When choosing between Envision and TimberTech composite decking, there are several things to consider. Things like appearance, durability, traction, and warranty of the decking.
TimberTech and Envision each have 17 different decking boards. A slight variation in warranty coverage but similar lengths. The most significant difference is the core and cap of the decking. Envision decking is formed through compression, while TimberTech is extruded capped with distinctly different-looking caps.
That a lot to say in one paragraph. It would be good to develop and work out the details between the two a little better.
Saying TimberTech and Envision have the same number of colours isn’t very helpful in choosing between the two. But how the boards are finished is.
That is just one of many ways that a fuller discussion would be more helpful when picking between the two.
Before discussing decking, let’s talk companies.
TimberTech vs Envision as Companies.
As a deck contractor, I often find that knowing the salesperson or the carpenter makes a big difference in how I view their work or what they say. The same can be said about decking and decking companies.
So, let’s start with a brief introduction to each company before talking about their decking.
A Brief Introduction to Envision
Envision was not started as a composite decking company but grew out of Tamko Building Products, a roofing product manufacturing company.
Here are a few key milestones of Envision history.
- 1999 started by EPOCH Composite Products, a subsidiary of Tamko Building products. With a simple vision to make composite decking differently. Which we will discuss more when comparing material. EverGreen being their first decking offering which is the base of all their decking lines.
- 2011, Introduce Envision line, premium capped composite decking. This has further developed into four decking lines. These are their high-end decking with as they describe as “high-end, luxury decking featuring unmatched beauty with dramatic colour and bold highlights in each deck board.” This says a lot, and I will develop more when discussing their cap.
- 2019 the company became Envision Building Products LLC.
A Brief Introduction to TimberTech
TimberTech was started in 1997 manufacturing composite decking. Like all composite decking manufacturer, started with an un-capped board. But now, only sell capped composite decking with its enhanced beauty and protection.
TimberTech grew to become a leader in the composite decking industry. Currently, TimberTech has two manufacturing facilities, one in Wilmington, OH, and the other in Scranton, PA.
In 2012 they were acquired by Azek. The world’s third-largest manufacturer of PVC products based out of Chicago with a focus on low maintenance exterior building products. Azek, already having its own line of PVC decking at the time of the acquisition, merged the two decking companies together.
“Our brand exists to challenge convention. To rage against mediocrity. We believe “Good Enough” is never enough. We are TimberTech.”
Despite merging the two decking companies, they have kept their decking separate by offering different series. All the PVC boards are sold as TimberTech Azek. Simultaneously, the composite decking made with wood fibres is sold separately as TimberTech Pro and Edge series. Within these two series including 5 different collections, each with its own distinct advantages.
At the same time TimberTech Azek continues to manufacture PVC decking. Sold in two collections, Vintage® and Harvest®.
Now we know them a little better and their story and where they came from, let’s compare what you will be installing on your deck, decking.
TimberTech vs Envision – Decking Differences
Here we will be comparing the TimberTech Pro and Edges series. Azek’s PVC lines are an entirely different material, composer and performance. Sticking to an apples-to-apples comparison. Composite vs composite.
TimberTech composite is made from an 80% blend of recycled plastic and wood fibres plus new material. The plastic helps to protect the wood fibres minimizing maintenance requirements. At the same time, the wood fibres reduce cost while increasing strength. Creating a beautiful, long-lasting decking requiring minimal upkeep.
Envision, not so much. Still using recycled material but are not as bold in sharing. It may be a lot. It may be a little. Your guess is as good as mine about percentage.
Envision manufactures its decking differently than almost all other composite companies, including TimberTech.
TimberTech forms its composite decking by extrusion. The material is mixed and pushed through a mould forming the decking planks. Similar to how sausages are made but with a lot more chemistry and science involved.
Envision decking is unique in its Compress Technology™. The decking material is not push through a form but compressed into deck planks. Back to our cooking analogy, they form their decking like hamburger patties, not sausages. The idea is to create denser boards by squeezing out the air and compressing the material.
Roughly starting with the same material but formed very differently.
TimberTech caps its boards with high-density polyethylene (HDPE). A more durable material than the low-density polymer of the core and without organic material make the decking more resistant to water and the sun.
Improving the decking both in appearance and performance.
When it comes to the cap coverage, there are some variations.
- TimberTech Pro series is fully capped all 4 sides.
- TimberTech Edge is only capped 3 sides.
TimberTech Pro series also includes Mold Guard® Technology increasing the level of protection combined with the full coverage.
Cap distinguishes Envision from TimberTech even more.
TimberTech uses their cap to help protect their decking. Earlier generations, like many other companies, had some flaws, especially regarding moisture. The cap was added to remedy this. The cap protecting the core of the decking from rain and minimizing damage from wear. The added beauty was a plus.
It seems that Envision added a cap for aesthetic reasons more than protection. Yes, the decking’s durability is increased with the cap material, but they focus more on how the cap looks than protects.
The fact is that Envision still sells an un-capped board, EverGreen. Where TimberTech has discontinued all their un-capped lines due to performance issues.
Let’s take a look at the options created by this beautiful cap doing more than just protecting.
TimberTech vs Envision – Decking Options
The capping finishes also changes the feel of the decking. Along with the blending of colours impacting the look of the decking. From solid colours mimicking painted decking to imitating exotic wood decking.
|TimberTech Decking Line||Number of Colours||Decking Profile||Capped Sides|
So many collections, so many variations.
“complex blend of hues, natural board-to-board color variation, and a hand-scraped texture”
Includes Whitewashed Cedar, one of the cooler decking colours. It also includes shades of brown and grey to compliment your house.
“Inspired by reclaimed wood, the heavy wire-brushed, low-gloss finish showcases the classic cathedral wood grain pattern”
Reserve is the deepest embossed of TimberTech decking. All three colours are enhanced with dark streaking along the boards.
“traditional hues … range from solid to moderately varied and create a timeless look with a complex, rugged wood grain pattern designed to camouflage everyday wear and tear.”
Terrain has the shallowest embossing and least streaking with different shades of brown and grey. This probably is their most wear-friendly decking. Less to chip, collect dirt or notice, making use much less noticeable.
Scalloped to reduce cost, making Terrain an affordable, low-maintenance decking option.
“subtle, straight grain pattern and offer a painted wood look”
Similar to Enhance Basics colours but missing the blonde option. Also, a solid profile, instead of scalloped increasing its price over Basic’s.
“moderately varied hues. Featuring a subtle, straight grain pattern, … an authentic wood visual”
|Envision Decking Line||Number of Colours||Decking Profile|
In total, Envision has 17 decking colours and finishes. Five lines of decking, four capped, one not. But all are built on the same EverGrain composite core.
They trust their product and system but added the cap to improve its appearance.
“Designed to emulate the textures and natural color variations found in exotic wood”
Distinction; is their premium line with four hues, with rich and bold streaking. With so much variation that a board can appear a different colour beside another of the same line. Or even from one end of the board to the other with no-repeat patterning.
“Softly blended hues … the appearance of reclaimed wood aged to perfection.”
Inspiration; has much softer colour variation, giving the appearance of faded decking from back on the farm.
“Featuring a range of striking, solid colors”
Expression; is the opposite of Distinction. Where Distinction has a great deal of colour variations with a blend of dark and light planks. Expression has consistent colouring within and between board.
“Softly blended colors combine with a fluted profile board”
Ridge Premium; has similar but not matching colouring of the Inspiration collection. A blend of much softer and subtle colour changes. The largest difference is not what is seen on the top of the board but the bottom. The bottom has three flutes along the centre of the board to reduce weight and cost.
“deep-grain and solid color options. Featuring timeless textures and a pronounced pattern”
EverGrain the base for all their decking, is still sold as an uncapped option, with three traditional decking colours red, brown and grey. Designed much more to resemble natural wood, fading in the sun. The boards will turn from a darker, more pronounced colour in the store to a lighter colour on your deck by the end of summer.
Two items to note about Envision decking appearance compared to TimberTech.
- No repeat wood grain patterns. Not sure how they do it, but their boards are embossed without any repeating on the board.
- Pressing instead of extruding produce a unique wood-like appearance you will not find on TimberTech decking. Different process, different results.
“Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.”
This rings true with decking as much as art.
If you love a particular look, our conversation may end here. You can not substitute Envision for TimberTech or vice versa without changing the look of your deck.
Increasing the importance of personal taste.
TimberTech vs Envision – Durability
Decks are built to be enjoyed, not just seen.
Durable decking is valuable decking.
Decking that wears well under constant foot traffic, the occasional pulling of chairs and spilling of ketchup, grease and beer on the deck. Not that you intend to, but accidents happen. The decking must hold up against all life throws at or drops on it.
Decking Staining Comparison
For accidental spills, the polymer cap makes clean up easy.
Similar to cleaning the vinyl flooring in your kitchen.
Envision’s Evergrain decking is an exception. Without a cap, it can soak up spills like natural wood does, along with becoming stained. Unlike wood which can be repaired by sanding, bleaching and staining. With Evergrain, there is no remedy.
TimberTech vs Envision – Traction
If your constantly getting rain showers followed by sun, the decking you choose is critical for how safe your deck will be. Water on any surface increases the risk of slips and falls. Decking is no exception. The polymer cap of the decking repelling the water, creating a potential slipping hazard.
|Slip Resistance (Dry)||Slip Resistance (Wet)|
EverGrain has pretty good numbers for composite decking.
Remember this is Envisions uncapped line. The decking with the beautiful, durable cap has less traction.
The same can be said about TimberTech. I don’t have third-party testing to compare but the hard cap can become slippery.
TimberTech vs Envision – Warranty
Envision has a limited prorated 25-year warranty. Envision has 100% replacement for the first 5 years.
TimberTech Edge series warranty is equal in length with Envision, 25-year stain and fading.
With TimberTech Proyou get an additional 5 years for a total of 30-years of protection.
TimberTech covers you 100% for the first 10 years.
Dropping 20% every three years, after 10 years with TimberTech Edge.
TimberTech Pro series with the more extended warranty period drops 10% every 2 years until the final four with 10% replacement value. Making the last few years less valuable but still warrantied, nonetheless.
The prorating makes a big difference at 11 years plus one day. TimberTech will pay for 80% of the material costs. Envision only 56%. That’s a big difference in spread.
Envision prorating is more precise, maybe too precise. Replacement value drops every month. It’s not a question of how many years, or as I like to think of it, Summers on the deck. There is a difference in a claim between filing in April when the snow melts or September after noticing a problem while doing fall clean-up with Envision. Timing is critical.
With Envision, don’t get distracted. See the flaw, file the claim. Time is of the essence.
Envision Class Action Waiver
This one surprises me coming from Envision. The biggest challenge is that a few thousand dollar decking claims can snowball into millions when a team of lawyers gather a few thousand homeowners. It is easier to throw your hat in the ring of a potential winning lawsuit than to pay for a lawyer for a single claim.
“individually and neither party will consolidate, or seek class treatment for any action unless previously agreed to in writing by both You and Envision.”
If there is an unresolved issue, you can sue, but there will be no front page Article proclaiming a massive pending lawsuit. No blog talking bad about thousands of decks failing. With Envision, it will be just you and your lawyer quietly trying to resolve your decking failures.
TimberTech has a short warning.
“Everything fades in the sun; decking is no different.”
But their cap will minimize fading to below 5 Delta E. If it fades more. The warranty covers that.
Fading is glaringly missing from Envision’s warranty. Not promises of how little their decking will fade. Just missing. Except for a small line in exclusions. States that they are not responsible for fading. It may fade a little, it may change entirely, but you are not covered.
TimberTech and Envision have similar cleaning requirements after spills, requiring professional cleaning if the stain cannot be removed. Plus, all claims must be filed in less than 30 days from the professional cleaning.
Practically the same coverage and approach to stains.
This is a new development in composite decking warranties. The labour to install decking is often as much or more than the cost for the material. Covering labour makes sure you are not on the hook for labour if the decking fails. Increasing the value of the warranty substantially.
TimberTech labour warranty limited to certified contractors. The duration is based on the level of the contractor who built your deck. The more volume of decking installed by the contractor, the longer the labour warranty.
- Member & Silver 2-4 years
- Gold & Platinum 5-7 years
The maximum protection is provided if railing is included. The lower years for only the decking and fasteners.
Envision takes a different approach. They offer labour warranty during what they call the first 5 years of the decking “Full Start Period.”
“Envision will provide the Owner the cost of replacement Envision products for those determined to be defective and the reasonable cost of their installation, according to the terms of this Limited Warranty.”
Not based on the contractor’s skill or volume of decking installed. Which is great for a smaller contractor or a one-off deck. Just because you don’t install Envision day in and day out doesn’t mean you don’t understand composite decking installation.
The challenge is, what is “reasonable”? Does that mean you have to get three or more quotes from contractors, or do they have a mysterious number that they pay out after you have hired a contractor? It could be great or not. It’s hard to tell.
But as I said at the beginning. Labour warranty is something new and is impressive either way. That a company will warranty not only their product but the work of the installer is impressive.
I like the simplicity of TimberTech’s warranty. The prorating is easier to understand with a longer full replacement period. Included in their warranty is a limit to fading.
TimberTech vs Envision – Which is Better for You?
Now for the hard part, choosing which decking will be suitable for you for the next 25 or more years.
Comparing TimberTech vs Envision for
TimberTech has the edge for warranty. Simple, straightforward with a longer full replacement period.
For durability and traction, there is no clear winner. I have built more TimberTech decks and trust that they will last, but that does not say less of Envision decking. Twenty-five years from now, it could still be providing the same enjoyment in the sun. So I will with-hold judgement.
What I will say, Envision makes composite decking differently. From conception to installation. If you are looking for something different than all the rest, Envision is that. Building with Envision will create a distinct looking decking. Something other than you will get from TimberTech.
This is the defining element between TimberTech and Envision. Appearance.
Look, hold, touch the two boards. Then build with the decking you love the most. It’s your deck. Enjoy it.