Trex® Compositae Deck Boards vs. Wood

The Hassle-Free Alternative To timber Decking

When you examine all the benefits that Trex® composite decking has to offer, a timber deck begins to feel like signing up for a second job. Unlike timber decks with all their maintenance requirements, Trex composite decking has superior durability, aesthetics, and requires very little maintenance. Factor in material consistency, long-lasting performance, and low-cost options on par with traditional timber, and composite decking has never been more appealing. Let’s review why Trex composites leave timber in the dust.

The hassles that come with timber

Redtimber, Pressure-Treated Lumber and Cedar

Needs seasonal painting, staining or sealing

Becomes a safety hazard when it rots, splits and splinters

Fades and stains easily, showing every spill and scuff

Insects can cause extensive structural damage

Contributes to deforestation, cutting down trees that local wildlife depend on for food and shelter

Does timber or Composite Last Longer?

Most timber decks are built from pressure-treated pine, cedar, redtimber or from a few exotic species such as ipe. Depending on the timber chosen, a well-cared-for timber deck can last about 20 years. But many timber decks don’t make it that long because they require extensive upkeep to maintain and protect and those maintenance hassles become more than some homeowners can bear. If left untreated and uncared for, timber loses its lustre, absorbs water, warps, rots and splinters. Therefore, to extend the life of the deck, homeowners must regularly apply stains, sealers or paint to protect it against the elements, requiring significant time and money.


In contrast, Trex composite decking is ready when you are. You never need to worry about sanding, staining or painting. Just an occasional soap-and-water cleaning is all that’s needed to maintain superior stability and beauty for decades. Trex’s high-performance, weather-resistant shell resists fading, staining and damage from sun, rain and insects. And not just for the first year, but for 25 or more.

Cost of Trex Decking vs. Wood

The initial investment to build a new deck depends on the size of the deck and its configuration, cost of materials and installation costs. Labour is typically a third of the total cost of the entire project. To receive a quote from a builder in your area, try our Find a Builder tool on

Since deck installation and labour costs vary from region to region, let’s compare the price of materials. Normally, a pressure-treated pine deck is your cheapest option, with material costs between $44 to $50 per square metre. Cedar, redwood or other exotic hardwoods cost more. With the cost of composite deck boards ranging from about $215 to $265 a square metre*, composites will run higher than pressure-treated lumber but less expensive than the higher-priced wood options. Keep in mind material costs increase with the addition of railings, lighting, benches and other deck features. Use our composite decking Cost Calculator for an estimated materials cost of your deck.

But don’t overlook the long-term costs. While the initial investment for a pressure-treated wood deck is less than that of a composite deck, a Trex deck saves you money in the long run because it lasts longer and requires less maintenance. Maintaining a wood deck with regular sanding, staining and sealing adds significantly to the overall cost.

For example, material for a 3m x 4m deck made of pressure-treated lumber costs about $2,100. When you add maintenance costs for painting, staining and sealing over 25 years, the long-term cost rises to about $12,000.

Conversely, a 3m x 4m deck made of Trex Transcend®  has a long-term cost of only about $3,500. Because Trex composite decking never needs sanding, staining or sealing and only requires a simple soap and water cleanup, Trex will look vibrant for decades and perform in year 25 as well as it did when it was installed. Compare costs between wood and the three Trex composite decking collection with the Trex comparison tool and see for yourself how much less Trex costs than wood over the life of a deck.

Appearance of Composite Decking vs. timber

Featuring high-definition timber grain patterns and rich, saturated colours, Trex composite decking looks and feels more natural than ever before. Colour options range from deep earth tones to trendy neutrals, including tropically inspired boards that feature distinct the streaked look of hardtimbers in designs that would fool even Mother Nature.


Timber decking that’s not regularly maintained loses it warm, earthy tones and turns a dull grey from years of exposure to the elements.


You don’t have to settle for the typical rectangular deck with Trex, either. Trex composite boards are well suited for speciality designs such as curves and inlays. Trex offers a wide variety of railing options capable of being custom curved, as well. To plan a curved railing, visit our Trex Signature® Curved Railing page for assistance in designing your deck and in ordering materials.


Eco-Friendly Decking

Building with timber contributes directly to deforestation, wiping out trees that local wildlife depend on for food and shelter. Alternately, composite decking provides the look and feel of real timber, but without the environmental impact.


The entire Trex decking portfolio is sustainably manufactured from 95% recycled content, including reclaimed industrial timber scraps and plastic film from common items such as mailer bags, shopping bags, newspaper sleeves and shrink wrap. In fact, Trex keeps more than 1 billion pounds of plastic and timber scrap out of landfills each year and has never cut down a tree in the making of its products. Trex pioneered eco-friendly composite decking in the early 1990s and continues to innovate in performance and aesthetics.


Consider all of the undeniable advantages that composite decking offers, the question really is why would anyone build a deck with timber anymore?

Order a Sample

Order a sample and see for yourself how our durable, beautiful, low-maintenance boards leave wood decking in the dust.


Unable to Add to Cart

You may order up to 4 free samples. To adjust your selections, remove what you do not need and then add your new choices.