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New Article: Reinventing Wood
A very interesting subject of interest to all homeowners.
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Composite and PVC Decking Brands

In the beginning there was Trex. Then other companies got into the business of making composite deck boards as an alternative to treated lumber. Several are listed here, though technically, they are not all composite. There are other alternatives to treated wood including solid PVC plastic, aluminum, steel, fiberglass, and a variety of exotic hardwoods. This section covers the composites (mostly). What is composite decking? Imagine of thick soup of wood particles and molten plastic, molded or extruded into a board shape. That of course is an over simplification because each company has developed its own way of making decking boards, using different blends of materials, and different methods for forming the boards. Most composites are "capped" with a thin layer of PVC or Polyethylene that gives the board its color and texture.
All the makers of composite decking talk about the maintenance-free and durable features, so how do you choose? One way is to choose the color and texture that most appeals to you. Another big factor is availability, whether your contractor can get it delivered by Home Depot, Lowes, or are nearby lumber yard
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Trex Transcend

TREX

Trex is generally recognized as the leader in the industry, having gotten its start in 1996. Early versions of its composite board were not capped and ran into trouble with unhappy homeowners. However, it was a new idea and needed development. Now the company offers three variations of its capped composite decking with more than a dozen color choices. While composite decking is now made by several companies, each company has its own look, its own way of forming the boards, and its own mix of plastic and wood or other material. Trex has a signature deeply textured surface. It is made from 95% recycled Polyethylene and wood fiber. Headquartered in Winchester, Virginia and with production facilities also in other states, Trex now offers a broad range of products related to decks and outdoor living including, special lighting, rail systems, its own brand of fastening systems, pergolas, fencing, and even Adirondack style composite furniture.
Read more about Trex
web sites:
www.trex.com and www.decks.com
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Fiberon Decking
Fiberon Decking

Fiberon

Starting in North Carolina in 1997, Fiberon is a close competitor to Trex. Though its brand is not as well known as Trex, it has a similar range of composite decking and other products. The composite decking boards are made with a compression process and then capped with thin layer of PVC for color and texture as well as protection. The company boasts several "firsts:" including the first "multi-tonal and embossed decking," the first "hidden fastener system," and the first "fade warranty for capped composites." In addition to four "collections" of composite decking with various qualities and colors, Fiberon also offers two collections of PVC decking, which are described as "cellular foam polymer with durable cap." All of their variations and color choices have a wood grain texture and "multi-tonal" color. Fiberon also makes related products including railing, adirondack style furniture, and other accessories such as lighting.
Read More about Fiberon
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TimberTech Decking

Azek / TimberTech

TimberTech started as a composite decking company in1 1997 and in 2012 was acquired by Azek. Azek got its start in 1983 as a plastics technology company in Chicago. In 1999, Azek introduced it PVC trim, to replace wood in exterior applications. And in 2007, Azek introduced its PVC decking. The company has manufacturing facilities in several states and produces a myriad of building products for home and industry. Now Azek PVC decking and TimberTech capped composite decking are marketed under the TimberTech brand on the TimberTech web site. Like Trex and Fiberon, TimberTech offers a variety of decking profiles and colors as well as other related products.
Read more about TimberTech
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DuraLife Decking

Barrette Outdoor Living / DuraLife

In November 2021, Barrette Products is rebranding itself as the "outside company," wanting to take advantage of the national trend of people moving their living space outdoors. The building products company purchased DuraLife, and now has the decking on its main "outdoor living" web site. Made in Biddeford, Maine, DuraLife was introduced in 2010. The company has its own unique way of making composite decking with "both post-industrial and post-consumer recycled content with no toxic chemicals or preservatives. polypropylene and hardwood fiber." The pie chart on the company's web site shows it is 45% polypropylene and 55% hardwood flour. The company says its unique polypropylene cap is more slip resistant and cooler under a summer sun than competitive brands. DuraLife is available in both a solid and a more economical scalloped profile several different colors with both solid and variegated coloring.

web site:
www.barretteoutdoorliving.com
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MoistureShield Decking

MoistureShield

The home page of the MoistureShield web site features a wonderfully creative image of a woman walking a shark on a leash underwater on a deck. The company wants to emphasize that its composite decking can be "installed in the ground, on the ground, or underwater without any structural performance issues." The decking is 95% recycled content and has a 30-year track record and a 50-year warranty. Its Vision® and Vantage™ decking line have a deeply embossed wood grain texture (photo above, Vantage™ has the same appearance on both sides. The Meridian™ line has a more subtle wood texture with variegated coloring. The Vision and Meridian decking employ CoolDeck® technology to make it up to 35% cooler on a sunny summer day. While MoistureShield decking is designed for home decks, it is also focused on maritime application for docks, etc. Like most other decking companies, MoistureShield has a more economical line, Elevate™, that is scalloped, and is similar to the Meridian in appearance.

web site:
www.moistureshield.com

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Veranda Decking

Veranda

Veranda is a more economical brand made by Fiberon and sold exclusively through Home Depot. It is capped 3 sides with a wood-grain textured HDPE (high density polyethylene) and available in just two colors, gray and brown. It made only with a "square edge" as shown above and not grooved for hidden fasteners. The scalloped profile reduces the cost, but this board, nonetheless competitive in quality with other composite decking. It carries 25 year stain and fade warranty.
web site:
www.verandadeck.com

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LumbeRock Decking

Lumberock

Lumberock®, is a little hard to understand because it is made with HDPE plastic and "natural mineral fill." Unlike most others, it is not a wood-plastic composite. What is the mineral in the fill? Apparently a trade secret. In any event, the company expresses the advantage that it can "endure prolonged submersion in saltwater or fresh water" thanks to its "closed molecular formula." While Lumberock has been used for residential decking, its primary application seems to be shorefront docking, walkways, and floats. The boards are available in a broad range of solid colors including, white, green, two shades of gray and various wood stain colors. While it has a wood grain texture, it does not attempt a realistic unpainted wood with variegated coloring. It is is available in grooved edge or square edge profiles for decking with space between the boards as well as tongue and groove for applications where there is no space between the boards. It is also available in 2x8, 4x4, and 2x2 profiles. The company is based in Elgin, Illinois.

web site:
www.lumberock.com

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Envision Decking

Envision

According to the web site, Envision is "the only composite decking using compression molding," which "uses tremendous heat and pressure to physically bond the materials together — creating a decking" that is "dense, strong, and engineered to last." The boards are capped with a wood grain texture and, with a couple of exceptions, variegated coloring. Like its competitors, Envision offers several styles / price levels, each with three or four color choices. The best is the "Distinction" line with dramatic highlights. Then "inspiration" with a soft blend of variegated color. "Expression" is solid color. "Ridge Premium," the more economical line, is "fluted" (see forefront sample above) and also has a soft blend of variegated coloring. The Envision brand also includes railing, lighting, and PVC pergola. It is manufactured by Tamko Building Products, LLC in Joplin, Missouri.
web site:
www.envisionoutdoorliving.com
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Zuri Decking

Zuri

Zuri PVC decking is made by Royal Building Products based in Woodbridge, Ontario. The company started in 1970 making plastic window profiles. Since then it has gone through a number of mergers and acquisitions. Now a division of Westlake Chemical, the 2nd largest producer of PVC in North America with large manufacturing facilities in Virginia and Tennessee. Royal Building products makes a large range of vinyl siding and trim products in addition to decking. Zuni decking is described as "cellular composite (PVC)'" Zuri decking is available in 6 different realistic wood colors. It uses variegated coloring and interesting non-repetitive grain patterns for a realistic and interesting appearance. Unlike other brands, Zury achieves its realistic looking wood grain with a photographic process. It looks like real wood because it is photos of real wood. Zuri has a unique profile with a V-shape edge that is different from a typical edge groove.
Web site is:
https://www.royalbuildingsolutions.com/en/products/zuri-decking
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New TechWood Decking

NewTechWood

NewTechWood America, Inc., based in Houston, Texas distributes high-quality composite decking under the name UltraShield® Naturale™ that is manufactured by NewTechWood International based in China. Their decking is plastic-composite made with recycled hardwood and softwood fibers along with plastic, probably high density polyethylene (HDPE). It is capped all around including in the groove. The engineered board is made with high temperature mold that renders a smooth wood grain on one side and a more pronounced grain texture on the reverse side. This means that you can select your texture after your order the board. It is available in a range of 6 wood colors and both solid and "hollow" profiles as shown above. In addition to decking, the company offers a range of siding and trim made in the same way.

Web site is
https://www.newtechwood.com/product/decking
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Renew Decking

Renew Decking

Renew is the decking brand of Renew Plastics, a division of the N.E.W. Plastics Company in Luxemburg, Wisconsin. The company started making lumber alternative by recycling plastic in 1973. Each year they recycle more than 25 million lbs. of HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene). Renew decking is noticeably different form most other decking brands. It is capped all around with a 1/8" thick cap that provides the color and wood grain texture, much, much thicker than most capping, which typically almost paper thin in many brands. Renew is a full 1-/14" thick. The one-inch thick core is the company's manufacturing waste (HDPE) and a mix of mineral to provide additional stiffness in the boards, rather than a wood-plastic mix. Renew offers four colors: Californial Redwood, Coastal Driftwood, Weathered Cedar, and Beach Sand (shown above).
Renew Plastics — more info, more products.
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Deckorators Deckiing

Deckorators

The company was formed in 1998 and at first made aluminum railing for decks. In 2005 it was acquired by United Forest Products, which produced treated lumber and its own brand of composite decking. Deckorators has now grown into a well established producer of porch flooring, deck railing, outdoor lighting and other products as well as decking. Decorators offers two types of composite decking, MBC which stands for mineral-based composite, and WPC, which stands for wood-plastic composite.

It is a little mysterious as to what the mineral is that provides an alternative to wood in the company's MBC decking. However, the way it is extruded gives it a "fiber-like" structure that makes it more like wood with greater structural strength than other composites. The mineral composites are lighter in weight than wood composite decking. The MBC decking has 3 different variations: Voyage comes in 5 different wood-like colors and 4 different widths. Almost all other decking included treated wood is 5-1/2" wide. Deckorators departs from the norm, which gives contractors the ability to make more interesting decks. The other two MBC types are Vault and Frontier, which have less dramatic texture, more limited color choice and only the 5-1/2" Width.
Deckorator's wood-plastic composites are more like other brands. They are the solid Vista, scalloped Trailhead and Picture Frame.

https://www.deckorators.com/
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Fortress Decking

Fortress

Based in Texas, Fortress Building Products has been supplying the construction industry for over 50 years. The company offers two basic types of decking. Show above on the left is their Apex® line, a capped PVC available in a choice of four colors. Shown at right is their Infinity IS® line of capped composite decking, also available in four colors. It sports a unique I-Beam profile, which makes it both lighter (and therefore more economical) and strong. Both lines feature very realistic deep wood grain texture and variegated coloring.

The web site is
https://fortressbp.com/decking
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Tru North Decking

TruNorth

Based in Ontario, Canada, TruNorth, a family owned business has built a 17-acre production and warehouse facility and has been making its unique composite decking since 2016 when it set up manufacturing with rice hull composite technology and machinery purchased from companies that had started making a rice hull composite in the 1990's. The Accuspan line of decking is capped four sides with an embossed wood grain on both sides. It is offered in a selection of 6 solid and 6 variegated colors. With the texture and color on both sides, the decking is reversible. The Enviroboard line (shown here) is the same except that it has 6 half-inch channels that make it lighter weight and lower priced. Both variations can be either square-edged or grooved for a proprietary clip system. In 2018, the company purchased the Michigan-based Clubhouse PVC decking and moved production to its facility in Ontario. The Clubhouse PVC features Korelite™ technology, which the company claims makes it stronger. TruNorth Decking is available in the U.S. through CompositeDeckDirect .com, a Canadian distributor with warehousing in Ohio servicing Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Michigan with custom shipping quotes to other states.

The web site is:
https://trunorthdecking.com
Also:
https://www.clubhousedecking.com/
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Acre by Modern MIll

Acre by Modern Mill

Modern Mill in Fernwood, Mississippi produces a composite made, not with wood, but with rice hulls sourced from nearby farms. It has the look and feel of wood; it can be cut, routed, and drilled like wood. It is available in a variety of wood-like shapes and sizes. Only the deck version has an embossed surface that imitates wood grain. Acre does have a cap with color. It has only its natural wood-like color. Instead carpenters, builders, and furniture makers can paint or stain it like wood.
Read more about Acre and Modern Mill
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Duxxbak Decking

Duxxbak

Based in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Duxxbak Composite Decking has produced a product that is very different from most others. The primary product, called DuxxBak Dekk (shown above) is designed to make your deck waterproof. The deck is built with a slight slope in the direction of the boards so that water will drain off the deck, not through it. This means that the space under the deck will remain dry on a rainy day. Each board is formed to interlock with the board next to it. Instead of a wood/plastic composite, Duxxbak makes its decking with a mix of rice husks, a unique mineral compound, and non-recycled HDPE (High Density PolyPropylene). By not using recycled plastic, they have a more consistent quality control. Another feature that makes this decking unique is that it can be built "24 on center." This means it is strong enough to span joists that are 24" apart (on center). Almost all other decking specifies 16 on center construction.
The web site is
https://www.duxxbakdecking.com/
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Armadillo Decking

Armadillo

Avon Plastics of Paynesville, Minnesota was founded in 1966. They make a number of products for the home and garden. Now they also produce composite decking with a polyethylene cap on four sides. Their decking is made with post-consumer waste. The company offers three lines of Decking. The Essential line is the "good." The Lifestyle line is their "better" with variegated color and a lightly embossed wood grain texture. Lifestyle is available in 7 different colors: Campfire (shown above), Smoke, Sunset, Foothills, Walnut, Bronco, and White Sand. Recently the company added a third line called "Evolution," which has a more deeply embossed wood grain texture and a selection of 6 warm and grayish colors. Avon Plastics received the United Nations Environmental Programme Award in recognition of its recycling program. The decking is available from Home Depot and Lowes.

The web site is
https://armadillodeck.com

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Millboard Weathered Oak

Millboard

Developed and Manufactured in England, Millboard takes surface texture to a new level. Instead of inventing a way to simulate wood texture, this company went to the source: old wood. In the case of their "Weathered Oak" featured in this photo, they made molds from boards found in a 100-year-old railroad car. Each decking board is formed in this kind of mold and then hand tinted for realistic coloring. There are other surface textures, including driftwood. This decking is not a composite because it contains no organic filler. Instead, it is made with a Polyurethane, reinforced with a "mineral stone." The surface layer is Lastane, which is a mysterious material that is a little rubber-like. The boards are over an inch thick, which is another way they differ from most popular decking. Other Millboard products include siding, a slip-resistant board for docks, pathways, and furniture. The American distributor is Outlive, based in Minnesota with a showroom in St. Paul.
The web site is
https://outlive.info

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Veka Deck

Photo courtesy of Veka Deck

Veka Deck

Based in Fombal, Pennsylvania north of Pittsburgh, Veka products has been manufacturing extruded PVC profiles for residential and commercial windows and doors since 1967. Vera is a large international company with a very substantial plant in Pennsylvania. In 2000 the company introduced its product line of capped cellular PVC decking. Veka Outdoor Living Products also offers a line of PVC railing and fencing. There is only one version of Vekadeck™. It is offered in 10 different colors including light gray and white as well as warm wood colors.
The web site is
https://vekaolp.com/
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Wolf decking

Wolf Decking

Photo courtesy of Wolf Home Products

Wolf started out in rural Pennsylvania in 1843 as a dry goods store and lumber supplier. In 1955, it operated as a distributor serving lumber yards in 6 states. Today Wolf offers a wide range of building products from kitchen cabinets to decking. It is not clear which products Wolf manufactures and which it distributes for other manufacturers.
Wolf decking is certified 94% recycled wood fiber and Polyethylene. Wolf offers two versions of its decking. Shown above is Wolf Perspective in Acacia color (left) and Wolf Serenity in Amberwood color (right). Each version is available in 4 different colors.
The web site is
https://www.wolfhomeproducts.com/deckingandporch
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Admiral SpaceMaker decking

Admiral SpaceMaker Decking

Photo courtesy of Admiral SpaceMaker

Based in Baldwin, New York, Admiral was established in 2010. Their mission was to make a decking board that sheds rain. With SpaceMaker Decking on regular joists, the area under the deck will stay dry. This is a great value for homes with a raised or second story deck. The space under the deck can be additional outdoor living space or can be used for storage. The deck board is a cellular PVC with an ASA cap top and bottom. The specially design tongue and groove are sealed with vulcanized silicone seal. The Admiral web site tosses out the term ASA as if we know what that is. A check with Wikipedia reveals that it is a very sturdy polymer called Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate, similar to polycarbonate.
The web site is:
https://admiral-spacemaker.com/
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Note: The photos on this page (except where noted) are by Phil Dickinson and are covered by standard copyright law. Any use should at least acknowledge the source.
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