Azek Decking vs Trex: Which is Best for You?

Decide whether Azek or Trex is the best choice for your specific project, with this summary and comparison of these two industry leading materials.

Alternative building materials have increased in popularity over recent years, especially in high traffic, high visibility applications such as decks and balconies. To help you compare two of the top industry-leading materials, we’ve prepared a summary and comparison of Azek (now known as TimberTech Azek) decking vs Trex decking.

Composition

Trex is a true composite material, comprised of recycled wood (in the form of wood chips and pressed sawdust) and recycled plastic. Azek, on the other hand, is made up, almost entirely, of PVC. Trex’s blend helps it have a more natural wood appearance, although neither has mastered the mimicry of natural wood to the extent that it would be mistaken for the real thing.

Why we chose composite decking for this rebuilt deck.

Cost: Is Azek More Expensive Than Trex?

There’s no getting around this one—Trex and Azek decking is significantly more expensive than traditional wood decking. Price out Azek decking vs Trex for an identical project, and you’ll quickly find Trex is the cheaper option, with Azek coming in at 2 to 3 times the cost, per linear board foot, of Trex.

Curious about wood decking options? Check out this guide.

Azek and Trex Deck Care

This is where both materials shine! Trex and Azek require far less maintenance than a traditional wood structure. From resistance to moisture and mildew to the elimination of the regular painting or staining cycle, these materials require far less care than wood. That said, the lifespan of decks made from Trex and Azek will increase if you clean them and do your best to avoid excessive scratches and dings.

How to clean Trex decking.

Azek and Trex Deck Complications

Every material has its downsides, and Trex and Azek are no exception. Azek, because it is fully PVC, expands and contracts more than Trex, making it more prone to cracking, especially in areas where there is a dramatic swing from cold to extremely hot temperatures. For its part, Trex tends to collect mildew and dirt a little more than Azek , and the same wood fibers that help give it a natural look can make it more susceptible to moisture.

These two factors mean that Azek is often a better choice for coastal or wet environments, while Trex excels in areas with prominent seasonal swings.

Here is a deeper dive into how to choose composite decking.

Which is Better Azek or Trex?

So which product is right for you? Ultimately, it comes down to your region’s climate. Trex does have the edge when it comes to budget, but depending on your home’s exposure to moisture, the higher cost of Azek may be cheaper in the long run. Either way, both products are robust and come in a range of colors and styles. So, take a little time to make the right choice, and then get started on that dream deck.

10 outdoor projects you can build with composite decking boards.

Plus, learn how to install hidden deck fasteners in the video below.

With over a decade spent on residential and commercial construction job sites, Dan Stout has the hands-on experience to speak to builders, contractors, and homeowners with the voice of authority. Much of his work centers on demystifying the building industry by simplifying construction jargon for homeowners and laying out best business practices for contractors. Dan's non-fiction has appeared on numerous blogs and vendor websites, while his prize-winning fiction has been featured in publications such as Nature and The Saturday Evening Post. His debut novel Titanshade is scheduled for a 2019 release from DAW Books.