An Introduction to TimberTech Composite Deck Boards
Are you considering building the perfect back porch or deck? Maybe you want to replace the existing decking? Timber Tech composite decking will reduce your maintenance efforts, allowing more time for what matters most.
Building a deck with traditional lumber may be tempting to save time and money, but a wooden deck can quickly become an eyesore. You can expect a deck replacement within 10 to 15 years when using cheap timbers, even when diligently maintained. You will also need to treat and regularly stain natural wood to fight mold and decay.
However, there’s an easier way to preserve your backyard heaven without spending an entire weekend on deck repair or deck replacement under the blistering sun. The secret is Timber Tech decking boards. They are a hybrid of natural and synthetic materials built to withstand the harshest elements.
This article will explain the pros and cons of composite deck boards featuring one of the leading composite decking manufacturers, TimberTech! Let’s see how composite decking stacks up again wood!
Composite Decking vs. Wood Materials
Composite decking consists of a blend of plastic and wood fibers. Modern premium options include a protective capped polymer layer that coats the board core, locking out moisture.
The plastic materials in the boards often come from post-consumer products such as recycled shampoo bottles and discarded waste products that are chopped up and blended with sawdust. The synthetic blend in composite decking is resistant to splinters, warping, and mildew growth, and they typically don’t have to be treated or repaired each year.
Some homeowners may be hesitant about the increased cost of composite decking, as the upfront cost is more than a traditional wooden deck. Deckbuilding costs will vary depending on location, size of the deck, and type of wood used. But in general, composite decking boards can cost roughly 15 to 20 percent more than pressure-treated pine.
However, the overall price of composite decking is lower than a wooden deck in the long run. Composite decking is expected to last twice as long as lumber, avoiding repairs and restoration each year.
According to estimates from TimberTech decking, the best composite decking requires less than a third of the cost to maintain compared to a wooden deck after installation.
Composite decking is taking off in popularity. One study reported more than half of the decks in the Northeast are now made with synthetic materials.
The History of TimberTech
While TimberTech wasn’t the first to put composite decking material on the market, the company has been a leader in sustainable outdoor living innovation for more than 20 years.
TimberTech initially launched in 1997 and presented its series of capped composite deck boards in 2008. The technology caught the attention of AZEK, a leading PVC manufacturer. PVC is a synthetic plastic polymer substance widely used in construction, electronics, and household products.
TimberTech was a natural addition to the AZEK brand, and the company acquired TimberTech in 2012. Becoming part of a leading brand of synthetic material has enhanced TimberTech’s ability to stay at the forefront of technology. AZEK now owns more than 100 patents for sustainable outdoor living and building products.
AZEK’s business model centers around environmentally-friendly products, and the company claims to have saved three million trees since 2001. They use 100% recycled plastic for their Pro and Edge composite boards.
TimberTech’s Most Popular Products
TimberTech has three main product lines, each with prominent features, warranties, and price points.
TimberTech Edge is the most budget-friendly option that features traditional composite decking with a 3-sided synthetic cap that provides surface protection from moisture. This deck material comes with a 25-year warranty geared towards consumers looking for an upgrade from a traditional wood deck.
TimberTech Pro is one step up from the entry-level offering. The “Pro” line provides a 4-sided capped composite material. Secondly, it has enhanced protection from the elements with mold guard technology. It’s also warranted to last longer than the basic TimberTech Edge model, guaranteed against fading and staining for 30 years.
TimberTech AZEC is the company’s premium product. TimberTech AZEK is capped polymer deck boards that look like wood yet are 100% plastic. It comes with a 50-year warranty and has a low risk of premature degradation since it doesn’t contain wood products.
Did you know that TimberTech offers a cable railing system? Their Radiancerail system is one of the most popular systems! TimberTech may be the only company needed for all of your deck-over needs!
Choosing the right color tones for composite decking is more important than some realize. Not only does color selection completely alter the overall appearance of a yard, but color can also be a significant factor in maintenance and comfort.
The darker the deck’s color, the hotter it will get and the higher the chances of fading from a constant blast of UV rays. People who live in sweltering climates should consider lighter color tones for more cooling comfort. TimberTech’s AZEK Coastline and TimberTech PRO Whitewash Cedar colors have realistic wire-brushed or hand-scraped finishes that make the panels look like natural wood.
However, darker neutral tones can be ideal for disguising heavy foot traffic and minimizing the amount of time you will spend making sure the space looks clean. The TimberTech AZEK Dark Hickory has a low-gloss finish for a realistic wood appearance.
Suppose you’re looking for a tone that mimics the appearance of a natural wood deck. In that case, The TimberTech PRO Pecan and Tigerwood are neutral tan shades that are crowd favorites for their ability to blend in nicely with surrounding trees and environments.
Drawbacks of Composite Lumber
Most are surprised to hear that composite decking isn’t entirely maintenance-free. Maintenance requirements will require regular sweepings and scrub downs to keep the composite decking looking spotless.
If you have a pet who spends a lot of time outside, nail friction against the synthetic surfaces can also cause permanent scratches and damage to the finish.
The sun can heat the plastic materials faster than wood in many cases, leading to a risk of roasted bare feet. Additionally, synthetic materials can react to swings in temperature in specific environments, causing shrinking, warping, and sagging. Lastly, moisture can get into the natural wood elements when composite decking is not entirely capped, resulting in mold and decay.
Building a deck made of composite is also a little more complicated than a traditional deck. Wood is more rigid than composite. If the floor joists are spaced too far apart, the decking could begin to sag. When using composite floor decking, we recommend the spacing of the joists be 12″ on-center, which costs more to construct as more materials are needed to make the substructure.
Should You Choose Composite Decking?
The answer will vary depending on your needs and how you ultimately want to spend your time and coin.
If you only plan to live in the home for a few years, composite decking may not be worth the higher initial upfront cost.
However, if you have found a forever home and want to spend more time relaxing and lounging on the deck than maintaining and keeping it in order, a composite decking system may be ideal.