Composites getting closer to hardwood. Can you tell the difference?

Leawod KS deck TimberTechTwo industry leaders in composite decking, AZEK and TimberTech, have updated their offerings with new product lines. What can we learn about current trends in decking styles and color trends based on what they have brought to market over the last few years? First, and most importantly, both companies are making terrific progress towards creating products that do a very impressive job of emulating the look of natural hardwood, especially from afar.

Also, dark colors continue to be a large part of each company’s color palette. We saw an increase in the number selections modeled after dark woods in 2014 and the number of dark colors available is even larger this year. Rich color with dramatic streaks is often associated with exotic hardwoods like mahogany, cypress, tigerwood, pecan, and dark hickory, so they often look higher end. They rarely hide dirt and dust as well as a lighter colors, but that can vary a bit from place-to-place depending on the color of your particular dirt.

Another trend in PVC deck boards is hand-scraped finishes. This finish has been very popular for years for interior floors. It mimics the look of antique or reclaimed wood. Customers also love it because they don’t have to fret over every gouge made by the kids or every scratch from the dog’s nails.  Your flooring is already distressed, so you don’t have to be.  Having said that, these floors have superior durability and stand up impressively to scratches, stains and splits with very little maintenance from you.

When most people think about synthetic products, they often envision a cookie-cutter kind of product. One of the notable features of this new generation of PVC products is that their texture lines and color variations make each board unique. In the same way that no two natural wood boards are exactly alike, this flooring has variation that makes it look “real.” This really increases the difficulty in differentiating real from synthetic at a distance.

Both AZEK’s Vintage Collection and TimberTech’s Earthwood Evolutions Legacy will coordinate with dark, slender profile metal railings. Homeowners that want to match their flooring and their railings can coordinate, but contrasting aluminum railings are still a neutral, easy-to-see-through option.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom – Kansas City deck and porch builder

If you’re considering the addition of an outdoor fireplace – or a deck, porch, patio or other outdoor living structure – to your Kansas City area home, don’t wait. Give us a call at (913) 851-3325 for a free consultation or email us at kansascity@archadeck.net. We look forward to your call.