’t do the job quite as well as Trex. It does, however, come in a variety of colors, patterns, and designs, and can even be personalized.
Materials and capping
Image source: Aesthetic Design & Build Llc
To fully understand the Azek vs Trex debate, we need to grasp how composite decking is manufactured. Both materials use a mix of recycled wood fibers and plastic to create the core of the decking board. Some of the main materials include sawdust, ground-up wood, and recycled plastic from milk jugs and grocery bags.
The difference between the two materials lies in how the boards are capped. Now, let’s back up. Capped boards are those that are coated with a strong, protective shell. That coat protects the boards from mold, stains, and fading. Capping also prolongs the life of the board. There are two different ways to do it.
Image source: TimberTech
A composite deck is made out of two parts – the inside part and the thin outer shell. The outer shell is called the cap, or the deck board’s capping. Both companies use capping to prolong the life of their boards and give them an extra layer of protection.
Both Trex and Azek are made out of tough materials. Nevertheless, it’s quite easy to scratch them. They are still quite resistant to scratching though, way more so than common pine decking and other softwood species. Trex and Azek perform as well as some exotic hardwoods. However, scratches on real wood can be sanded down later.
When it comes to fade resistance, Azek takes the cake. Trex has fade-resistant options too, but Azek is generally less likely to fade over time. Fade-resistant material will save you a lot of money in the future. Repainting your deck can be quite expensive if you hire a professional crew.
Image source: Mentor Installed Services
Both materials are very easy to care for. They require less maintenance than traditional wood. They’re also resistant to moisture and mildew, and, in most cases, don’t need to be repainted down the road.
Either way, you should take care of your deck. Not to worry, it’s very simple! Sweep it and wash it with mild soap. Then, rinse it thoroughly. Alternatively, you can use a deck cleaner. Clean your deck regularly to prolong its life.
With proper cleaning and maintenance, your deck will serve you for many years to come.
Image source: TREX COMPANY INC
Nothing is ever perfect, and that’s the case with composite decking too. Both materials have their benefits and downfalls.
Azek, for example, is made out of PVC. As a result, it expands and contracts more than Trex. It is also prone to cracking, especially when exposed to swift changes in temperature and humidity.
Trex, on the other hand, tends to collect mildew and dirt. The wood fibers in Trex make it more susceptible to moisture.
Because of these complications, Azek is more suitable for a coastal and wet environment. Trex will thrive in a place with prominent seasonal swings.
Image source: TREX COMPANY INC
Composite decking is more expensive than standard wood decking. In that category, Trex is cheaper than Azek.
Trex charges between $40 and $70 for a 16-foot board. The final price depends on the quality. There are 3 types of Trex decking. Trex Select is the low-grade, affordable version. Even so, the outer shell is very resistant to mildew and mold.
Azek is more expensive than Trex. A 16-foot board costs anywhere between $120 and $140. At the same time, Azek has a reputation for being more durable. That’s not always the case though. Some Azek products are easier to scratch than others.
Generally speaking, composite decking is cheaper than PVC decking. Even within the range, you can find cheaper and more expensive options. For example, TimberTeck PRO is less expensive than AZEK. The final cost will depend on the specific product chosen, as well as the design and its complexity.
Image source: Thomas Decks, LLC
Capped composite decking from Trex comes with a 25-year fade and stain warranty. Azek offers a 30-year warranty. Some warranties are limited and only cover material defects, splinters, and rot.
You already know that composite decking requires minimal maintenance. It’s enough to sweep your deck and clean it with mild soap regularly. Don’t neglect the maintenance! Do it once in a while to increase the lifespan of your deck and prevent mold and mildew. Those are not covered by the warranty.
The green factor
Image source: TWG Construction LLC
If you prioritize sustainable consumption and eco-friendliness, go with Trex. This composite material uses green building materials and recycled plastic. In fact, this composite decking is made from 95% recycled wood and plastic film.
The manufacturing processes used in the production are eco-friendly too. No harmful chemicals are used in the production of Trex, and a big chunk of factory waste is recycled.
Buying Trex is the most environmentally-responsible decision you can make. It is the greenest composite decking available on the market. The manufacturers claim they never even cut down a tree in the production process.
The manufacturers of Azek don’t concern themselves with the environment as much as Trex. The production process requires the use of plastic and chemicals.
Ending thoughts on TimberTech Azek vs Trex decking
Image source: ARCHIA HOMES
Both TimberTech Azek and Trex decking have their own benefits and drawbacks. Trex is made up mostly of recycled plastic and wood products. Azek contains no wood and only uses 50% recycled materials.
Azek boards are lighter though, and they absorb less heat. They are also more resistant to fading. That comes at a price, as Azek composite decking is more expensive.
Trex is more resistant to changes in temperature and humidity. Trex decking is also more environmentally friendly and leaves a smaller impact on the earth. It’s cheaper too!
We could compare the two forever, but, surely, you get the gist. Choose the decking material that resonates the most with you. Remember that at the end of the day, both are high-quality, solid options. Make a decision based on your style preferences, demands, and budget.
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