Composite decking is durable and attractive, but not all manufacturers are created equal. If you are in the market for composite decking, then it is important to know who has the best composite decking.
The best composite decking brands include TimberTech, Trex, and Fiberon. Wolf Decking is a great budget option and Deckorators and MoistureShield are good choices for traction and water resistance. When choosing your decking, it is best to keep budget, durability, environment, code, and other factors in mind.
In this article, you will learn about the best composite decking companies, why they are considered the best, some benefits and downsides to each one, and how much you can expect to pay on average for each one. You will also learn about what to look for when shopping for composite decking.
- Best Composite Decking in 2022: Comparison
- What to Look for in the Best Composite Decking
- What is the Best Quality Composite Decking Material?
Best Composite Decking in 2022: Comparison
|Brand||Price||Appearance||Durability||Color Options||Warranty||DIY Friendly?|
|TimberTech (AZEK)||$9 to $14.50 per square foot||Realistic with variety of wood grain and style options||Resistant to scratches, cracks, flame, and more||16 color options available for AZEK lines||High-End: 50-year stain and 50-year limited lifetime product
Mid-End: 30-year stain and product
|Trex||$6 to $14 per square foot||One attractive style, but not hyper realistic||Moisture and termite resistant, easy to maintain||20 color options||50-year stain and fade and 25-year product||Yes|
|Deckorators||$7 to $15 per square foot||Wide selection, but only a couple styles are available at retail||Mineral composite offers durability, slip resistance, and prevents water damage||20 color options||25-year warranty (50-year for higher end options)||No|
|Fiberon||$10 to $17 per square foot||Many styles from natural wood and traditional to more modern designs||Durable using recycled materials and great sun protection||31 color options||25 to 50 year options and lifetime stain and fade available||Yes|
|MoistureShield||$8 to $12 per square foot||Six different styles, Attractive grains and designs||Does not become damaged in water or hot in the sun, but may fade more than others||18 color options||50-year structural warranty and up to 50-year stain and fade warranty||Yes|
|DuraLife||$6 to $11||Non-repeating patterns and natural wood grain make for a stylish choice||Very durable and heavy-duty feel using up to 90% recycled materials||8 color options||25-year warranty that covers everything||Yes|
|Envision||$7 to $14||Patterns never repeat and each plank has a unique look and detailed coloring for a realistic aesthetic||Uses EverGrain tech for very tough sturdiness||17 color options||25-year warranty||Yes|
|Wolf Decking||$5 to $12 per square foot||Modern composite gloss appearance with grain||Low maintenance decking, very durable considering the low price||16 color options||25-year warranty||Yes|
1. TimberTech (AZEK) – Best Overall
TimberTech offers both composite and PVC decking and the AZEK line, the capped PVC option, is durable and long-lasting and stylish and realistic, making it the top option on our list. With a wide variety of wood grain patterns, we find that there is something for every home.
The brand offers three styles of board and 7 collections with their own colors and options. In our opinion, they have the most realistic composite decking on the market. But the incredible appearance is not the only reason you should consider TimberTech AZEK.
The durability of the decking is the best around and the boards are resistant to fading, cracks, and weather. They are even rated for protection against wildfires. The decking materials can also withstand water and have a finish that prevents the boards from becoming slippery when wet.
TimberTech offers three warranty tiers depending on the style, color, and collection you choose. Their high-priced products, like their Vintage, Landmark, and Harvest collections, come with the best warranty options, including 50-year stains and fade protection and a 50-year limited lifetime warranty on damage like cracking, splintering, or warping.
Mid-range products, including the TimberTech Pro collection, come with a 30-year stain and fading warranty and a 30-year damage warranty. Like the TimberTech Edge options, their most affordable lines still come with 25-year stain protection and a 25-year product warranty.
- Durable boards do not fade, crack, or become damaged by weather and have an outstanding flame spread rating
- Easy installation is DIY friendly
- Realistic looking with 16 color options
- Great warranties for all AZEK lines
- Traction is not as good as some competitors
- On the more expensive side of composite decking
TimberTech Vintage styles will cost the most, landing between $11.50 and $14.50 per square foot. The Landmark line will cost between $12 and $14 per square foot, while the most affordable Harvest line will land somewhere in the range of $9 to $12.50 per square foot.
For a deck with railing, including labor, you can expect to pay somewhere between $11,000 and $17,000, depending on your choices and other factors.
2. Trex – Best DIY
Trex is a popular composite decking brand for a good reason. They utilize high-quality materials and have an attractive style and design. They are well-known because of HGTV Dream Home, but there are other reasons you may want to consider Trex.
While they only have one style, it does come in 20 unique colors. The boards themselves are resistant to moisture, making them a good choice in humid climates. They are also termite resistant and should last years without significant maintenance or repair.
Trex products come with a 25-year product warranty (50-year stain and fade warranty) that is pretty standard in the industry but are known to be easier than other companies to deal with when honoring that warranty. This is one of the reasons they are known as such a reputable brand.
Compared with direct competitors, their products are quite affordable as well. While they still offer the upper tier in quality, you may find that the boards fit your project budget, especially since they are easy to install yourself.
- Easy installation is great for the DIY enthusiast
- Moisture and termite resistant
- Great warranty and customer service
- 20 color options
- Limited Selection with less realistic designs than other manufacturers
- Boards get very hot in direct sunlight
Trex decking will run you between $6 and $14 per square foot, with the average coming to a little over $8 per square foot. However, some of their higher-end products will cost more. For a deck with railings and professional labor, you can expect to pay between $10,000 and $15,000.
3. Deckorators – Best for Rain
Deckorators is the best for rain because instead of using wood pulp, they use minerals and mineral-based composite material has a much better grip than other options. It is also more lightweight and does not expand and contract like other composites, which means it is superior for rainy and humid areas.
The deck boards come in 20 colors among 8 collections and they are all resistant to rot and warping. The texture reduces slipperiness and looks great regardless of the quality type you choose and there are 8 to select from.
The 25-year warranty covers structure, stain, fading, and removal and replacement. The highest tier models have a longer warranty of 50 years. Not only that, but their mineral-based products are warranty covered for on-ground and water contact, which is something you won’t find with brands that use the wood pulp in their composites.
The main complaint we have is that Deckorators often does wholesale business or works directly with contractors. Because of this, they are less DIY friendly because it is harder to get their entire selection of materials for smaller projects. They are also not as easy to install even when you get the decking boards.
- Mineral-based composite is lightweight but durable
- Better traction, even when wet
- Low maintenance decking
- Great warranty coverage
- Many products are not available at retail
- Not as easy to install as other choices
Deckorators decking comes at around $7 to $15 per square foot, which means there are options at most price points depending on which of the three product tiers you choose from. You can expect to pay $12,000 to $18,000 for a Deckorator deck with labor and railings included.
4. Fiberon – Best for Direct Sunlight
Fiberon is one of the top brands in the industry with innovative product lines, exceptional customer relations, and a desire to be the best. They also work toward sustainability and utilize recycled materials to create durable, attractive decking options.
With Fiberon, you know you will get a wide selection of options from natural wood styles to modern appearances with various composites. There are 31 colors to choose from, but with the many style options, it feels like unlimited potential, especially since many colors work well together for patterns.
Many Fiberon decking options are UV protected and are designed to stay cool, even with full sun. Not only that, but they are made to prevent fading caused by direct sunlight, which is even included in their innovative warranty.
Warranties range from 25 to 50-year options depending on the product and there are even lifetime warranties available for stain and fade protection. If you are looking for the best deck for full sun that will not have much, or any, shade, then Fiberon is a supreme option.
- Many styles and color options
- UV protected and stays cool
- Lifetime warranty available for stain and fade protection
- High traction grain options are also available
- More expensive than other options
- Many products cannot be painted, at least not easily
Material from Fiberon will cost somewhere between $10 and $17 per square foot, which puts them in the more expensive range. You can expect to pay somewhere between $6 and $16 thousand for a deck with labor and railings.
5. MoistureShield – Best Poolside
The best decking for around the pool is MoistureShield because their products have moisture-blocking features made to withstand water. This decking has less than .06% swelling, even if you soak it in water. The traction is also great so that there is less risk of accidents from slippery, poolside lounging.
They are so confident in their waterproofing properties that they even say that you can install the decking underneath the water. In addition, many of their decking products also utilize CoolDeck technology, which can reduce the heat on the boards by 35%. That is significant and can help save the soles of your feet when getting in and out of your swimming pool.
Not only will the planks not warp or crack, but they also protect against rot, insects, and more. The durability is as good or better than most other brands and you can get MoistureShield decking in your choice of 18 colors.
There are a couple of downsides for this decking as well, though. The main concern with these options is fading, which means that placing the decking in direct sunlight may lead to fading in a couple of years. Their Vantage line is not designed to prevent fading, but the other products do come with 30 to 50-year warranties on the stain and fading. If your main purpose is functionality around a pool, then you can’t go wrong with this brand.
- 50-year structural warranty and up to 50-year stain and fade warranty
- Moisture barrier prevents damage from water, perfect for poolside use
- Stays significantly cooler than other deck options
- Termite resistant
- May fade faster than other decking brands
- Limited color options, particularly on the higher end lines
For MoistureShield decking, you will pay around $8 to $12 per square foot, which happens to be quite reasonable. With labor and railings included, you can expect to pay in the vicinity of $9,500 to $18,000 on average.
6. DuraLife – Best Environmentally Friendly
Duralife has some fantastic options for composite decking that are durable, easy to install, and a wide variety of options. The planks are quite heavy-duty without being too heavy in terms of weight and are available in different options depending on your budget.
They have four options when deciding, including two plank types: MVP, the more affordable option, and Sierra, the sturdier product line. In addition, their Starter option will go around the deck for appearance to hide grooves. The SqEdge is similar but meant for railings and other handholds.
The planks come in four lengths and 8 colors and are meant to last longer than wood, all using 90% post-industrial and post-consumer recycled materials. This makes them one of the most sustainable companies for composite decking. All options also come with a 25-year full warranty.
- Low environmental impact because of 90% recycled materials
- Simple installation and even includes all necessary materials for most projects
- Heavy-duty durability
- Not as many styles and colors as other brands
- No extended warranty products, so the limit is 25 years
DuraLife is pretty affordable and will cost between $6 and $11 per square foot or between $7,000 and $12,000. That makes it a great option for homeowners on a budget.
7. Envision – Best Style
If a realistic-looking deck is at the top of your want list, you should definitely consider Envision. They use intricate coloring and have different product lines to choose from to find the best option for your personal project.
The decking boards are compressed using high heat and pressure and they create a natural wood grain into every one of the planks. This ensures that there are never repeated grain patterns and offers character and realism not found in other brands. It is important to note that only the higher-end options truly have a realistic look to them, while the lower-end boards look like composite.
Envision decking also resists rot, termites, and fading, even in direct sunlight. They also sell identical style and color options for railings and facings to give you a great look that you are looking for.
- Pattern doesn’t repeat and every plank has detailed coloring
- Resists insects, termites, and fading
- Great budget options are available
- Only the higher-priced options have the incredibly realistic appearance
- Fewer color options than other brands
You can expect to pay $7 to $14 per square foot for Envision decking. This will come to $7,000 for the lowest-end options and small decks to $17,000 on average.
8. Wolf Decking – Best Budget
Wolf Decking is great for homeowners who want a sturdy, stylish deck but are also on a budget. They have affordable PVC and composite decking, which means you get a high-quality deck at a reasonable price.
Their traction is also top of the line, with their Serenity products having incredible slip resistance. However, their flame-retardant qualities are lacking, so they are not recommended for those who want to BBQ and grill out on their deck.
Wolf Decking has 16 color options as well, which is fantastic considering the low cost of materials that make it a superb option for new homeowners. They also have a standard 25-year warranty for their decking products.
- Highly affordable compared with the competition
- Great traction and texture
- Color options range in virtually every tint
- Not good for fire resistance
- May scratch and fade faster than other brands
With affordability being their most beneficial aspect, you can even get Wolf Decking as low as $5 a square foot but could pay up to $12 per square foot. This gives you a total cost of $6,000 to $13,000.
What to Look for in the Best Composite Decking
To find the best composite decking for your upcoming project, you want to consider price, durability, style, and more. This buying guide should help you understand what to look for in each factor to ensure you get the best option.
Composite decking is very durable, but some brands and products are more so than others. High durability converts into long-lasting functionality. Even the cheapest boards will last 25 years, which is higher than real wood decking boards. Higher quality composites are designed to last 50 years or even up to 100 when you take care of them. PVC decking is more durable than most composites and will almost always last at least 50 years as long as you clean it regularly.
Durability also concerns other qualities of decking. Scratch resistance is one of the most important for some people because you don’t want the deck to look worn after limited, casual use. Water and fire resistance are also major concerns, especially for decks around pools or used for BBQs. There is also bug resistance that may be crucial for your deck’s durability.
Color and Appearance
If you are going to spend money on a deck, then you want a color preference that you can enjoy. Most brands have a wide variety of color options, but they can range in shade and tone. Lighter tones like white and beige may be available, as well as cherry, cedar, gray, and others.
While composite also looks more realistic than it used to, some brands or product lines may still have a gloss or plastic appearance, which you may not mind, but it is something to consider. The most realistic options do not repeat grain, have coloring and shading, and are the most expensive.
The overall cost of decking is, of course, important. The cost is typically listed in both linear feet and square feet. We used square feet in the article because most homeowners measure for the entire deck area, so for simplicity, it is better. Composite decking can be as little as $5 a square foot or as high as $40 a square foot, so the price is a major concern.
The price of a deck also includes fasteners, railings, substructure, and labor. All of this needs to be taken into account to determine how much you will pay for a certain brand. Typically, you can expect a standard deck to cost between $10,000 and $20,000, but there are many factors that influence these numbers.
Traction is a critical factor because nobody wants a slippery deck and composite is slicker than some other options. However, modern composites have built-in textures that can reduce that feature and create a safer space. Some options are much better when wet, though, which is a major consideration for many homeowners. This is especially true if you plan on being on the deck during rain or if the deck will be located near a swimming pool.
For installation, you want to consider a couple of different things. First, you want to include the installation cost, whether you are doing it yourself or hiring someone. This can add to the total cost of your deck. Second, if you are planning on installing the decking yourself, you want to make sure that the job will not be too difficult with the available resources.
Some products require special tools to cut and shape the planks, but others are very DIY-friendly. Make sure to keep this in mind when shopping for composite decking. In general, though, composite decking is pretty easy to install. Finally, keep building and local codes in mind for installation.
Composite decking is easy to maintain and many options only require regular cleaning. One of the things to consider is fading and what you can do about it. Some options allow re-finishing, but others don’t, so if that is something you may want in the future, keep it in mind before choosing a brand.
After your deck is complete, just follow manufacturer recommendations and your own common sense with maintenance to ensure a lasting color, function, and structure for your deck.
Warranties and what they cover can vary greatly between one brand and the next. The standard warranty is 25 years for residential composite decking. However, some brands offer 50-year or even lifetime warranty options.
Many brands cover different features for different amounts of time. Standard product or structural warranties will typically cover defects, splitting, rotting, and other forms of damage, including termites. Stain and fading warranties also exist that will cover certain types of stains from spills and excessive fading from the sun and general use. Make sure to double-check the warranty before paying.
What is the Best Quality Composite Decking Material?
The best decking material depends on use and purpose and personal preference. However, there are certainly some great brands available. We love TimberTech for long-lasting decking with a quality appearance, but any of the other options on this list are great for their own reasons. Good luck finding the best decking for your upcoming home project!