Are you looking forward to getting some information regarding PVC vs. composite decking?
Many people assume them to be the same, which is not true. It is also said that not every deck is made of 100% wood. However, both composite and PVC are composed of synthetic material and it is the only common thing they have.
So what’s the difference between composite wood decking and PVC decking? This is what we will share in this guide so that you get a better idea that which one you should go for. Along with the difference, we will also update you with their pros and cons.
Let’s begin the guide.
Table of Contents
What is PVC Decking?
PVC also known as plastic decking is composed of artificial materials and unlike composite decking, it has 100% plastic used in it. The material is the first major difference that both deckings contain.
It was specially designed so that everyone can get rid of some common issues associated with wood. It also helps to reduce maintenance.
This type of decking can easily be customized as per your requirement. Keeping this plastic decking tidy is a breeze and you can easily wash it without worrying about anything.
Hence, it has its own pros that make this decking worth considering.
What is Composite Decking?
Let’s first talk about both terms separately. Plastic wood boards are a combination of recycled plastic and wood pulp.
The type of plastic used in composite decking is polyethylene which is often used to prepare buckets, milk jugs, detergent bottles, etc.
Now the question arises what’s the ratio of wood and plastic used in composite decking?
It depends on the brand from where you will buy this product. The better the brand, the less plastic will be used.
Composite decking came into being in the late 1980s and since then, it has progressed a lot, especially in outdoor construction.
Moreover, it brings different variations in style so that you have more options to choose from. Now, let’s talk about the second decking i.e. PVC decking.
Composite vs. PVC – Which Decking is Better?
Here is an in-depth comparison between composite and PVC decking.
Now you are already aware of both terms so the question here is which one is better or which one should everyone consider?
Before talking about differences in detail, let’s have a look at a few similarities that PVC vs. composite decking contain.
- Both are cost-effective so you can consider anyone if your budget is limited.
- Both don’t require a lot of maintenance as they are easy to maintain. In short, both are maintenance free decking
- Do not doubt their durability because both are highly durable and won’t be scratched easily.
- Due to the plastic used in them, they are moisture-resistant and insect-resistant.
- Because of being durable, they are scratch-resistant and won’t be easily damaged.
- You have various color options to choose from in both decking.
Hence, these are a few similarities that both decking contain. With the above-mentioned points, you can easily predict that both are worth considering and highly valuable.
Hence, instead of looking for a better option, you should consider that type that fulfills your requirement.
Let’s talk about the major differences of PVC vs. composite decking. They include:
- Talking about the aesthetics of both decking, composite is more likely to look like wood because of some portion of wood used in it. On the other hand, PVC doesn’t look like wood.
- Composite contains some portion of wood and some portion of plastic but PVC is made of 100% plastic. The plastic help to resist moisture.
- Composite is less slippery as compared to PVC because it is made of half wood and half plastic. It resists slipping better in a wet environment.
- As far as shrinkage and expansion are concerned, composite is less likely to expand and shrink because of the wood used in it. PVC tends to shrink and expand like other decking.
- PVC is more lightweight than composite. They can easily be transported and are better to work with.
Hence, these are some differences that you should keep in mind to decide which decking you want in the future.
Price Comparison of Composite vs PVC Decking
Check out the price comparison of both the deckings offered by Timber tech flooring brand.
|Timber Tech Azek Decking Options||Material||Lineal Cost|
|Harvest Collection||PVC||$4.75 to 5.25|
|Premier Collection||Composite||$3.10 to 3.25|
|Vintage Collection||PVC||$6.50 to 7.00|
|Reserve Collection||Composite||$4.30 to 4.75|
|Landmark Collection||PVC||$6.50 to 7.00|
|Prime+ Collection||Composite||$2.40 to 2.65|
|Legacy Collection||Composite||$5.80 to 6.35|
|Terrain Collection||Composite||$3.35 to 4.05|
Here is another in-depth comparison between PVC and composite decking offered by the same brand.
|Flooring Brand||Fade and Stain Warranty||Structural Warranty||12-Foot Board Average Price||Material|
|Timber Tech Pro||30 Years||30-Years||$40 to $70||Composite|
|Timber Tech AZEK||50 Years||Limited Lifetime||$60 to $85||PVC|
|Fiberon Paramount||50 Years||Lifetime||$57 to $65||PVC|
|Fortress Building Products Apex||30 Years||30 Years||$110 to $75||Composite|
This is a price comparison of PVC vs composite decking offered by another renowned flooring brand, Fiberon.
|Fiberon Decking Options||Material||Lineal Price|
|Sanctuary||Composite||$4.23 to $4.60|
|Concordia–Symmetry||Composite||$5.00 to $5.30|
|Paramount||PVC||$5.20 to $5.80|
|Good Life/Armor Guard||Composite||$2.15 to $2.60|
|Concordia–Horizon||Composite||$5.15 to $5.35|
Pros of Composite Decking
Let’s have a look at a few advantages or pros that this decking contains. The pros include:
1. Superior Durability
Talking about the durability of superior decking, it is highly durable. It doesn’t matter how much foot traffic it is going to withstand, you can safely place it wherever you want and it won’t be cracked or damaged.
It can easily bear the weight of furniture, foot traffic, and pets as well. This is what makes this type of decking worth using.
2. Low Maintenance
As it is durable and won’t easily be cracked or damaged so it has low maintenance and doesn’t require a lot of effort to keep it in its original form.
In order to keep it in its best form, all you need is to wash it now and then. Hence, if you are looking for decking that doesn’t require a lot of time and effort, go ahead with this one.
3. It is Environment Friendly
Decking is placed outside the house so it should be environment friendly so that weather changes won’t affect it. Moreover, it is not made by cutting the trees.
Hence, you can safely use it considering that no environmental impact is involved in the making of composite decking.
4. Various Color Choices
When it comes to color choices, you will find various options to choose from. You can paint the wood stains in different colors and forms so it is guaranteed that it matches your house aesthetics.
Moreover, you can finish this type of wood in different colors.
5. Splinter Free
You can walk on composite decking barefoot without worrying about splinters. They are completely safe for your kids and pets as well.
6. Slip Resistant
The plastic used in composite decking makes it slip-resistant so that you can safely walk on it.
Hence, these above-mentioned advantages of composite decking prove why one should get their hands on this type of decking. They are quite popular and usually installed by bug companies and brands.
Cons of Composite Decking
Where there are advantages, there must be some disadvantages as well about which you should be aware. The cons include:
1. No Property Value
The real wood surely adds home resale value but the type of material used in composite decking doesn’t add any value. It doesn’t make any difference.
2. Permanent Colors
Once you have chosen the color for your decking, ensure that you are 100% satisfied because you can’t change the color again. It is one of the major problems people usually face.
Pros of PVC Decking
Now let’s move ahead and talk about the advantages of PVC below to find out why one should go with this type of decking. The pros include:
1. 100% Recyclable
Once PVC decking ends its lifespan, it is recycled instead of being wasted. Hence, it is the major advantage that you will find regarding PVC decking. This plastic can be refinished and given life till the end.
2. It is Mold Resistant
Another great advantage of PVC decking is mold resistance. Undoubtedly, both are mold resistant because PVC doesn’t use any ratio of wood so it is more resistant to mold as compared to composite.
3. Light Weight
It is made of 100% plastic so it is completely lightweight. The lightweight feature makes it easy to transport this decking and to work with.
4. No Color Fading
Unfortunately composite has a color fading disadvantage but this is not the case with PVC. Moreover, you do not need to be concerned about scratches, dents, or other problems.
5. Water and Mold Resistant
Because of 100% plastic used in the manufacturing of this decking, they are completely water-resistant and mold resistant so do not think twice that where it should be placed.
Cons of PVC Decking
Let’s have a look at a few disadvantages of PVC in order to know more about it.
1. Rubber Causes Discoloring
If you use rubber material on this type of decking, then the color start fading. Hence, the manufacturers especially warn the customer not to do such kind of mistake.
2. Doesn’t Give Natural Wood Look
Composite decking also includes wood so it is more likely to look like wood but PVC doesn’t contain any portion of wood so it doesn’t appear like wood.
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s have a look at some frequently asked questions regarding composite wood decking and plastic decking boards.
Which Is the Best Composite or PVC Decking?
Both decking have their own pros and cons so you can not decide which one is better. Go for the one that fulfills your requirements.
This guide has detailed information about PVC vs. composite decking from which you can get an idea.
Is Composite Better than PVC?
If you want decking that looks like wood and is more reliable and resistant to slipping and scratches then composite is surely better. However, PVC also contains a lot of benefits that you can’t ignore.
Is Composite Decking Cheaper than PVC?
If we take about the overall cost PVC is more expensive than composite because a lot of synthetic material is needed for PVC decking.
On the other hand, some companies use recycled material in order to create composite decking so it is somehow cheaper than PVC.
What Are the Problems with PVC Decking?
PVC doesn’t give you an authentic wood look because it is all made of plastic. Moreover, if you use rubber material over PVC then it will start fading quickly. It is also less mold and scratch-resistant than composite.
Is PVC Decking Slippery?
PVC is not at all slippery but composite decking is more slip-resistant because of the wood and plastic used in it. Especially in wet, it is more likely to slip.
So, this guide was all about PVC vs. composite decking along with their similarities, differences, pros, and cons. We can not decide which one is better for you because it all depends on your requirement.
If composite better suits your requirement, you can go for it. However, if PVC better suits you then go for that one. Both are budget-friendly and don’t require a lot of effort to maintain.
I have tried my best to disclose every single piece of information regarding PVC vs. composite decking so that you get a better and clear idea to decide which one is good for you. I hope you will find this article helpful and informative.