TimberTech vs Zuri, Best Composite Decking for You?


When choosing between Zuri 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 Zuri has 6. Zuri decking is a PVC core with a photorealist wood image protected by clear acrylic. TimberTech a wood plastic composite with a hard polymer cap. Making Zuri more durable than TimberTech decking but also more expensive.

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 more colours than Zuri isn’t very helpful in choosing between the two, especially since they both look significantly different.

Zuri and TimberTech are very different in performance because of their core and capping process.

Those are just a few ways that a fuller discussion would be more helpful when picking between the two.

Before discussing decking, let’s talk companies.

TimberTech vs Zuri 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 Zuri [Royal Building Solutions]

Zuri is not a stand-alone brand but is part of a much larger company, Royal Building Solutions, which is also part of a larger company Westlake. Westlake Company is the second-largest producer of PVC in North America and the third-largest worldwide.

Back to Royal Building Solutions. Initially started in Toronto in 1970 as Royal Plastics but has grown significantly over the years along with changing of names.

Currently headquartered in Woodbridge, Ontario.

Royal Building Solutions manufactures many different exterior products, including vinyl siding, shingles and composite stone, to name a few. With a significant focus on low maintenance, durable products made from PVC.

Zuri decking is one of their offerings, a low maintenance durable product to enhance the exterior of your house.

A Brief Introduction to TimberTech

TimberTech was started in 1997 manufacturing composite deckingOpens in a new tab.. 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.”

Azek/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 Zuri – Decking Differences

When comparing TimberTech and Zuri decking, we must first acknowledge we are not comparing apples to apples.

From the core material to how it is finished, TimberTech and Zuri have taken two very different approaches.

Yes, they are both low-maintenance synthetic decking.

They really are two different products. Fortunately, you are trying to decide on the best decking for you. Not the best composite decking, which would eliminate Zuri.

Let’s start from the core and move our way out.

Decking Core

TimberTech composite is made from an 80% blend of recycled plastic and wood fibresOpens in a new tab. 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. 

Rather than wood fibres and plastic, Zuri is formed from PVC, similar to Azek’s decking. Manufactured fromplastic containing no organic material. Resulting in nothing in the decking that can rot, grow mildew or mould.

PVC has an advantage over wood composite in that it doesn’t heat up in the sun as much. Making Zuri decking being cooler than wood decking, even on hot summer days.

DeckingHeat Build Up
Pressure-Treated Pine71
IPE77
Zuri55-58

The above results do not include TimberTech decking. But it stands to reason.

If TimberTech is hotter than pressure treated, and it is.

Then if Zuri is cooler than pressure treated.

How much cooler must Zuri be compared to TimberTech?

Profile Design Diiferences

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 endsOpens in a new tab. but beyond that impacting the decking little.

Zuri does not scallop any of its boards. All Zuri’s decking is solid full profile.

Decking Cap

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. Zuri uses different materials for capping and protecting their decking. The PVC core is covered with photo-realistic wood image protected with a clear acrylic coating.

This acrylic is similar to what is used to protect kayaks, recreational vehicles and even optic lenses. Not exclusive to decking but a tried-and-true product to protect against life’s bumps and the UV destroying rays.

It is 30% harder than conventional non-wood decking and five times more resistant to wear than composite decking.

Giving Zuri an extremely hard cap and finish. More resistant to damage, all while highlighting the beauty of the wood. Or at least a realistic image of wood.

TimberTech vs Zuri – 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 LineOpens in a new tab.Number of ColoursDecking ProfileCapped Sides
Legacy Collection6Solid4
Reserve Collection3Solid4
Terrain Collection®4Scalloped4
Premier Collection2Solid3
Prime+ Collection®2Scalloped3

So many collections, so many variations.

“complex blend of hues, natural board-to-board color variation, and a hand-scraped texture”

Legacy Collection

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 Collection

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 Collection

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”

Premier Collection

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”

Prime+

Zuri Decking LineNumber of ColoursDecking ProfileCapped Sides
ZuriOpens in a new tab.6Solid3

Zuri is limited in colour. Especially when compared to TimberTech, Legacy alone has as many options as the entire brand of Zuri.

The biggest difference between the two is what they are trying to accomplish.

“Decking that looks as amazing as exotic hardwood can also be high endurance and low maintenance.”

ZuriOpens in a new tab.

Zuri gives you 6 different pictures of wood protected by clear acrylic.

TimberTech is plastic formed and coloured to look like wood decking.

Resulting in a distinctly different look and feel. One is of a picture, the other, an imitation.

“Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.”

Rings 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 Zuri – 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.

Zuri also needs to be wiped off.

In thirty days!

Zuri has tested their decking for staining after 30 days. After the spill has dried out on the decking, it can still be easily wiped off.  From crusty ketchup, sunscreen and wine. All of it can be cleaned off after 30 days without staining the decking. It’s that stain-proof.

Fading Decking?

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.

Zuri colour is protected by transparent acrylic. The first line of defence cannot fade being a transparent material. The wood image behind the acrylic is protected from the sun’s damaging UV.  Like a baseball card behind glass un-affected by the sun’s damaging UV.

Regardless of how much sun, Zuri’s colour and image don’t change.

TimberTech vs Zuri – 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.

 Slip Resistance (Dry)Slip Resistance (Wet)
ZuriOpens in a new tab.0.82- 0.86 0.89 – 0.97

Zuri is amazing for tractionOpens in a new tab..

I have read many CCMC reports with an * beside the decking rating. Then a note that this does not meet the residential requirements of 0.5. Zuri does and exceeds it.

I wish I had current third-party testing for TimberTech boards, for we could go head-to-head for traction with precise numbers. But I don’t.

Unscientific Rub Test

For comparing without lab numbers, the texture is often the best tell for traction.

Embossing making all the difference.

Legacy has the least grip of all the boards with its shallow embossing. The finish itself is smoother than the other boards. No hard numbers, just rubbing my hand over them.

But I think the results would be the same while walking on the deck.

Without lab results, I will have to say it feels like Zuri provides better traction than TimberTech decking.

TimberTech vs Zuri – 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 can save you a few hundred on a deck. But this should give you a sense of the cost of TimberTech and Zuri decking. At least in comparison to each other.

TimberTech Decking LinesLineal PriceDecking Profile
Legacy Collection$5.80 – 6.35Solid
Reserve Collection$4.30 – 4.75Solid
Terrain Collection®$3.35 – 4.05Scalloped
Premier Collection$3.10 – 3.25Solid
Prime+ Collection®$2.40 – 2.65Scalloped

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.

Zuri Decking LinesLineal Price
Zuri$5.00 – 7.75

 With a single line, or should we say no lines, Zuri has one price point.

Zuri does not have entry-level or budget decking.

To build a Zuri deck, you will be paying a premium price. Even compared to other PVC deckings like FiberonOpens in a new tab. or Azek, Zuri is expensive.

The Legacy collection is in the range of Zuri decking, but you are more likely to find a deal with Legacy than Zuri.

Just talking money. Price. TimberTech is a better deal.

But there is more to decking than price; otherwise, we would all have pressure treated decks.

Warranty is one of those things.

TimberTech vs Zuri – Warranty

Zuri warrantyOpens in a new tab. is 25-years, prorated.

TimberTech Edge series warrantyOpens in a new tab. matches Zuri, 25-year stain and fading.

After the first ten, TimberTech Edge and Zuri replacement value drops by 20% every three years.

Moving up to TimberTech ProOpens in a new tab.,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.

Fading Warranty

TimberTech and Zuri don’t promise no fading but a limit of below 5 Delta E. If it fades more. The warranty covers that.

Zuri compensation for fading is different than TimberTech,with 100% replacement value against fading for the full 25 years. If the decking fades excessively, regardless of how old it is, they will refund you the full amount. Now that’s quite a promise. If, for some reason, their decking does not have the vibrant colours that they had 24 years ago that you loved.

Your money back.

I can only imagine how long the colour will last if it hasn’t deteriorated in 25 years.

Labour Warranty

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 warrantyOpens in a new tab. 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.

Zuri warranty includes labour for the first 24 months at their discretion. They will either pay for someone to replace or repair the defective decking or pay the equivalent money not exceeding the original cost.

Unlike TimberTech, Zuri does not limit their labour warranty to select deck builders. Except like any company that the decking must be installed correctly to start with. So, some hack who doesn’t know how to read an Installation Guide will not be covered.

TimberTech vs Zuri – 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 Zuri for

  • Appearance
  • Durability
  • Traction  
  • Price
  • Warranty

Zuri has a better fade warranty but TimberTech Pro is longer.

TimberTech with the exception of Legacy, is priced better than Zuri.

Performance-wise, Zuri made of PVC and Acrylic is more durable with better traction. It should be compared to Azek’s PVC boards not TimberTech’s composite in a lot of ways.

Comparing Zuri to TimberTech in appearance. Zuri photo-realistic wood image is hard to beat. But may not be for everyone. Composite has a beauty of its own. Which may be appreciated by someone more than a picture of wood. Personal taste here.

But in the end, appearance will be a major factor in choosing between the two.  

Zuri is distinctly different than TimberTech.

Zuri holds out more promise than TimberTech but in the end, is warranty roughly the same 25 years. Despite its potential, Zuri is not claiming to last longer. So, the determining question is.

“How much I am I willing to pay for the look of real wood on my deck without the maintenance?”

If it’s high enough, consider Zuri. If your budget is not there, TimberTech also makes some amazing-looking decking, without the maintenance of wood.

Ryan Nickel

A Red Seal carpenter, passionate about building decks to be enjoyed.

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