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Trex Decking vs. TimberTech/AZEK: Which Is the Right Composite Decking for You?

If you're considering going with a composite deck, you may be wondering about the differences between names like Trex, TimberTech, and AZEK - in many ways the industry standards when it comes to non-wood decks. The first thing you need to know is that AZEK and TimberTech are actually the same thing; AZEK is one of TimberTech’s product lines. 

Okay, now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s look at some base-level differences between Trex and TimberTech. 

The Differences Between Trex Decking and AZEK

Why start anywhere other than price? Anyone who has ever bought anything knows that price is part of the decision-making process. While composite decking is more expensive than traditional wood decking, there are obvious benefits. But the real comparison is between these non-wood decks. In this case, AZEK is typically quite a bit more expensive than Trex.

In some cases, the AZEK product can be twice the cost of Trex. TimberTech has other products that are less expensive, but AZEK tends to be on the pricier end of the spectrum. 

Part of the reason for the price difference is materials. This is another notable difference between each company: The AZEK line from TimberTech uses a "unique blend of polymers and recycled plastics" whereas Trex is made of a composite blend of recycled wood and plastics, with their website stating that 95% of the material is recycled.

The difference is not enormous, but it may be enough to be the deciding factor for many consumers, as this feeds into price. With Trek’s use of actual wood products, it does have a slightly more authentic "wood" look than AZEK, but neither are exact mimics. Additionally, both companies offer multiple different "grains" and design patterns. Be sure to browse your options instead of just going with a default pattern.

How Do AZEK and Trex Composite Decks Stack Up Visually?

Speaking of visuals, looks are not the absolute most important thing about a deck, but it would be foolish to suggest they’re not important. With this in mind, it’s important to know what kind of fading or staining you may be looking at over time. Good news here: You’re looking at 25+ years of a clear conscience. Trex typically offers fade and stain warranties of 25 years, while AZEK offers a 50-year fade and stain warranty. It’s borderline outrageous. The 50-year warranty is a real race against time between the owner and the deck.

The Similarities Between AZEK and Trex Composite Decking

So far we’ve focused on a few differences, but there’s one key area where these options are actually pretty similar: How much time you’ll spend maintaining them. The answer to both is "not much." While this is true of most non-wood decking, it’s hard to overstate the convenience of not having to stain, paint, or waterproof your deck. Not to mention, both options are resistant to mildew, moisture, and insects, which is why 25+ years of warranties are common in the industry. Reputable sources suggest that moisture/mold is slightly more of a concern with Trex than with AZEK, but both brands are easy to clean in the event that something pops up.

While Trex held the clear advantage on pricing, there’s an area where the opposite is true: TimberTech’s AZEK line boasts that their decking stays up to 30 degrees cooler than competitors, and that is borne out via other sources as well. While all decking will get hot in the sun, and darker colors will get hotter than lighter colors, the baseline is still true - AZEK stays a bit cooler in the heat than Trex. You’ll likely still be wearing sandals out there on a full-sun day, but cooler is still cooler.

Is There a Winner Between Trex and AZEK?

In the end, however, there’s not an easy answer to which is better. It’s impossible to simply say which brand is right for all consumers. Both Trex and TimberTech’s AZEK line of decking are among the industry leaders, and each certainly has its own pros and cons. The decision will almost certainly come down to your personal budget, style preferences, and what's most available in your area.

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