The last part of our home reno will be building the patio and decking area, and we’re looking at both wood and composite options such as Fiberon boards. So what is the latter made of, and is it worth considering?
Fiberon decking is made from composite materials, mostly recycled plastic and lumber mill waste. Across the Fiberon product range, the composite is formed from 94 to 96% recycled materials, which are heated and pressed into board shapes, then capped with protective recycled plastic.
Let’s dive down into the subject of Fiberon decking in more detail, and discover who makes it, what properties it has – and where you can buy it…
Is Fiberon Decking Composite or PVC?
Fiberon decking is made from composite materials. It’s mostly made from recycled plastics and waste from lumber mills. Depending on which Fiberon product you choose, expect the composite to be formed from 94 to 96% recycled materials.
How is Fiberon Decking Made?
Fiberon is made in two sites in the USA, in North Carolina and Idaho. The composite decking is made from lumber mill wood scraps, recycled plastic, and other recycled materials (typically, Fiberon deck is made from 94-96% recycled materials).
Fiberon makes capped decking boards. The composite material (sawdust and plastic waste) is heated and pressed into the board shape. Then, a “cap” made from recycled plastic is added. This forms a protective sheath over the composite. The finished board is both robust and easy to care for.
Is Fiberon Decking Eco Friendly?
Yes, Fiberon decking is an eco-friendly product. The main materials used in its manufacture are recycled, and Fiberon claims that this process prevents over 60,000 tons of wood and plastics from entering the waste stream. The recycled plastic and wood waste that Fiberon uses are sourced locally, helping to keep the company’s carbon footprint low.
And it doesn’t stop there. Fiberon uses a manufacturing process that produces no wastewater. They also try to reuse any waste generated during manufacture. So, if you’re looking to improve or maintain your home’s eco-credentials, Fiberon is a good choice.
What Is the Difference Between Trex and Fiberon?
Trex is the original composite decking manufacturer – so how does it compare with the new(ish) kid on the deck? The products are pretty similar on the whole, although Fiberon has the edge over color choice.
Fiberon also offers a longer warranty (up to 50 years on some premium products). Although both brands produce capped boards for a durable and attractive finish, Trex doesn’t offer a four-sided capped board option. If you are installing a deck on an upper story (such as for a roof garden on top of a structure), Fiberon’s premium four-sided capped boards will be a better choice.
Is TimberTech Better Than Fiberon?
Which is the better choice for your decking: does Fiberon have the edge again, or is TimberTech the best option?
On the face of it, the manufacturers are similar. Both were formed in 1997, and both have two manufacturing facilities in the US. TimberTech and Fiberon both specialize in capped composite deck, although TimberTech also sells PVC ranges.
Both brands are good and offer a large choice of decks. However, again, Fiberon’s warranty period is longer (with the premium lines) and they currently have a few more colors than TimberTech.
The biggest difference? If you’re looking for an eco-friendly deck, Fiberon definitely has the edge. A Fiberon composite board is made from typically 94 – 96% locally recycled materials, while the TimberTech equivalent is created from around 80% reused materials.
How Long Does Fiberon Deck Last? (Does it Last Longer Than Wood?)
Expect a good quality, real wood deck to last between 10 and 15 years. The average Fiberon decking should last around 25 years – and some of the premium boards have a 50-year warranty, so we’re assuming the company is confident that their decks are long-lasting.
Of course, there’s also the maintenance involved. Real wood needs regular treating, while a composite deck can simply be cleaned with soapy water every now and then.
However, if you get a scratch on a real wood board, you can always sand it out and retreat it (or choose to accept it as part of the natural look). Composite boards are less forgiving when it comes to scratches and scrapes (although Fiberon is good at resisting stains).
Does Fiberon Decking Scratch Easily?
Fiberon deck can get scratched, although actually, not that easily. The capped surface offers good protection against everyday wear and tear.
If you do get a scratch on a board Fiberon recommends leaving it and letting it become part of the normal wear, which should become less apparent. If you can’t bear to sit on your deck looking down at a scrape, you can replace or reverse the board (another reason to choose the all-capped option), although this is easier said than done if your deck is laid…
As always, prevention is better than cure. Make sure your deck furniture doesn’t have scratchy feet or wheels, and lift rather than drag your chairs around the deck.
Are There Different Types of Fiberon Decking?
Fiberon offers several different ranges of decking. These are Promenade, Paramount, Concordia, Sanctuary, and Good Life.
Promenade, Concordia, and Good Life have the best choice of colors. Sanctuary has a more rustic finish with a wood grain effect. Paramount is the company branching out into PVC decking boards, offering a tougher alternative for decks that need to be super hard-wearing.
Does Fiberon Decking Look Like Wood?
Yes, Fiberon decking is designed to look like real wood. The Sanctuary range in particular has a rustic, grain-textured finish. The boards come in a natural palette, which replicates various shades of natural wood.
If you want boards that look like painted wood, you can actually paint most composite deck boards using acrylic latex exterior primer. However, as the big advantage of a product like Fiberon or Trex deck boards is how easy they are to care for, painting them seems to defeat the object.
Are There Any Disadvantages of Fiberon Decking?
Fiberon decking generally costs a bit more than natural wood boards. Real wood is cheaper to buy than composite decking, and you can get the finish you want using paint or stain. However, natural wood boards won’t last half as long as their composite equivalents, and you will need to keep treating them throughout their working life.
As well as the initial cost, are there any other disadvantages of Fiberon decking? Because composite has a wood content, it’s not absolutely immune to rotting (although obviously, it’s superior to real wood in this respect). If you want zero risk of rot, go for a PVC board.
There’s also scratching: although quality, capped composite doesn’t scratch easily, it’s also less easy to deal with a mark or scuff. On the other hand, it’s tough when it comes to staining, which is good news if you’re using your deck for eating and drinking.
If you live in a hot climate or have a sunny, south-facing patio, just remember that darker-colored composite decking can get very hot underfoot. Humans can just slip on a pair of sliders; however, your dog’s paws may end up getting painfully hot, and the whole environment will be less comfortable for everyone if there’s heat striking up from the ground.
Composite boards can be easy to install, which is an advantage. You can fix Fiberon decking using hidden fasteners for a really sleek finish. This short film about how to install Fiberon boards with hidden fasteners takes you through this process.
Summary: Who Makes Fiberon Decking & Where Can I Buy it?
Fiberon is still made by, well, Fiberon, from its facilities in Idaho and North Carolina. You can easily buy this big brand product from stores like Home Depot.
To find out which retailers stock Fiberon decking in your area, use the dealer search function on Fiberon’s website.
We will definitely be checking it out. 🙂