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Ultimate Scratch Test: Composite Decking Brands Put to the Test

When it comes to choosing the right materials for your outdoor decking, durability is often at the top of the list of considerations. Homeowners and builders alike seek decking that not only looks beautiful but can also stand up to the wear and tear of daily life. To aid in this decision-making process, we conducted a rigorous scratch test on four popular brands of composite decking: Trex, Deckorators, TimberTech, and TruNorth. Our goal? To see how these materials withstand scratches and which one emerges as the most durable option.

The Contenders

Each brand brings its unique blend of materials to the table, offering a range of composite decking options that combine aesthetics with performance. Here’s a brief overview:

  • Trex: Known for its eco-friendly approach, Trex decking is made from a blend of 95% recycled wood and plastic cap. It is designed to mimic the look of natural wood while offering enhanced durability and resistance to fading and staining.
  • Deckorators: Deckorators offers a variety of composite decking options, emphasizing unique textures and colors. Their decking materials are engineered for resistance to the fading, staining, and scratching that can plague outdoor spaces.
  • TimberTech: TimberTech’s composite decking is designed with a focus on technology and innovation. Their products promise low maintenance without sacrificing the natural appearance of wood.
  • TruNorth: A brand also committed to sustainable decking solutions, TruNorth utilizes rice hulls in its composite mix, providing an eco-conscious alternative to traditional wood decks.

The Test

To mirror the real-life wear and tear that decks endure, from the scuffs of moving furniture to the marks left by pet claws, we used a 3″ stainless steel screw. We simulated these everyday occurrences by dragging a screw across each board with uniform pressure. This method provided a tangible way to assess how well each decking material could withstand common sources of damage.

The Results

The outcome of our scratch test revealed some interesting insights into the durability and scratch resistance of each brand. Here’s how they stacked up:

  • Trex and Deckorators: These two brands showed remarkable resilience in our scratch test, demonstrating a similar level of durability and resistance to damage. Both brands have evidently invested in technology that protects the deck surface from common sources of wear, making them solid choices for homeowners concerned about longevity.
  • TimberTech: While TimberTech’s decking displayed a high degree of durability, it was slightly more prone to scratching compared to Trex and Deckorators. However, the difference was minimal, suggesting that TimberTech’s materials are still a strong contender for those prioritizing durability.
  • TruNorth: Among the four brands tested, TruNorth decking was the most susceptible to scratches. While it offers an eco-friendly composition, its surface may not hold up as well against sharp or abrasive objects, which is an important consideration for those with pets or heavy outdoor furniture.


Choosing the right composite decking material comes down to balancing aesthetic preferences with practical considerations like durability and maintenance. Based on our scratch test, Trex and Deckorators lead the pack in terms of scratch resistance and overall durability, making them excellent choices for homeowners looking to invest in a long-lasting outdoor space. TimberTech follows closely behind, offering robust performance with a slight susceptibility to scratches. TruNorth, while the most eco-friendly option, may require more careful use to maintain its appearance over time.

As always, Custom Deck Creations is here to help guide you through the selection process, ensuring that your new deck not only meets your aesthetic preferences but also offers the comfort and usability you desire.