Composite vs. synthetic decking for your Columbus deck or porch

Archadeck of Columbus explores the world of synthetic decking products, from the original composite to the newer capstock decking.

Upper Arlington Columbus OH screen porch TimberTech
Synthetics are for more than just decks. This screened porch in Upper Arlington was built using a gorgeous TimberTech floor.

The term composite is used to describe a broad spectrum of low maintenance materials. Because of the new introductions to the market, there are other low maintenance products that are actually not composite materials. Many people are familiar with composites or the idea of composites and that has become the Coca-Cola of the low maintenance materials. Because of the new and improved low maintenance materials, we now call this category synthetic decking and composites are just one of the materials in this synthetic category.

Multi_level_TimberTech_deck_with_outdoor_fireplace_Columbus_Archadeck
This TimberTech deck and outdoor fireplace by Archadeck of Columbus is the perfect spot for entertaining this spring.

Composites are a mix of materials including wood fiber and plastic.  Product lines such as the TimberTech Twin Finish, and Trex Accents are good examples of traditional  wood/plastic composites. Traditional composite has now become the value oriented decking board because of the new products that have joined the category. Wood particles are still part of the makeup of the product which makes it porous. If you spill coffee, wine, or grease on the deck you will want to clean it up quickly just as you would inside your home. Other environmental factors such as bird droppings can lead to staining if now cleaned properly. We expect that in the next 5-6 years these composite products will fall by the wayside, they will still remain available but will probably not experience any dramatic growth in the popularity of these products with the other newcomers that are making their way into the spotlight.

Azek Brownstone
This deck was built with AZEK in brownstone from their harvest color collection.

Pure PVC products came onto the scene about 5-6 years ago. Lines such as AZEK, and TimberTech’s XLM, and Fiberon are great examples of pure PVC decking materials. They consist of PVC foam and a hard PVC cap that is non-porous. They are non-porous and accordingly will not stain permanently however when they become soiled, they will need to be cleaned with soap and water. Just because it’s low maintenance doesn’t mean it’s self cleaning.  PVC comes in a host of colors and new color introductions are made onto the market almost every year, so the selection is vast. You can get solid colors such as the TimberTech Natural Collection, or the TimberTech Tropical collection which has more streaking to replicate the look of real tropical hardwoods. These PVC products are oil-based so the natural colors are the least expensive, and the tropical collection forges into the higher end of the synthetic cost spectrum.

TimberTech earthwood evolutions new colors 2012 Archadeck Columbus
TimberTech earthwood evolutions new colors 2012

The newest synthetic product came onto the scene 2-3 years ago. This is called capstock. Capstock is a third generation synthetic which is also referred to as capped PVC. This product contains a composite core which has been capped, or wrapped in PVC. TimberTech Evolutions and Trex Escapes are good examples of capstock. In the Columbus market, Fiberon is the most costly because it is not stocked locally. The TimberTech capstocks are popular in this area because they are good products and the close proximity to their national office makes them easily obtainable. TimberTech now has a capstock line called Evolutions that has a realistic look of tropical hardwoods with streaking, and color variations that mimic the real thing. TimberTech also offers a line of natural color capstock as well. The beauty of capstock is the performance and the price point. Capstock is less expensive than pure PVC and performs beautifully.

Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus
Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus

No matter which synthetic is right for your deck and your budget, Archadeck of Columbus can answer any questions you have about any of the decking products we offer. We also build wood decks as well. Whatever your function or  fancy, we can build it. Learn more about all our wonderful deck designs by contacting us today. Call for a free consultation: (740) 879 – 3730
westcolumbus@archadeck.net

See more great examples of synthetic decks by visiting our composite and PVC deck photo gallery located on our website.

Author: archadeckofcolumbus

I began my association with Archadeck in 2001 when I was working for a subcontractor that Archadeck of Columbus was employing for patio installations. I had been working in the Landscape/Hardscape industry for quite a few years at the time and immediately noticed a difference in how Archadeck operated in comparison with other deck companies that we worked with. Over the years of working with Archadeck on numerous projects, large and small, I came to realize the importance of what they were selling; beautiful designs, top-notch craftsmanship and a world class customer experience. This is what drove me to start working for Archadeck in January of 2011 and eventually buying the company in 2016. My wife, Amber, and my son, Logan, could not be happier to be a part of such a wonderful organization. We look forward to the future as we build the outdoor living environments our customers dream of with the “world class” service they deserve!

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