Decking Material Basics - Trex vs. YellaWood

An outdoor deck or patio is the ultimate way to spend the afternoon grilling, a quiet morning reading the newspaper or an evening under the stars. A deck adds to the overall value of your home with the addition of extra square footage, providing superstar curb appeal. But conventional materials like pressure treated yellow pine have given way to a wide variety of alternative deck materials from bamboo to plastic polymers. With so many decking materials on the market, it's easy to see why choosing a decking material can be such a difficult choice to make.

Two of the most common materials used for 5/4 decking boards are Trex and YellaWood. Each one has its own unique characteristics, faults and benefits. Use this comparative guide to Trex and YellaWood decking materials to determine what material is best suited to your project, budget and tastes and you'll be sure to get the best decking materials for your new deck or patio. Because no matter what professional decking contractor you hire to do the work, it's up to you to decide what materials will be best for your deck.


Southern yellow pine has been a building staple for centuries. And YellaWood has been satisfying customers for over 40 years with their pressure treated materials. Over the years, pressure treated materials have gotten a bad rap because of their toxicity and habits of leaching out those toxins over time. Copper chromium arsenic or CCA is well known as a wood preserving agent, but because it has been found to cause environmental damages, it has been discontinued except in the most extreme conditions.

Today's YellaWood materials have changed for the best. While much of the process they use to pressure treat southern yellow pine is a trade secret, it has been thoroughly tested by the Scientific Certification Systems lab or SCS, a leader in environmentally friendly building product certification. The entire process from pressure treating the actual material to a lifetime leaching study has confirmed that this material is safe and ecofriendly.

YellaWood has developed a wide array of ecofriendly pressure treated materials for decking in all kinds of conditions. One of the toughest challenges with installing pressure treated materials is that often it is still wet. 5/4 decking boards are placed as tightly together as possible so when they do dry, the proper spacing between decking boards is achieved as the wood dries and shrinks. Kiln dried after treatment or KDAT YellaWood solves that problem by providing dried materials that can be properly spaced during installment and immediately treated with stain or sealants unlike conventional pressure treated products.

Other YellaWood materials like MasterDeck are the ultimate in ready to go and low maintenance products. With a limited lifetime warranty and a prefinished water repellant sealant, MasterDeck materials are the ultimate in yellow pine pressure treated materials. Unlike typical wood decking materials, once stained, ends and the underside of the wood is left untreated and unprotected, MasterDeck is pretreated before installation, ensuring an even and uniform sealant protection for your yellow pine deck.

But it's not just residential decking materials that YellaWood provides customers, a wide array of commercial and industrial applications are available as well. Rainwood, N-Durz, Splashwood and TideTuff are all unique products specifically adapted to their particular environment. From indoor pressure treated to saltwater piers, YellaWood has a wide variety of pressure treated materials, all using the strongest wood in the world—southern yellow pine.


Trex is the industry leader in alternative decking, railing and trim materials. Trex is a unique composite decking product made from a variety of materials. Recycled wood products from sawdust to pallets are ground down into a fine powder called wood flour. Recycled plastic polymers made from recycled shopping bags and drinking bottles are added to the mix to create this amazing composite decking board. A truly environmentally sound building material, Trex decks help keep thousands of tons of wood scrap and plastic waste from entering our landfills.

The combination of the two materials in just the right formula helps to create a great alternative to solid wood. The plastic particulates in the material help to keep the wood protected from water and other outdoor elements. The wood flour helps to protect the plastic from sustaining UV damage, so each material protects the other from damages, allowing a maintenance free decking material that will last for decades.

Trex decking materials are just the start of their long line of products. Trex decks are all inclusive, meaning that deck framing, planks, railings and trim materials are all designed to fit one another like a glove, allowing you to get the most from Trex materials. From trim, to railing posts to spindles—all in the color of your choice—Trex materials are the industry standard for ecofriendly alternative decking materials.

Decks that are elevated above other decks are often problematic when rain clouds break in the sky. While the deck above may be high and dry, when water spills between the cracks of the deck above, the deck below gets soaked, preventing lights, speakers or other electrical equipment from being installed. Trex created the RainEscape product to drain water from the above deck flooring system away from any deck below, allowing dueling decks to stay dry and usable during all weather conditions.

But Trex decks are more than just composite wood decking materials. Trex offers a full line of lighting, dècor and furniture all made to compliment your Trex deck. Made from the same high quality material like other Trex products, Trex's outdoor furniture line is an amazing match for any color deck you choose. Adirondack chairs, quaint coffee tables and even classic rocking chairs are all available for your new Trex deck.

For the ultimate in composite decking, trim and furniture, Trex offers a quality product that may be costly, but will last a lifetime. Comparative costs compared to YellaWood and other pressure treated materials can double or triple the overall price, but materials like preservatives and stains are eliminated, helping to reduce overall costs. Factor in little to no maintenance and you've got a comparably priced product to pressure treated materials.

Posted by: TrustedPros
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