As competition between manufacturers of composite decking increases, and as the category itself grows and claims a larger share of the market, composites manufacturers are adding to their product lines with new coordinating accessories such as post caps and skirts and deck railings.
Manufacturers continue to expand their color offerings, as well, with a wider range of natural and dark tones -- some of which weather to lighter colors and others that retain their original depth of hue. Trex composite decking, Correct Building Products' CorrectDeck, Kadant Composites' GeoDeck, LP's WeatherBest Premium, and TimberTech composite decking are all available in dark colors that exhibit minimal weathering and fading.
Most manufacturers that offer deeper shades say that although the change in color or vibrancy is generally slight, weathering will occur. "All products weather to some extent when they're exposed to the elements," says John Pruett, marketing manager for CertainTeed Boardwalk composite decking.
Composite decking holds nearly 10% of the $3-billion decking market. Composites are the fastest-growing decking segment, too, according to Paul Bizzarri, marketing manager for TimberTech composite decking, who estimates yearly growth of 15% to 25%. The completed phase-out of CCA-treated lumber by December 2003 may help spur the growth of the composites market even further.
Elk Premium Building Products. Elk CrossTimbers composite decking is made of oak fibers and polypropylene and will resist insects, rotting, splintering, and warping. Covered by a 20-year limited warranty, CrossTimbers is available in five colors and four deck profiles. The boards are installed with a concealed-fastener system that eliminates exposed screws. (913) 599-5300. www.elkcorp.com.
Woodway Products. The maker's preassembled Architectural Deckrail is now available in solid mahogany, in addition to Western red cedar. The mahogany rails offer low porosity and a tight grain, and they can be stained or left unfinished. (503) 286-5372. www.woodwayproducts.com.
Green Tree Composites. Monarch Decking is made of 100% recycled wood and plastic and features a slip-resistant wood-grain pattern. The decking resists termites, mold, and mildew and will not split, crack, warp, rot, or cup, says the maker. The material does not need to be sealed, sanded, painted, or weatherproofed, and it is available in Cedar, Driftwood, and Redwood. (800) 482-5717. www.monarchdeck.com.
Trex Co. Trex composite deck railings are now available with a chamfered handrail option that features a flat top with beveled edges. Two new decorative post caps are also available. The decking and railings are available in Madeira, Natural, Winchester Grey, Woodland Brown, and the new Saddle. The material does not need staining or sealing. (800) 289-8739. www.trex.com.
Epoch Composite Products. Evergrain composite decking features a deep wood grain and is made of plastics and wood fibers. The decking exceeds ADA slip-resistance recommendations, says the maker. The material does not need painting, staining, or sealing and is available in five colors: Cedar, Redwood, Driftwood, Grey, and Cape Cod Grey. (800) 405-0546. www.epochwood.com.
Pioneer Millworks. Milled from salvaged Australian jarrah wood, Walkabout Decking is naturally rot- and insect-resistant, says the maker. The densely grained hardwood's coloring varies from dark brown to deep purple. (800) 951-9663. www.pioneermillworks.com.
Royal Crown. Deck Lok vinyl decking and railings are water-, slip-, and fade-resistant and will not chip, flake, or rust, says the maker. The deck planks have a variegated surface and are placed with a concealed-fastener system. (800) 365-3625. www.royalcrownltd.com.
Correct Building Products. RapidRail wood-composite, millwork-styled deck rails coordinate with the maker's CorrectDeck decking system but can be used with any deck system, says the maker. RapidRail's components comprise a molded handrail, newel posts and tops, balusters, premortised top and bottom rails, hardware, newel post mounts, and skirts. Available in four colors -- Cedar, Coastal Grey, Acadia, and Mahogany -- the railings are fade-resistant. (888) 290-1235. www.correctdeck.com.
Kadant Composites. GeoDeck composite decking and railings feature a brushed, nonslip, grain finish and are available in three profiles and three fade-resistant colors. The decking's fastening system eliminates exposed screws. The hollow-profile boards are up to 30% lighter than wood or solid composites, says the maker. (877) 804-0137. www.geodeck.com.
CertainTeed. Boardwalk composite decking, made from PVC and recycled natural fibers, is now available in tan. It installs like wood, features a Class 1 fire rating, and won't rot, crack, or split, says the maker. Boardwalk comes in 5/4x6 and 2x6 planks and weathers from a medium-tone color to a shade similar to weathered cedar. (800) 233-8990. www.certainteed.com/bw.