If you’re in the market for decking that doesn’t require long hours of maintenance, PVC (polyvinylchloride) and wood-plastic composite decking options have probably made their way to the top of your list. These wood-alternative decking materials eliminate the cumbersome cleaning, painting and staining that traditional wood decking requires, and resist rotting and splintering to help keep decks looking beautiful and feeling great underfoot.
While both products can save you valuable hours on deck maintenance, which one is right for your backyard? Take a look below at how the two materials compare to see why more people are choosing composite decking for their next project.
Which decking is easier to use?
Composite decking is easier to work with and install than PVC. Composite decking with a plastic and wood blend throughout the board can be ripped, routed and bent to fit nearly any space. PVC deck boards have more limited flexibility. They can’t be ripped down the board or routed on the edges, and they require special tools to bend.
Which decking more closely resembles wood?
Although manufacturers have made significant strides in developing PVC decking that looks more like wood and less like plastic, the predominately virgin plastic deck boards can’t compete with the aesthetics of quality wood-plastic composite decking blends. PVC decking tends to have a uniform, synthetic appearance, with regularly repeating grain patterns and color streaking. Composite decking brands like ChoiceDek better capture the true beauty of wood with realistic wood-grain embossing and authentic, natural colors.
Which decking has better fade resistance?
PVC decking typically has a better fade resistance than composite decking. However, it is important to note that composite decking is designed to weather to a natural shade within the first six months. This weathering process helps the decking achieve its beautiful, wood-like appearance.
Which decking is able to withstand the elements better?
PVC decking and high-performance composite deck boards (those that fully encapsulate wood fibers in plastic) have exceptional moisture resistance. They can be installed in applications with direct water contact like docks and pool surrounds and in regions with heavy rain and humidity without rotting, splitting or warping. Composite decking has an advantage, though, because it expands and contracts less than PVC as the temperature changes. This helps ensure a stable, long-lasting deck, especially in areas with extreme weather.
Which decking has better slip resistance?
Composite decking with wood embossed texturing has a better slip resistance than PVC. It is an ideal choice if your deck surrounds a pool or hot tub, or is in a rainy region, where its surface might be frequently wet and a potential hazard for kids and guests.
Making a purchasing decision
If you’re still unsure about which type of decking to install after reviewing our comprehensive decking materials comparison chart, you may then want to consider cost and quality. With high-performance composites, you can get the good look of wood and low upkeep benefits of PVC at nearly half the price. As an added benefit, you can rest assured that the decking you’ve selected is toxin-free and helps close the loop on recycled materials by using 95 percent recycled content.