Welcome to my article about Trex vs Azek!
Composite lumber is a construction material made from combining wood fiber, plastic, and a binding agent.
The result is a material that’s stronger and heavier than wood alone.
The lumber can be used for a variety of purposes, and it is commonly used for decking.
When it comes to choosing composite lumber for decking purposes, your main choices will be Trex or Azek decking.
This article will look at the properties, features, pros and cons of both, so you can decide which is best for your project.
But before we dive into the detailed analysis, let’s first compare Trex and Azek side by side:
Trex vs Azek Comparison Table
Trex vs Azek Companies
Azek and Trex are more than decking products. They are the companies that make decking products. Here’s a brief history of each.
Trex: Trex is headquartered in Winchester, VA. They invented and manufactured their first composite board in 1996 establishing them as innovators in the industry.
Since releasing their premier product, they have come out with four lines and 20 colors of decking.
They are known for using recycled materials in their manufacturing.
Azek: Azek is a provider of several sustainable building products. They are well known for their Timber Tech decking line.
They launched a line of PVC decking in 2007 and further expanded in the field by acquiring the TimberTech company.
They are headquartered in Chicago and have facilities in Ohio, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania.
Trex vs Azek Decking Features
Both Azek and Trex make non wood products that simulate the look and feel of wood. The boards are durable and attractive and eliminate issues that come with using organic materials.
However, there are major differences between the two which mainly stem from the materials they are made from.
Azek is made entirely from PVC while Trex is made with a combination of recycled plastic and recycled wood chips.
The combination of plastic and the wood in Trex works well together. The plastic protects the wood while the wood reduces cost and increases strength.
It makes for an attractive product that holds up well year-round.
Azek’s PVC, on the other hand, is wood free and therefore, completely rot resistant. The lack of wood also makes it lighter weight.
Another feature that sets Azek and Trex apart is their decking caps.
Trex uses a decking cap that protects the wood on three sides. It covers the top and sides leaving the bottom uncapped.
It improves the appearance of the material, but it also raises the cost.
Azek wraps their boards completely including the top, bottom, and sides. They also wrap the groove.
This sets them apart from other companies that don’t wrap the groove as the groove is typically added after wrapping is completed.
Your deck plays a huge role in the appearance of your home’s exterior. So which brand stands out for its aesthetics?
Trex provides more options when it comes to color and texture. They offer the following lines:
- Transcend which comes in 8 colors and has a solid decking profile.
- Select which comes in 5 colors and has a solid decking profile.
- Enhance Natural which comes in 4 colors and has a scalloped decking profile.
- Enhance Basics which comes in 3 colors and has a scalloped decking profile.
Azek has the following lines available:
- Vintage Collection which comes in 5 colors and has a solid decking profile.
- Harvest Collection which comes in 3 colors and has a solid decking profile.
Azek’s all-plastic composition generally makes it the more durable option, as plastic is rot and pest resistant, and so is more likely to stand the test of time.
The natural fibres in Trex can be corroded or eaten away over time, making it less durable by comparison.
However, it sometimes depends on the line of product you are getting.
For instance, Trex has a premium grade decking that is quite durable and has a better look and feel than many Azek products.
An outdoor deck will see it’s share of barbecues and family meals. So which product will do better when little Timmy accidentally gets ketchup on the floor?
Both will do well initially acting much like a laminate floor when a spill occurs.
But if you allow the stain to sink in, Azek will be more suited to resisting the stain.
The wood fibers in Trex will absorb the stain making it difficult to remove completely.
Azek and Trex come out pretty even when it comes to scratch resistance. Most scratches will not penetrate the caps by much which is beneficial.
Azek has an advantage in that it can be repaired with a heat gun. Be careful not to burn the material when applying heat.
Trex, however, comes out ahead because its Vintage Collection has a distressed look that will not show scratches easily.
When it’s wet outside, the last thing you need is to go slipping and sliding all over your deck.
So which material offers the best traction?
Overall Trex offers more traction as the natural fibres in the material have better friction.
Azek is not too slippery when it’s dry, but can become slippery when it’s wet, so caution needs to be used if you’re going to install it around pools or in areas that get wet often.
Both Trex and Azek will be good for most decking needs. But Trex may be better for coastal environments while Trex is best for climates that see a wild variation in climate.
Azek’s plastic material means it tends to expand and contract. This makes it prone to cracking which is especially likely to happen when the climate quickly goes from cold to hot.
Trex’s wood fiber means it is absorbs moisture more easily so it could be a target for mold and mildew in damp climates.
Azek Pros and Cons
Trex Pros and Cons
Trex vs Azek: Conclusion
Overall, if you live in a climate that swings from very hot to very cold, it’s better to go with Trex. It might be the more expensive option, but will be a worthwhile investment in the long run.
The rigid nature of Azek makes it more likely to crack under such temperature swings, making it more suitable for temperate climates that get more moisture as it’s highly moisture resistant.
I hope you’ve found this article helpful in deciding whether Trex or Azek composite decking is right for you!
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About The Author: Hi There! I’m Dave. I’m a certified millworker and carpenter, and have been working in the industry for over 10 years. I created this website to pass on my knowledge so that other enthusiasts, no matter what their skill level, can enjoy the craft as much as I do. I hope you enjoy!