The Differences Between PVC and Composite Decking

The Differences Between PVC and Composite Decking


If you’re new to deck building, you might think that all decks are the same – after all, it’s just wood, right? This could not be more false! PVC and composite decking are both synthetic materials. So how are they different if that’s what they have in common? Which is the greatest option for your future deck? Now you can stop wondering. This tutorial will explain the key distinctions between composite and PVC decking so you can make the right decision for your next outdoor project.

What is Composite Decking?

What is Composite Decking?

It makes use of high-density polyethylene (HDPE), a form of plastic often found in milk jugs, buckets, and detergent bottles. Depending on the brand, the proportion of wood to plastic varies. Although plastic may not be the first material that springs to mind when thinking of decking, komposittrall has completely transformed the outdoor building. This form of artificial decking has made the idea of creating an outdoor meeting place more inexpensive and accessible for homeowners than ever before since its inception in the late 1980s. The plastic in composite decking makes it more resistant to dampness and insects than genuine wood.

What is PVC Decking?

PVC, like composite, is constructed of man-made materials. PVC decking, on the other hand, is entirely made of plastic rather than a combination of wood and plastic. It was created, like composite, to reduce upkeep and eliminate frequent issues with wood, such as mold and insect infestations.

PVC may be easily customized to match the hue of more expensive wood decking alternatives like mahogany, ipe, and redwood. Because it’s entirely made of plastic, cleaning it is a joy — you can even pressure wash it without danger of splintering.

Capped vs. Uncapped

Capped vs. Uncapped

Capped or uncapped composite and  PVC-däck materials are available. Although uncapped decking is less expensive, it is more susceptible to discoloration and mold growth if not properly maintained. Capped decking has a strong outer covering that provides additional protection. Many caps include UV inhibitors in addition to boosting the overall durability and performance of your deck. When evaluating decking alternatives, it’s crucial to keep this in mind. It’s not fair to compare uncapped PVC decking to capped composite decking, or vice versa!

Composite vs. PVC – Which is Better?

Let’s look at what composite and PVC decks have in common before we get into the big distinctions. Both are made of:

  • Cost-effective
  • Low-maintenance
  • Durable
  • Moisture-resistant
  • Insect-resistant
  • Scratch-resistant

Available in a variety of appealing color combinations

Both composite and PVC are popular, high-quality decking alternatives, as seen by their similarities. So the question isn’t which one is superior. Instead, consider which option best matches your requirements.

Advantages of Composites 

Natural wood has long been popular due to its attractive appearance. Composite decking, on the other hand, has steadily improved in look over the years. Long-lasting composite decking that looks like genuine wood is now available. That takes us to the first key advantage of composite versus PVC. Composite decking has a more natural appearance because it contains wood pulp. These decks are also more slip-resistant than plastic decks due to the wood grain. 

PVC decking may expand and compress when the temperature changes abruptly. As a result, the structure becomes less stable over time. However, because composite decking contains wood fibers, it will not expand and contract as quickly as plastic under bright sunshine.

In summary, composite provides the following benefits over PVC:

  • More authentic looking
  • Better slip resistance
  • Less prone to warping caused by temperature changes

Advantages of PVC

The first major benefit of PVC decking is that it is completely recyclable. Plastic decks, on the other hand, maybe refinished or recycled after a similarly lengthy lifespan. Mold resistance is another advantage of PVC. We’ve previously established that both PVC and composite are mold resistant. However, because composites contain some wood, PVC is the clear victor in this area. Mold and mildew have nowhere to go since there is no organic material. Finally, PVC is a less dense substance. 

In summary, the main advantages PVC has over composite are:

  • 100% recyclable
  • More resistant to mold
  • Lighter weight

For your next project, purchase high-quality lumber

That concludes the discussion. PVC and composite decks, despite their numerous similarities, are apples and oranges once you understand their individual strengths and drawbacks. You’ll discover the greatest brands at the best pricing at your local Decks & Docks lumber yard, no matter what material you choose for your new deck. 

Read More: What Is the Best Outdoor Decking Material for My Backyard

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