Building a home deck is easy but maintaining one is not easy. That’s why people have started choosing composite decking and PVC deck boards over wooden decks for durability.
Well-known manufacturers like Azek and Trex have established a good reputation for offering the best quality composite and PVC boards.
But which brand is better? What are their pros and cons? Do they offer value-for-money decking products?
We have compared them on different parameters to help you better understand which brand is the best.
What is Trex Decking?
Trex decks are made from 95% recycled materials like ground-up plastic, reclaimed wood, and sawdust. The decks are designed in a way that they look and feel like real wood.
The natural look and feel of Trex decks are quite popular because it eliminates the hassle of sealing, staining, and painting. But pressure-treated ipe, wood, cedar, or even redwood requires extensive upkeep.
That’s why Trex decking is the best because while they have the beauty of wood, they don’t need expensive maintenance. They are eco-friendly and offer the best performance. They can withstand harsh UV rays and snow.
If you notice, Trex deck boards have certain imperfections, making them look as real as natural wood. In addition, the deck boards have extra colors, which enhances their natural appearance.
You can purchase Trex decking in three different varieties, i.e., Trex Transcend Composite, Trex Enhance, and Trex Select. The first option is considered premium, while the other two options are high-performance composite decking models.
- Low Maintenance: Sanding, painting, or staining is not required with Trex decking. You can easily maintain the deck boards with simply water and soap cleaning.
- Sustainable: Trex decks are much more sustainable because they are made from 95% recycled materials, like wood chips and sawdust.
- Long-lasting: The high-quality material used for manufacturing Trex decks makes them last longer. The deck does not easily rot, splinter, or crack.
- Combustible: As Trex deck boards are made from 95% recycled wood, they are combustible.
- Cannot be Pressure-washed: It’s not possible to pressure-wash Trex decks because the decking surface can get damaged. It might also void the warranty. You must only use a damp mop and regular sweeping to clean the deck.
- Removing Snow or Ice can be Difficult: Removing ice or snow from the Trex decks can be difficult.
What is Azek Decking?
Azek decking is also made from a plastic material called cellular PVC. This deck does not contain wood fibers, so it doesn’t absorb moisture or rot. That means it’s an excellent desk option for areas with high moisture and rain.
The composite core of the Azek deck is sturdy, which allows it to repel insects, dents, and scratches. In addition, this deck contains UV protection which keeps it safe under the harsh sun.
Azek decks are designed with natural wood grain and multi-color surfaces for a natural hardwood look. They are much more durable than any other composite decking. The decks are backed by a 50-year Limited Fade & Stain Warranty.
What’s more? Well, you have multiple options, from browns to grays and natural hardwoods like mahogany. You can even select from a variety of shapes, including wide-width, narrow, and standard boards, to create a sophisticated look.
- Resistant to Mold and Mildew: As Azek deck boards are made of PVC, they are resistant to mold and mildew. They are virtually waterproof, which decreases the chances of fungal growth.
- Low Insect Infestation: Insect infestation is less with Azek decking because insects don’t like PVC material.
- Handle Extreme Weather Conditions: The premium-quality material of the Azek deck makes it stand strong against extreme weather conditions.
- VOC Content: As Azek decks are made of plastic and chemicals, they have the potential to off-gas under extreme heat.
- Hazard Substance: The PVC of Azek decks falls under the OSHA Hazard Standards. So, cutting, grinding, or swinging the deck boards might irritate the eyes.
- Absorbs Heat Faster: The PVC material of Azek deck boards makes them heat up faster.
Azek Vs. Trex Comparison
As you know what Trex and Azek decks are, let’s understand how they are different:
If eco-friendliness is your priority, you must go for Trex decks. Why? Because these decks are made from 95% recycled materials like ground-up plastic, reclaimed wood, and sawdust.
In fact, Trex claims to be one of the few supply chains focusing on producing eco-friendly and sustainable products.
#2 Cost Comparison
If you compare the price of traditional hardwoods with PVC-made deck boards, you will find the latter much more affordable. But among the two brands, which one is cheaper?
Hands down, Trex decks are much cheaper. Azek decks are two to three times more costly. Besides the deck cost, the cost of installing, fastener, framing, and railing are the same for both brands.
Durability is a major determining factor because it indicates how long the decks will stay in good shape. Both brands have their strength and weakness in durability. Here’s how they differ:
- Material: Both brands use durable materials, but the quality of Azek is better. This company uses pure cellular PVC material, which reduces the chances of absorbing moisture or rotting. The premium cellular PVC material is also less prone to insect infestation.
- Scratches: Trex and Azek have a good resistance level against scratches because they apply a PVC layer called polymer coating. This layer protects from stains, heat, scratches, and moisture.
- Heat and Fading: Most decks are prone to heat and fading, but Azek and Trex offer protection against these two issues. As Azek decks are made of PVC, they are less likely to fade under extreme sun. Likewise, Trex decks have composite lumbers, which stops the decks from losing their color.
- Moisture: Besides heat, moisture can also make the deck warp and shrink. But if you are using Azek or Trex decks, you can rest assured because these come with moisture-repelling technology. That means the deck of both brands can prevent moisture and stay in shape for a long time.
- Stain: You will be glad to know that Trex and Azek decks are stain resistant and easy to clean. Thanks to the protective shell technology, stains can be removed with simple water and soap solution.
#4 Slip Resistant
Trex and Azek claim their decks to be the safest and slip resistant. But if you compare them, you will like Trex the most because its wood grain surface is better than Azek.
The pure PVC quality of Azek deck boards increases the chances of slippage to some extent. That’s why people living in high precipitation areas must use Trex decks.
#5 Warranty Comparison
Deck boards from Azek and Trex have different warranties and different sets of conditions:
- Heat and Fading Warranty: You can claim a heat and fading warranty only when your deck’s color fades to a certain level of shade. It’s helpful if the boards have faded to 5 Delta E level.
- Mold Growth Warranty: Trex and Azek will honor the mold growth warranty. But the deck of both companies is mildew resistant. They are easy to remove and can be easily cleaned.
#6 Better Long-Term Value
Among Azek and Trex, the former is known to last longer and look better because of its plastic core. The cellular PVC material of Azek makes it immune to long-term issues. The higher price of Azek decks is worth it because it damages less and stay nicer longer.
Both Azek and Trex decks need less maintenance. You don’t need to sand or stain them regularly. These deck boards only need basic cleaning, which can be easily done using warm water, soap, and a soft sponge.
Regular soap and water cleaning can remove mold growth from the deck. It is also required under a regular warranty.
It’s not easy to pick one option between Azek and Trex because both have certain benefits and disadvantages. As Azek products have a reputation for being strong and resistant to fading, they are costly. In contrast, Trex decks are environmentally friendly.
So, before you choose between these two, you should consider your budget, the average weather of the geographical area, and the duration of sun exposure.
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