Composite decking and its cousin, plastic lumber, represent the fastest-growing decking materials sold today. Most products are made from polyethylene or polyvinyl chloride, and come in a wide range of colors. Composites, like Trex, TimberTech, CorrectDeck, and Veranda, to name a few, are composed primarily of wood fibers and recycled plastic. The result is an extremely weather- and stain-resistant board that won’t splinter, warp, rot or split.
Most composite decking and plastic lumber manufacturers also offer a line of handrails, balusters, fascias and other decorative trim. Now, not everyone likes the idea of installing manmade decking, but composite decking and plastic lumber do have certain advantages over wood: They’re extremely low-maintenance and never need to be sanded, refinished or stained. However, they aren’t maintenance-free. Mold and mildew can grow in shady, damp areas of the deck, and some composites can eventually show signs of decay, which makes sense since they are partly wood.