Consumers really have a difficult time getting through all of the information on the various brands, technology, and styles of low-maintenance composite decks that are available. This blog will help you the consumer make some sense out of all of this and share with you the best bets from a nationally recognized custom deck builders perspective!
Trex invented the category of composite decking over 15 years ago. The category started with a combination of reclaimed wood and low-density polyethelene that was produced as a “no maintenance” deck board. Shortly thereafter, the demand grew and so did the competition with brands like Choice Deck, Smart Deck, Timber Tech, and so on. By 2003, there were over 40 different composite manufacturers all competing for shelf space at the local levels. Like any other high growth category, there needed to be a “weeding out” of competition and let the strong survive. In addition, there were inherit problems with the technology and what the consumer wanted. The deck board while “low-maintenance” certainly was not “no-maintenance”. Most of the boards had a propensity to scratch easily, stain, and fade. A smaill company called Procell came along with no wood in their formulation at all and quickly started to make a name for themselves as they could promote even lower maintenace as the board did not scratch or stain. Most of the major players jumped into this “ultra-low maintenance” category by removing all wood from their product and mostly PVC. There are still some flaws with the value proposition as it looks a little too fake and the price was even higher than the original composite materials.
Last year (2009) Trex introduced an “ultra-low maintenance” board called Transcends that put them back in the leadership role in the industry. This product combined the value proposition of an all pvc board and the original composite through taking the original technology as the main part of the board and putting a pvc and acrylic cap stock around it to provide protection from staining, fading, and scratching. In addition, the board has an attractive wood grain with great colors that meet today’s consumers tastes. TimberTech is now introducing Earthwoods Evolutions that also is a capped product with a great color pallet. Both the Trex Transcends and the TimberTech Evolutions feature the latest technology with a strong value proposition without the exorbitant price of an all PVC board! Archadeck of Charlotte is one of the nations largest custom deck builders. We can use any of the boards available but only want to feature products that are produced by well financed companies that can back up their claims. Check out our photo galleries to see these products and many complimentary outdoor living products. http://charlotte.archadeck.com or http://archadeckofcharlotte.com