When choosing between UltraDeck and TimberTech composite decking, there are several things to consider. Things like appearance, durability, traction, price, and warranty of the decking.
TimberTech has 17 colours UltraDeck has 15. UltraDeck is priced for the DIY lower than TimberTech composite decking, making it more affordable. Similar in durability, but TimberTech offers a more comprehensive warranty.
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 has two more colours than UltraDecki isn’t very helpful in choosing between the two.
Just one way that a fuller discussion would be more helpful when picking between the two.
Before discussing decking, let’s talk companies.
TimberTech vs UltraDeck 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 UltraDeck [Midwest Manufacturing®]
Unlike Trex, UltraDeck is not an individual decking company but part of a larger company, Midwest Manufacturing. Like the name says, they manufacture building supply products in the Midwest. Eau Claire, Wisconsin, to be exact.
Midwest was started in 1969, not with decking but building trusses. Over time the number of products they manufactured increased.
In 2005 they applied for a patent for UltraDeck Fusion. Currently, they have six lines of decking sold under the label UltraDeck plus composite decking overlay board.
UltraDeck is sold only through Menards, both brick and mortar and online.
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 UltraDeck – Decking Differences
Let’s start from the core and move our way out.
TimberTech composite is made from an 80% blend of recycled plastic and wood fibres plus new material. UltraDeck goes even further, with a claim of 100% of the decking content coming from recycled 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.
Profile Design Differences
TimberTech scallops the underside of their Terrain and Prime+ collections, helping to reduce weight and cost. This is important only when you first buy and build your deck but becomes irrelevant, impacting the decking strength little.
Scalloping does increase the importance of picture framing to finish the decking ends but beyond that impacting the decking little.
All of UltraDeck’s decking is also scalloped except for Inspiretm and Natural tm. Natural has hollow cylinders instead of scallops, allowing either side to be used.
Inspire is UltraDeck’s only solid board. Not reversible like Natural but full material similar to TimberTech’s solid decking.
TimberTech caps its boards with high-density polyethylene (HDPE). A more durable material than the core’s low-density polymer without any organic material makes 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.
UltraDeck’s approach to capping is a little different.
For starts, UltraDeck sells uncapped decking, Rustic and Natural. Both will fade more and do not have the enhanced durability and protection of a cap.
With the boards that UltraDeck does cap, they have three different levels and designs.
“Platinum is the picture-perfect combination of aesthetics and performance.”
Inspire with a PLATINUM cap. It is the most durable and complete of all their caps. It is completely wrapped. The top and both sides and folded under the bottom of the board on the bottom. Including inside the groove, something that TimberTech is known for.
Both their Fusion lines have a PREMIUM cap. Very similar to Platinum but with more colour tones. Creating more variety in the look of the decking. The original Fusion cap ends at the top of the groove, but their 2.0 version is more like Platinum covering inside and the groove and continues past the bottom corner.
Finally, Triumph has a Standard cap. As the name alludes to, nothing fancy, just good old decking protecting with a little better colour than uncapped composite. Here the cap covers the top and sides, extending past the bottom edges for a full wrap but still leaving the bottom uncovered.
TimberTech vs UltraDeck – 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”
|UltraDeck Decking Line||Number of Colours||Decking Profile||Capped Sides|
|FUSION® 2.0||2||Scalloped||PREMIUM (3)|
I am not including QuickCap in our colour count, as it is more of a decking cover than decking.
You could count Natural as having two colours as each board has two different finishes. On one side, a lighter brushed look. Flip the board over, and you have a darker colour wood grain pattern. Giving you more versatility in design. But I am counting it as one board.
Inspire is distinctly different than all of TimberTech’s boards with its multi-toned boards. Boards going from dark to light and everything between. Side by side, the decking can look like an entirely different colour board. Similar to what you experience with natural hardwoods, varing from tree to tree. TimberTech has colour variation within boards, but the boards are consistent colouring beside each other.
Fusion and Fusion 2.0 have dark streaking with slight colour variation. The closest TimberTech board would be Prime+, but only in that it also has streaking with limited colour variation.
Triumph would be similar to the Premier Collection with solid colours. Both with Grey and Brown decking options.
Rustic, an uncapped option without the smooth cap finish. It is not rough per se, but you can see and feel the decking core’s wood fibres. Uncapped boards will fade more than the capped decking.
“Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.”
Ringing true with decking as much as art.
Which look are you looking for on your deck will significantly determine which one looks best to you.
Personal taste is going to make all the difference here.
TimberTech vs UltraDeck – 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, TimberTech’s polymer cap can easily be clean up. I quick wipe with a damp cloth or a scrub with water and soap, and your back to new.
Similar to cleaning a vinyl floor in the house.
Most of UltraDeck’s boards also have a cap reducing staining and making clean up easier.
Rustic and Natural without a protective cap can be stained. Even if you immediately wipe up a red wine spill, it will leave a mark. The semi-porous material soaking up the colour of the spill, and cannot be washed out.
Fading, just like staining, is connected to the cap’s quality or the lack of one.
The polymer cap of TimberTech will fade in the sun, to a limit of 5 Delta E. That is barely noticeable to the naked eye. UltraDeck’s capped decking has similar levels of fading but more on that in warranty.
Rustic ™ has additives to minimize the sun’s UV rays’ impact but will fade like wood. A plus being uncapped is even if scratched, the material will fade consistently.
Natural and Rustic will fade. UltraDeck is very upfront about this.
TimberTech vs UltraDeck – Pricing
Pricing is always a tricky one, constantly changing from region to region, fluctuating with the season. In fact, just crossing the street at times with TimberTech can save you a few hundred on a deck. Still this should give you a sense of the cost of TimberTech and UltraDeck decking. At least in comparison to each other.
|TimberTech Decking Lines||Lineal Price||Decking Profile|
|Legacy Collection||$5.80 – 6.35||Solid|
|Reserve Collection||$4.30 – 4.75||Solid|
|Terrain Collection®||$3.35 – 4.05||Scalloped|
|Premier Collection||$3.10 – 3.25||Solid|
|Prime+ Collection®||$2.40 – 2.65||Scalloped|
TimberTech, with so many collections, offers a wide range of decking to meet any budget.
The most expensive Legacy Collection which is almost $4 a linear foot more than their entry-level Prime+.
You may need to compromise with appearance, but you can find a board to meet your budget.
|UltraDeck Decking Lines||Lineal Price||Decking Profile|
|INSPIRETM||$4.50 – 4.60||Solid|
|FUSION® 2.0||$2.50 – 2.90||Scalloped|
|FUSION®||$2.50 – 2.90||Scalloped|
|TRIUMPHTM||$1.85 – 2.25||Scalloped|
|RUSTICTM||$2.00 – 2.60||Scalloped|
A things about UltraDeck pricing.
First, with wider decks, longer boards are better to minimize or even remove butt joints or transition boards. Making 20’ (6m) boards valuable, improving the appearance of the decking and installation.
Well, with UltraDeck, you will be paying for this additional length. The decking’s lineal price is higher with 20’ (6m) boards than 16’ (4.8m). Not only paying for the additional 4’ (1.2m), but the entire board is more expansive per foot.
With Natural, this will not be an issue as the longest board is 16’ (4.8m).
Additionally, there are a variety of deck board widths with UltraDeck.
- Rustic, Fusion & 2.0, Inspire -5-3/16″W x 1″H
- Triumph – 5” W x 7/8” H
- Natural – 4″W x 1-1/16″H
This is important to remember when considering pricing. The smaller boards will require more boards per square foot. With TimberTech, the boards we are comparing are consistent 5 ½” plus the fastener gap. UltraDeck boards are skinners requiring additional boards.
For a deck 12’ (3.6m) deep, Inspire, Rustic, and Fusions will require an additional board than TimberTech.
With Triumph, additional boards increases to 3. Natural only 4” deep requires even more decking boards.
Meaning that even though Rustic is priced a little lower than Prime+. You will pay more for the same size UltraDeck. Not by much an additional board.
Just talking money. Price. UltraDeck is a better deal. Consistently costing less than TimberTech.
But there is more to decking than price; otherwise, we would all have pressure treated decks.
Warranty is one of those things.
TimberTech vs UltraDeck – Warranty
UltraDeck has two warranties.
A 10-year limited warranty for their Rustic™, Natural™, and Quickcap. This is limited to structural, not fading or staining of the decking. We will not spend much time comparing this warranty. It’s shorter and less comprehensive than TimberTech.
UltraDeck’s capped decking Inspired, Fusion, Fusion 2.0 and Triumph all include a 25-year limited warranty.
TimberTech Edge series warranty is also 25-year.
The first 10 years 100% replacement, dropping by 20% every three years after. The last three years’ only valued at 10%.
Moving up to TimberTech Pro,you get an additional 5 years for a total of 30-years of protection.
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.
Both have a fading warranty for their capped decking, but there is a slight difference.
- UltraDeck 4 Delta E
- TimberTech 5 Delta E
A small difference. Any fading less than 5 Delta E is hard to spot with the naked eye, let alone the difference between 4 and 5. But still should note, UltraDeck warranties less fading than TimberTech.
Including labour 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.
This makes sense. I would not want to warranty an untrained installer.
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.
UltraDeck’s labour warrant is simple.
“THE ORIGINAL PURCHASER MUST PAY ALL COSTS OF THE REMOVAL OF DEFECTIVE PRODUCT, TRANSPORTATION, AND INSTALLATION OF THE REPLACEMENT PRODUCT, INCLUDING LABOR”
There is none. If their decking fails, you will be paying for removal and installing the new decking.
Residential Warranty Claims
It’s always interesting how a company will handle a warranty claim.
If TimberTech fails, they will either replace the boards or refund you the appropriate money. Money in your hand to figure out what you want to do.
UltraDeck will either replace the board or give you a merchandise credit. Locking you in to replace the decking with UltraDeck.
The difference is if you are completely done with the decking. You think it’s the worst product ever made, and you want to never to see it again.
With TimberTech, you can use the refund to buy a different brand of composite. Not with UltraDeck. Replacement must be done through them or plan to do a different project through Menards.
TimberTech gives you more options if it fails than UltraDeck.
TimberTech vs UltraDeck – 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 UltraDeck for
TimberTech has a longer and more comprehensive warranty than UltraDeck.
UltraDeck consistently prices their decking lower than TimberTech. Even their decking with smaller boards will save you money compared to TimberTech.
For Durability, if you only compare the capped decking of UltraDeck with TimberTech. Resulting in considerably fewer options than TimberTech, but they are similar in quality.
Appearance will ultimately fall to personal taste. I like the look of TimberTech decking, but that doesn’t mean you may love the look of UltraDeck. The Inspire collection creates a look you cannot achieve with TimberTech.
If there is not a board that you love. If it all the same to you and you are still trying to decide between the two. This question may help.
“Which do you value more, price or warranty?”
If budget is the most important. UltraDeck has the best price.
If you feel better knowing that your decking has a comprehensive warranty. TimberTech is for you.
Hopefully, whatever decking you choose, you have many days relaxing outside enjoying the beauty of your backyard. The tranquilly of nature. Enjoy your Deck.