In the past, the only options for people looking to build fences were wood, bricks, and cement. These days, if you’re interested in wood fencing but do not love the maintenance issues that accompany it, like pests, rotting, and unwanted smells, you have another option.

Composite fencing, which is made from a mixture of recycled real wood and plastic, looks like wood but with the durability and low maintenance of plastic. 

This post compares two of the most popular composite fencing brands: Simtek and Trex. Both come from renowned manufacturers of modern building supplies, so expect a tight competition.

Simtek Overview 

SimTek is a small company with only 50 employees. Second-generation Utah plastics entrepreneur Brad Wilson founded SimTek Fence in Orem, Utah in 2007. But this wasn’t Wilson’s first taste of the manufacturing world. His father was the founder of plastic furniture manufacturer MityLite (launched in 1987) and gave Wilson experience in the factory as a teenager. 

Wilson eventually went into a career in banking, but in 2007 when his father sold MityLite to Sorenson Capital, the two decided to start a business together. This time, in the fence market with a unique product: fencing made out of polyethylene plastic. 

The company’s flagship product, EcoStone is more expensive than a regular wood fence, but 10x more durable since the proprietary low-density linear polyethylene they use is reinforced with galvanized steel to mimic the look and feel of granite. 

Today, SimTek maintains a partnership with Home Depot and Menards. The company now has two composite fencing products:

  • EcoStone: Available as gate and fencing with granite “texture” in colors black, beige, brown, dark brown, and gray.
  • Ashland: Available as gate and fencing in colors with a wooden appearance in colors black oak, walnut brown, gold cedar, Nantucket gray, and red cedar. 

Trex Overview

Trex is an innovator when it comes to wood-alternative decking products. The company, which has been around since 1996, continues to lead the competition with the widest array of high-performance composite products. It has a market in 29 countries and is the largest composite decking company in North America. 

Trex has numerous products, but we’ll be focusing on the company’s composite fencing system called Trex Seclusions. 

Trex Seclusions is a full-pledged “green product,” with 95% of its components made from recycled board. It is the first of its kind to have this much recycled wood, which paved the way for Trex to receive the first International Code Council Evaluation Service (ICC-ES) SAVE verification.

Simtek vs Trex: Cost Comparison

SimTek fencing costs between $70 and $90 per linear foot, depending on where you’ll be buying, if you’re buying in bulk, or whether you choose EcoStone or Ashland. 

Trex Fences cost between $60 and $100 per linear foot. The price varies based on whether you’re installing a gate with your fence or not. 

Simtek vs Trex: Warranty Comparison

All SimTek composite fencing products are fully warranted for up to 25 years with ColorLast® fade protection of 10 years. 

Trex fencing comes with a 25-year limited warranty and a guarantee that it won’t break, crack or warp. 

Simtek vs Trex: Appearance comparison 

SimTek’s Ashland is available in 5 colors and 4-feet and 6-feet heights. It is a residential-grade fence system manufactured with 25% recycled wood and recyclable polyethylene plastic, as well as a steel-reinforced panel. While the Ashland does look like real wood, there are no trees used in any of the panels and posts. 

SimTek’s EcoStone is available in 3-, 4- and 6-feet lengths. They look eerily like granite but are made of the same materials as their wood-alternative Ashland.

Trex Seclusions fencing may only have 3 colors, but they come complete with accessories to create traditional-looking wooden fences. Trex has everything from the top/bottom rail, post caps, brackets, angle adaptors, gate post stiffener, and the fence posts that are available in 8, 9, and 12-feet posts.

Trex Seclusions also stands out due to its interlocking panels design and reinforced steel rail. Because the panels interlock, it is easier to DIY and install without nailing each panel to the top and bottom rails. The reinforced aluminum rails provide the strength and durability that no other composite fences have. Trex ensures that the fencing wouldn’t succumb to warping. 

Simtek vs Trex:  Durability comparison 

SimTek fences have passed Dade County, Florida hurricane requirements and are built to withstand hurricane-force winds of up to 110 to 130 mph gusts. It can also withstand extreme temperatures (surviving tests of -40° to 140° F). 

SimTek has incorporated UV12 inhibitors within its fences to ensure lifetime vibrant colors. They’ve been Xeon-Arc chamber tested and resulted in minimal to zero fading.

Trex is designed with unbeatable strength, thanks to the interlocking panels and reinforced steel rails. It can withstand winds of 130 mph and 147 mph gusts and is resistant to insect damage. Like SimTek, you are guaranteed that the fences won’t rot, splinter or warp ever. 

Further, Trex shouldn’t need any re-staining or re-painting. Instead of UV-blockers like SimTek, Trex addressed the possibility of color fading by intentionally over-pigmenting the fences. This way, once the sun has bleached the fence as much as it could, the fence color left is actually the one intended by Trex. 

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Simtek vs Trex: Final Showdown

SimTek’s Ashland and EcoStone could serve as excellent sound barriers, blocking 98% of direct sound with a sound transmission class rating of 26. They’re as impressive as Trex fences, except they have to be stair-stepped on slopes. 

Trex comes from a known brand and if you’re after an eco-friendly fencing system, you can’t go wrong with anything Trex has to offer since up to 95% of its materials come from reclaimed wood and recycled plastic. While the color options are fewer with Trex, you do get to enjoy the non-reflective design of Trex fencing.

SimTek and Trex composite fencing are both green products that are non-porous, durable, and easy to maintain (you just need soap, water, and pressure-washing). Your decision would boil down to the color option and design you have in mind for your fence. 

Editorial Contributors
avatar for Matt Greenfield

Matt Greenfield

Matt Greenfield is an experienced writer specializing in home improvement topics. He has a passion for educating and empowering homeowners to make informed decisions about their properties. Matt's writing focuses on a range of topics, including windows, flooring, HVAC, and construction materials. With a background in construction and home renovation, Matt is well-versed in the latest trends and techniques in the industry. His articles offer practical advice and expert insights that help readers tackle their home improvement projects with confidence. Whether you're a DIY enthusiast or a seasoned professional, Matt's writing is sure to provide valuable guidance and inspiration.

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