Which is better composite decking or PVC decking?

If this is your first time building an outdoor deck project, you may think that all outdoor decks are the same. They are all built using wood, aren’t they? This is not the case! As technology has evolved, composite decking has become more popular. But which is better composite decking or PVC decking?

PVC material and composite decking materials are two of the more popular deck materials today. So, which is the better material, composite decking or PVC decking? Let’s take an in-depth look at these two different decking materials so you can choose the right one for you.

Understanding the difference between composite decking and PVC decking is crucial when deciding on an outdoor decking project. While both of these materials are synthetic, they are different.

What is composite decking?

Composite decking boards are made from a blend of wood fibers and recycled plastic, which gives them the natural look of wood but with more excellent durability. It also has moisture, insect, and fade resistance that wood does not. It is known for its ability to mimic wood while requiring little maintenance. COOWIN also offers more style options, as you can choose custom colors and wood grains to match the look of your home.

Plastic composite may not be the first material that comes to mind when considering decking materials. However composite decking materials have revolutionized outdoor architecture. Since its inception in the late 1980s, this form of synthetic decking boards has allowed homeowners to realize the dream of creating an outdoor gathering place, and it’s cheaper and more readily available than ever before.

What is PVC decking?

PVC material is also known as poly-recorded vinyl, and this material is made of the same man-made material as composite. The difference, however, is that PVC decking is completely synthesized from polyvinyl chloride. In other words, PVC decking is 100% plastic, not a mixture of plastic and wood fiber.

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PVC decks offer excellent moisture resistance, making them suitable for poolside and waterside installations. They are also exceptionally low-maintenance, with no staining or sealing required.PVC materials are likewise not as likely to cause problems such as mold and insect infestation as wood. While both materials offer unique benefits, the choice often comes down to personal preference, budgetary considerations, and the specific requirements of the project.

PVC decking is easy to customize and can be made to look like more expensive wood decking such as redwood, ipe, and mahogany. And, since it’s made entirely of plastic, it’s very easy to clean. You can even pressure wash it without the risk of it splintering.

Uncapped vs. capped

Composite decking materials and PVC decking materials come in capped and uncapped varieties. Uncapped decking materials are less expensive, but are more prone to fading and mold if not properly maintained.

Capped decking materials provide additional security through a hard outer layer. During the manufacturing process, a polymer shell is bonded to the core material. In addition to improving the overall durability and performance of the deck, many polymer shells have added UV inhibitors. This will help prevent the decking from fading in direct sunlight.

It is crucial to keep this in mind when comparing composite decking to PVC decking. It’s not fair to compare uncapped PVC decking to capped composite decking and vice versa!

Composite material vs. PVC material, which is better?

Before we determine which is better, let’s take a look at what composite decking material and PVC material have in common. What these two materials have in common is as follows:

  • Cost-effective
  • Low maintenance cost
  • Moisture-resistant and durable
  • Insect resistant
  • Scratch resistant
  • Available in a wide range of attractive colors

As you can see from their similarities, both composite material and PVC are popular and quality decking materials. Therefore, the question shouldn’t be which one is better. Rather, it’s a matter of considering which option best meets your requirements.

Advantages of composite decking materials

The appearance of natural wood has always been attractive. However, the aesthetics of composite decking boards have steadily improved over the past few decades. Composite decking boards that look like solid wood are now available.

This is the first significant advantage of composite decking material over PVC. This is because composite deck board contains wood fibers, so it looks more like natural wood. The wood grain also makes these decks more slip-resistant than PVC decking.

Therefore, if you are planning to install a deck around your pool, it is best to go for composite decking boards. Keep this in mind especially if you have young children playing nearby.

PVC decking expands and compresses when there is a sudden change in temperature. As a result, the structure becomes less stable over time. The difference is that because the wood fibers in composite decking materials make them stronger, they don’t expand and contract as quickly as PVC under temperature changes.

In conclusion, composite materials have the following main advantages over PVC:

  • More like natural wood
  • Better slip resistance
  • Less prone to deformation due to temperature changes

Advantages of PVC

The first significant advantage of PVC decking boards is that they are completely recyclable. When composite decking boards are nearing the end of their useful life (25 years or more), it is sent to the landfill. PVC decking, on the other hand, can be recycled again, giving it a new lease on life after the same length of time it has been used.

Mold resistance is another advantage of PVC. As we have already mentioned, both PVC and composite materials are mold-resistant. However, since the composite decking material still contains wood fibers, PVC is clearly superior in this respect. Because there are no organic materials, mold has nowhere to go.

Finally, PVC is a low-density substance, which means it is light. This makes it easy to transport and maneuver, and it can be installed almost anywhere and at any height.

choose the right decking material

In conclusion, PVC has the following advantages over composite decking materials:

  • Recyclable.
  • More resistant to mold and mildew
  • Lighter in weight

How to choose the right decking material

Although there are many similarities between PVC and composite decking materials, by understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each, you can choose the suitable material for your situation.

If you live on the coast or where the air is more humid, then PVC decking, which is more resistant to mold and mildew, is recommended.

If you live in an area that is hot or has a lot of temperature changes, then composite decking is recommended.

But if you like the texture of natural wood and don’t want to do regular maintenance work on it.

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