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Deckorators vs Trex: Which Is Better?

Deckorators has been manufacturing outdoor composite decking since 1998. Their low-maintenance, round aluminum baluster was among the first in the industry and has paved the way for innovation in deck railing accessories. Today, the company has the most number of decking goods available in the market.

Trex has been recycling plastic, reclaimed wood, and sawdust to create high-performance composite decking since 1996. The company is currently the largest manufacturer of wood-alternative decking and railing today. 

Both Deckorators and Trex produce highly durable decking for any outdoor space like a boat dock or backyard deck. The pricing of their decking lines is in the same range, which is usually what many people use to make a final decision between two companies. So if you are comparing the two companies, and not sure which to choose, this post is for you. 

Deckorators Overview

St. Louis, Missouri-based Deckorators released its award-winning mineral-based composite decking collection Vault in 2016, completely changing the game by replacing organic fibers like wood with mineral-based composite decking. 

Since then, Deckorators has released two more lines: Voyage and Frontier, both of which can be installed as traditional decking or as wall cladding like the Deckorators Vault.

What makes Deckorators decking special is the patented Eovations™ technology that extrudes the polypropylene and calcium carbonate material blend to create tiny air pockets. This process results in decking that is 35% lighter than traditional composites, while still retaining its durability, stability, and natural appearance. 

Deckorators didn’t just stop with their main decking lines. The company has been developing decking installation accessories, like their StowawayTM hidden fasteners and Starborn Pro Plugs for mounting. These accessories make it easy for do-it-yourself home builders from creating professional-looking decks. 

Trex Overview

Headquartered in Winchester, Virginia, Trex first launched its boards in 1996 and followed with a single-color board patented in 1998. Today, Trex has developed four decking lines offered in 20 colors. 

Trex is a huge player in the recycling industry. All of their composite products are made from 95% recycled materials. To create their product, Trex uses over 400 million pounds of scrap wood, plastic, and other materials from landfills every year. Trex has single handedly used more than 1.5 billion trash plastic bags to create their eco-friendly outdoor-living products.

This dedication to recycling has led to numerous awards and a lot of recognition, including the 2015 ADEX Awards for Design Excellence, and more recently, as one of Forbes’ 2021 America’s Best Mid-Sized Companies.

Deckorators vs Trex: Cost Comparison

If you’re looking for affordability, both Deckorators and Trex have lines that cater to any budget. 

Based on lineal price, the three cheapest decking lines from Deckorators are: 

  • Vista – $4.50 
  • Trailhead – $2.50
  • Tropics/Distress – $2.25

While the cheapest decking lines from Trex are: 

  • Select – $2.90
  • Enhance Natural – $2.90
  • Enhance Basics – $1.83

In general, Trex is the more economical choice. However, the price differential diminishes when you choose from higher-quality lines like Deckorators’ mineral-based composites (Voyage at $5.50, Vault at $5, and Frontier at $4.60), and Trex’s higher-end Transcend line (priced at $4.70 a lineal foot). 

Do note that in decking, you’ll get what you paid for. The cheapest lines are made of basic components like sawdust and heavy-duty glue. While these boards will serve their purpose, they are also porous (so anything you spill won’t be cleaned easily) and they will fade with time.  

Deckorators vs Trex: Warranty Comparison

Deckorators and Trex have a similar 25-year pro-rated structure warranty for their wood-based composites; the Trex warranty coverage diminishes after 10 years, Deckorators warranty coverage after 5. 

Deckorators’ mineral-based composites Voyage, Vault, and Frontier come with impressive 50-year structural, 25-year stain and fade, 25-year removal, and replacement limited warranties.

Unlike Trex though, many of Deckorators’ lines come with a labor warranty. If you’ve replaced decking before, you know this is HUGE since labor material cost is just as significant as the actual decking products. With a labor warranty protecting your deck, you won’t pay labor out of pocket if the products do fail within the warranty period.  

Deckorators vs Trex: Water absorption comparison 

In most cases, Trex and Deckorators decking can handle the rain (the materials do not absorb the water). However, if you’re building a pool deck or dock that will most likely be consistently wet, you have to consider how each decking material handles water absorption.  

Trex decking may be made mostly of plastic, but it still has wood elements that are susceptible to rotting when left wet for hours at a time. 

Deckorators win this round because their higher-end lines (Voyage, Vault, and Frontier) are mineral-based composites, which means they won’t rot when water accumulates. 

Deckorators vs Trex:  Durability comparison 

Deckorators mineral-based composite (MBC) decking products are stain- and fade-resistant, but they’re not the most durable line. Interestingly, its wood-based counterpart performs best when it comes to holding up against heavy furniture or hard-knocks. 

Trex decking thus wins the scratch-resistant category, but like Deckorators’ MBC, they only provide average durability. 

Deckorators vs Trex:  Thermal Stability

Deckorators’ mineral-based composite decking products have virtually no thermal expansion or contraction, which means you don’t have to consider weather, sun exposure, or other elements that could cause the expansion and contraction of your deck. 

Trex and Deckorators’ wood-based decking products are not so versatile. When choosing a wood-based decking, you will have to consider how much the boards will expand and provide enough space between them to sufficiently allow for expansion when the wood is heated, but do not set the boards too far apart – or a large gap may appear once the weather cools down. 

Deckorators vs Trex: Final Showdown

Both Trex’s and Deckorators’ decking products were designed for maximum workability so that even homebuilders could DIY their own decks. 

When it comes to colors and capping options, Trex offers more color options with its Transcend line than any other line. Despite that, the wood-based composite Deckorators lines appear incredibly similar to the corresponding Trex line. 

Go take a closer look at Deckorators’ mineral-based composite decking and you’ll see the nitty-gritty elements are world’s apart fromTrex’s and Deckorators’ wood-based composite decks. The Voyage line was designed with added texture for traction, while the Vault line has flat grain variegation that reminds you of traditional oak but without the maintenance of wood. 

Trex is best for Eco-friendly home builders who love the idea of using salvaged wood scraps and plastic bags from landfills and into their homes. 

Deckorators is best for people whose concern is longevity. With Decorators’ extensive warranty and its Eovations™ technology that produce weather-resistant, extremely durable mineral-based composite decking products, you will have peace of mind that your deck would stand the test of time. 

One Response

  1. Thank you, Matt. This article is extremely helpful for those of us who know nothing about decking!

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