Not the largest composite decking company, but Deckorators is a leader in low-maintenance decking.
The single most significant reason to review Deckorators decking. They manufacture a product that removes most of the work in maintaining your deck to free you up to do the things you enjoy instead.
Like playing with the kids or grilling the best lobster tail for your partner, or simply sipping a cold one stretch out on the deck soaking up the sun.
There are so many things to do other than maintain your deck.
But Deckorators is only one of over 30 composite decking brands to choose from. Even my shorter list of best composite decking brands has 11. That is a lot of companies and brands to consider.
So, let’s get to it. How does Deckorators decking stack up?
- What to Consider When Buying Composite Decking
- Brief Introduction to Deckorators
- Deckorators Decking Options
- Wood-Based Composite Decking Profiles
- Mineral Based Composite Decking Profiles
- Features & Benefits of Deckorators Wood-Based Composites
- Features & Benefits of Deckorators Mineral-Based Composites
- Alternatives to Deckorators
- Conclusion of Reviewing Deckorators Composite Decking
What to Consider When Buying Composite Decking
When we are just talking deck, composite decking in particular, there are a few things to consider.
Four things come top of mind to me.
- Colour (Appearance)
Along with workability, especially, you will be building the deck yourself. Despite being a professional deck builder, I too value ease of installation but really see the value for a DIYer. There are enough challenges in building a deck without adding additional complications.
Ipe is one of the most durable wood deckings out there, but its workability makes it not a good choice for many homeowners and even deck contractors.
The number of colours really can make a difference if you can find a deck board that will compliment your house and you enjoy it.
Price is a large limiting factor. If your budget is small many composite deck boards will not be an option with their high price tag. And don’t forget hidden fasteners. A remarkable feature of composite decking but will increase the cost.
Durability is a large catch-all for the performance of the decking. This can include things like strength, resistance to deforming, fading or staining. Which varies a lot among composite decking. Often the easiest way to evaluate performance is warranty. The warranty will show what can be expected and how long the decking will last.
Traction demands its own category from durability. A deck board may last 100 years, but if you break a leg every time you step out on your deck, that doesn’t matter. Deck boards that grip are essential.
Brief Introduction to Deckorators
Deckorators is part of a much larger company UFPI Universal Forest Products Industries), with its headquarters in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The brand Deckorators is a result of a long journey starting in 2002 of acquiring decking and deck-related companies. In 2012 consolidated these companies under the single banner Deckorators. With a single driving goal as a company.
“To provide lifestyle-enhancing products that help homeowners personalize and accessorize a deck as an extension of the home.”
One of the most significant contributions the decking occurred in 2016 with the introduction of Deckorators Vault™ composite decking with Eovations™ technology. Changing composites forever by replacing organic fibres with minerals.
This makes reviewing Deckorator’s decking a little more complicated. The difference between their wood and mineral-based composites are drastically different. So much that they need to be treated as two separate products despite both being composite decking.
Full disclaimer to start. It is Deckorators Mineral-Based Composites that sets it apart. I will review their wood composite, but mineral is it when it comes to the best composite decking. There are still reasons to buy their wood composite or any composite for that matter which we will discuss.
But we will review their features and benefits separately.
Deckorators Decking Options
Deckorators include 5 wood and mineral composite lines plus a porch board line. Our focus will be on their decking commonly used on backyard decks, excluding the porch boards.
Wood Composite is divided into 3 lines, with 10 colours among them.
Vista (WBC) Decking
Trailhead (WBC) Decking
Tropics (WBC) Decking [Lowes Exclusive]
- Tidal Gray
- Hana Brown
Distressed (WBC) Decking [Lowes Exclusive]
Their Mineral Base Composite includes 2 lines, with 8 colour.
Voyage (MBC) Decking
Vault (MBC) Decking
There is also a Picture Frame Deck Board (MBC), but it is a specialty board, as the name suggests. It could be used for an entire deck, but that is not the point. But it does show Deckorators understanding the value of picture framing to finish decking ends. And the challenge of requiring a longer first board to mitre. Hence its distinct colour, Dark Slate and length 21’0″.
Wood-Based Composite Decking Profiles
All Deckorators wood decking is the classic 5 ½” wide profile with grooved and solid boards. A nice convenient size with the advantage of using hidden fasteners. Which improves installation and the over appearance of your deck.
Similar to Trex and many composite decking brands, Deckorators’ lower-cost composites are scalloped. Reserving the full solid profiles for their higher-end line, Vista.
Another thing to note like Trex’s Select, Vista and Trailhead are only 7/8″ thick. It may not seem much of a difference, but it limits which deck boards you can use for borders.
No mixing Tropics with Trailhead.
But these lines include the longer 20 boards, allowing you to build a larger deck without butt joints or transition borders.
|Vista Decking||Trailhead Decking||Tropics Decking||Distressed Decking|
|7/8 in. x 5-1/2 in. – 12 ft.||7/8 in. x 5-1/2 in. – 12 ft.||1″ x 5-1/2″ x 8′||1″ x 5-1/2″ x 8′|
|7/8 in. x 5-1/2 in. – 16 ft.||7/8 in. x 5-1/2 in. – 16 ft.||1″ x 5-1/2″ 12’||1″ x 5-1/2″ 12’|
|7/8 in. x 5-1/2 in. – 20 ft.||7/8 in. x 5-1/2 in. – 20 ft.||1″ x 5-1/2″ 16’||1″ x 5-1/2″ 16’|
Deckorators WBC Decking
Tropic and Distressed, which are only sold at Lowes, do not include the longer boards but do offer an 8′ length. Which can be easier to move when you are loading up your cart in Lowes but is limited for deck application. With most decks needing to be bigger than 8′ for dining, lounging or grilling on.
Mineral Based Composite Decking Profiles
Being their higher end decking you have the longer lengths for building a good size deck. With both grooved and square edge boards for your construction convenience. But they are thinner boards at only 7/8″ but with a solid profile.
An interesting note is the width of the Voyage line, including 3 /2″, 7 ¼” and 9 ¼”, giving you options in decking design. Allowing you to spice up the overall decking look with a variation of deck boards. With minimal expansion and contraction, decking layout possibilities are huge. Dream big. You can do more things with MBC than any other decking.
|Voyage Decking||Vault Decking|
|7/8 in. x 5-1/2 in. – 12 ft.||7/8 in. x 5-1/2 in. – 12 ft.|
|7/8 in. x 5-1/2 in. – 16 ft.||7/8 in. x 5-1/2 in. – 16 ft.|
|7/8 in. x 5-1/2 in. – 20 ft.||7/8 in. x 5-1/2 in. – 20 ft.|
|7/8 in. x 3-1/2 in. – 20 ft.|
|7/8 in. x 7-1/4 in. – 20 ft.|
|7/8 in. x 9-1/4 in. – 20 ft.|
Deckorators MBC Decking
Features & Benefits of Deckorators Wood-Based Composites
What does Deckorators wood composite offer for your deck?
Deckorators is not as upfront about the material blend and recycled content as Fiberon or Trex. But we are told it’s a blend of wood fibres and low-density polyethylene. A pretty common blend of composite decking.
Deckorators WBC is capped on 3 sides, similar to TimberTech’s edge series. The top and sides including in the groove, but the underside is left unwrapped.
You can not see the uncapped material on the deck, but if you have a raised deck with a patio underneath, you can see the unfinished bottom. It’s not ugly, just not finished as the cap is.
Not slipping is important on a deck, and Deckorators WBC has you covered. With a 0.5+ dry rating the bare minimum for decking traction in Canada. A little bit lower when wet, 0.46-0.48. A pretty good rating for composite decking. With many composite decking traction not even getting a 0.5 rating even when dry.
Cost of Deckorators WBC Composite Decking
Deckorators decking falls into two prices ranges. The solid boards (Vista) is priced around $4.50 a lineal foot. Your market and season will impact this price. But it gives you an idea of their scallop board cost (Trailhead, Tropics and Distress), which are all priced around $2.50 a lineal foot.
The scallop boards are competitively priced with some of the lowest-cost composite decking. An excellent decking option with little maintenance for a small price.
Vista is in the middle for cost of composite decking. Giving you many other options at the same price.
Durability and Warranty of Deckorators WBC
Like many composite deckings, Deckorators is backed by a 25-year fade, stain and structural warranty. It is prorated after 6 years slowly depreciating in the amount of money that will be paid if the decking fades beyond 5 Delta-E, stains or becomes damaged from normal wear and tear.
The expectation is that if you spill anything on Deckorators, it will be cleaned off within two days or the warranty is void.
Something relatively new with composite that Deckorators includes is a labour warranty. If you need to replace the decking within 25-years. Deckorators will pay a prorated portion of the labour cost. Which is a significant promise. It is subject to limitations but is a big extra included in the warranty.
Features & Benefits of Deckorators Mineral-Based Composites
This is the game-changer of composite, and if you have the budget should be considered.
With many advantages to consider.
Pros of Deckorators Mineral-Based composite.
- Enhanced textured embossing resulting in 34% better traction
- 35% lighter than traditional composites
- Virtually no thermal expansion or contraction
- Warrantied for installation in the ground or water
- Nothing for mould and fungi to grow on
Cons of Deckorators Mineral-Based composite.
- Harder to cut than standard composite decking
- Require more filling work
I will go through these more as we go through our review.
Deckorators Mineral-Based Composite Decking Core
Unlike most composite mineral-based composites do not include any organic fibres. No wood, bamboo or anything that can mould or rot.
Besides no rot or mould, Deckorators MBC also has one of the highest weight to strength ratio of composite decking.
Minimal expansion and contraction. Allowing for more daring decking patterns not having to account for expansion and contraction in designs. Which is a big plus compared to PVC which also doesn’t include organic material but has extreme levels of expansion and contraction.
Deckorators have minimal water absorption, less than 0.05%.This makes it safe for dock construction or decks in contact with the ground. In fact, it is warrantied for ground and water contact.
The biggest disadvantage of the mineral is the loss of workability. It still can be cut and trimmed with standard wood tools but can gunk up your saw blade a little more. The extra heat can also bur the cap, requiring more aggressive filing to clean up the edge of the decking after cutting.
Deckorators Mineral-Based Cap
Capped similar to their wood counterpart, top and sides including the groove.
Traction of Deckorators Mineral-Based Decking
Now here is where Deckorators excels, traction.
In fact, this is the first thing that often clues me into the fact that I am walking on a Deckorators deck. It grips like few others. Giving you excellent traction when out on your deck with little potential for slips and falls.
Cost of Deckorators Mineral-Based Decking
But all these advantages are not cheap. Deckorators MBC is on the higher end for cost. Expect to pay around $5-5.50 a lineal foot.
Durability and Warranty of Deckorators Mineral-Based Decking
Similar to wood with a 25-year for fading, staining and labour.
The biggest difference is the structural warranty, 50-years. Putting it up with MoistureShield and Fiberon Concordia composite with an extended warranty length.
Alternatives to Deckorators
To better understand Deckorators here are two reviews comparing it with other popular composite decking. Click the link to see the comparison.
The Trex comparison focuses more on Deckorators MBC decking. TimberTech’s article compares it to Deckorators wood-based composite.
Conclusion of Reviewing Deckorators Composite Decking
If you are looking for a well-priced composite decking, Deckorators wood-ba sed composite is a good option.
If you are looking for better traction and decking that will last a lifetime. Mineral-based is a good choice. Plus, it will not rot, mould and can be installed on the ground or in water. Now that durable decking.