I have just returned from a meeting with Azek held at their deck manufacturing facility in Alabama. Azek decided to form a national Deck Advisory council and selected 13 deck builders from around the country to participate. Archadeck of Kansas City was selected as one of these builders. We toured their main manufacturing plant and learned about their quality control, research and development, and production process. In addition Azek was interested in feedback on consumer wishes and trends in the industry that deck contractors here about from the end-user. During the course of this meeting I was also lucky enough to brainstorm with some of the very best builders in the country, and to hear about what they are doing in their markets.
Azek is arguably the most successful and fastest growing deck material in the country right now. Their all plastic deck board has improved scratch, stain, and split resistance in addition to the normal rot and termite protection enjoyed by traditional composite boards. All manufactured decking companies invest in some research, development and product testing, however from what we saw Azek is among the leaders in durability testing and product r & d.
Traditional composites have long been manufactured with wood fiber and plastic ingredients. Some years ago Azek decided to undertake development of a board that eliminated the wood fiber component, and therefore improved the stain resistance, split resistance, and scratch problems that many wood fiber composite have had. Several manufacturers are offering 100% plastic boards today, however Azek is the largest and fastest growing. Although this type of decking is usually slightly higher priced than a traditional wood fiber composite it appears many consumers will think it worth the investment.