- There were times when decks were made only of natural wood, such as reclaimed scrap wood, pine, and premium hardwoods, to name a few.
- But composite decking had too many pros to be overlooked, to the point of becoming even more common than wood! Are you curious what features make composite decking so special? Keep reading!
- Fiberon and Trex are among the reputable composite decking manufacturers. This article reveals which one is better.
Why composite decking?
Why would you want to install composite decking if you can have natural wood?
Here are some very valid reasons.
Check out these points to confirm that composite decking is the right choice for you:
- Composite decking materials last long and don’t disturb the environment. Many manufacturers use recycled materials and recycled plastics, so your synthetic deck is environmentally friendly.
- If you go with a composite deck, there’s an array of colors, textures, and styles of decking products to choose from. So, you don’t need to paint or stain a composite board to match your home’s exterior; you can simply buy it in the desired form.
- Composite deck boards are harder to damage by water or animals than wood decks. In addition, new sophisticated technologies used for composite decking—such as a hard plastic shell bonded to composite boards that improve durability—make it less prone to fading, staining, scratching, and mold. It’s excellent that wood decking is natural, but it also means no advanced technologies are used for its creation.
- Unlike natural wood, composite decking stands for low maintenance. Wood deck, beautiful as it is, comes with periodic staining, painting, and replacing decayed sections.
On the other hand, it’s not all roses.
According to the composite decking industry, the use of plastic materials (yes, composite material for decking products is a blend of plastic film and wood chips) also has a few cons:
- Composite materials are heavier than natural wood,
- Since it’s plastic, you can accidentally melt your deck if you expose it to excessive heat. Yet, composite decks are still less likely to heat in the sun than a deck made from pure plastic.
- High-performance composite products are costly when you buy them (yet, you will significantly reduce costs in the long run); Expect to spend 15-20 percent more for composite decks than pressure-treated wood such as pine.
- Compared to the wooden deck option, composite decks are low maintenance, but it doesn’t mean you can just leave them unattended. Instead, you need to keep on sweeping up leaves and other debris and wash them down periodically.
- It comes without saying that composites aren’t natural. But they aren’t plastic either. Composite decks imitate the earthy tones, being just a blend of wood and polymer. So if you want the full beauty and smell of a wood deck, go for the real thing!
Read pros and cons of composite material on Wood Create.
Fiberon vs Trex—comparison
Should we tackle the eternal question: Fiberon vs Trex composite decking?
Both Trex and Fiberon composite decking manufacturers make their products of recycled plastic waste combined with post-consumer and post-industrial materials such as wood fiber, wood chips, and sawdust. This combination makes a deck board durable and resistant to flexing and sagging.
Trex uses 95% recycled material in all of its decking products.
While Trex’s residential railing products are made with at least 50% recycled aluminum, commercial railing features at least 70% recycled aluminum.
Fiberon decking products are made from at least 94% recycled material.
Recycled wood comes from the same sources as Trex in a similar manufacturing process.
Fiberon also own a plastic recycling plant and recycles all their own plastic (milk jugs, bags, bottles, etc.).
All in all, if saving the planet is your main drive, Fiberon adds a bit more to the equation with their plastic recycling plant.
Durability and resistance
Trex and Fiberon have the nearly identical durability and a 25-year warranty for staining and fading.
Important: Composite material isn’t influenced by temperature fluctuation, moisture, and other natural elements, so the resistance to the elements is a given with both manufacturers.
What else do we know about Fiberon and Trex? We know that it could have been cheaper!
Both Trex and Fiberon are similar in cost, and it’s not the most affordable thing to buy for a house.
Trex is a little more expensive, being priced in the medium range in the market. Fiberon is slightly below that.
The Trex’s flagship decking line is on the high end of the price scale, with Fiberon’s flagship line laying a little lower.
Trex offers more than Fiberon when it comes to product choices.
Both Fiberon and Trex provide multiple lines of decking, a wide variety of styles and colors. Both companies also offer hidden fasteners!
Trex offers 23 color choices, and some have dreamlike, descriptive names such as Island Mist, Havana Gold, or Woodland Brown.
Have a taste of
- four different shades and hues of red, available in different grain configurations,
- 12 different brown colors (for example, Tiki Torch and Spiced Rum in the Trex Transcend Tropicals lineup), or
- gray Trex boards among which Rocky Harbor, Gravel Path, or Foggy Warf;
Also, Trex offers much more than just decking.
While Fiberon offers decking, railing, fencing, and cladding, Trex also offers railing, cladding, framing, drainage, deck furniture, fencing and lattice, cornhole boards, outdoor kitchens, outdoor lighting, pergolas, and other products in its offer.
Make a choice
There are also a couple of alternatives to Fiberon and Trex on the market. Check them out if Trex and Fiberon boards and PVC decking don’t satisfy you.
Tip: Other good options are TimberTech, Cali-Bamboo, Dura-Life, Envision Composite Lumber, CertainTeed EverNew, and Lumberock.
Both Trex and Fiberon are respected in the composite decking industry, and both contribute to the environment with their wise choice to use recycled materials. Fiberon even owns its own plastic recycling plant, recycling millions of pounds of plastic each year.
On the other hand, Fiberon features a limited product variety. Yet, Fiberon’s available array of styles and colors makes this brand a great choice. However, only Trex, with its abundance of products, from furniture, outdoor lighting, outdoor kitchens to decking, pergolas, and drainage, can help you transform your exterior areas entirely.
If you don’t need all these products but just decking lines with some railing or fencing, Fiberon is more cost-effective. Fiberon is priced slightly lower than Trex.
When it comes to durability, weather resistance, and warranties of Trex Fiberon products, both manufacturers are identical.