Composite Decking Material Choices

Review of Trex, TimberTech, ChoiceDek and Smart Deck Composite Decking Materials

By Mark J. Donovan

There are a number of composite decking material choices to choose from when designing your new deck. Composite decking materials are increasing in popularity due to their low maintenance, durability and longevity. Composite Decking Materials are also designed with traditional wood surface textures.

The Pros on Composite Decking Material

Composite decking materials are environmentally friendly. Composite decking materials are constructed using wood fibers and recycled plastic. In some composite decking materials the percentage of recycled plastic used in their construction approaches 50%.

Due to the fact that composite decking material still contains at least 50% wood fiber it can be stained for your specific deck color requirements. In addition, the wood fibers help to minimize slippery deck surfaces.

Composite decking material is extremely durable and requires zero maintenance. They are highly resistant to ultraviolet rays, rot and insects. Composite decking material suppliers like Trex and TimberTech offer warranties up to 25 years on their products against splitting, splintering, cracking, rot, insect damage or material defects in workmanship and materials. ChoiceDek, SmartDeck and other composite decking material suppliers offer similar warranties up to 10 to 20 years in length.  Composite decking boards being installed on this deck.

The Cons on Composite Decking Material

There are however a few disadvantages of composite decking material. Some composite decking material can have a shiny, plastic look, and the dyes imbedded in them can also fade a little over time. There have been continued advancements in these product offerings however in recent years to somewhat mitigate these issues.

Also some composite decking materials require narrower joist center spacings than the traditional 16 inch center spacing.

This can add a little to you deck construction costs. In addition, more attention needs to be paid to the clean up phase of a deck project when using composite decking as the plastic material is non biodegradable.

Availability of Composite Decking Material Product

Trex, TimberTech, ChoiceDek all produce standard stock/size composite decking material, similar to what you would find in all wood decking products. Standard 5/4 x 6” and 2”x6”stock are manufactured by all vendors. Other vendors offer 1.5”x6” stock sizes.

Composite Decking Board stock is usually offered in either plain deck board styles or in tongue and grooved styles, depending on the manufacturer.

Deck Installation Bid Sheet

Costs of Composite Decking Material

Typically Composite Decking material costs between $3-4 per square foot. Installed you could expect to pay $18-$25 per square foot.

For help on building a deck, see’s Deck Installation Bid Sheet. The Deck Installation Bid Sheet will teach your how to hire the right deck contractor, and help to ensure that your deck project is completed on time and budget.

Related Information

Additional Deck Building and Design Resources

Get Free Deck Building Price Quotes with No Obligation!

Fill out our 3-5 minute quick and easy form, and receive a free price quote on decks from one of our pre-screened and licensed deck contractors. This process is free and there is no obligation to continue once you receive your decks price estimate.