Composite Vs. PVC Decking
Many people are now choosing to build their decks out of PVC or wood plastic composite deck materials for their low maintenance. Both composite and PVC decking are made from synthetic materials, they have grown in popularity over the last few years due to the positive changes made by manufacturers.
But what Composite and PVC decking have in common? How are they different? And which one is best for your future deck?
- Easy maintenance. Both of these materials are durable so they will last for many years. They’re also easy to keep clean. Just scrub down your deck with a deck cleaner and rinse off with the water hose. It’s as simple as that, so maintenance is easy and inexpensive.
- Durable, moisture, termite and other insects resistant. Both PVC or composite decking materials over wood is the fact that you’ll never have to worry about termites or other insects eating through your deck.
- Available in a range of attractive color options. You now have a variety of patterns to choose from, many of which closely resemble the look of real wood.
These two types of materials are similar in many ways but they are also very different in their own right. Here is some information regarding both composite decking and PVC decking:
Composite Decking Material
- Early Composite Decking (1995-2008)
- Capped Composite Decking (2008 – Present day)
Composite decking is a combination of wood fibers and recycled plastic, in which HDPE (high-density polyethylene) is widely used. It is low maintenance and have good looks, you can choose from different thickness and it comes in a wide variety of grain patterns and colors for your choice.
Because of their modified properties, they are more resistant to moisture, insect and rot. For a neater look, many composite decks are attached to joists using hidden fasteners so there are no visible screws on top. They also clean up nicely with soap and water if needed.
To ensure composite deck looks as beautiful years from now as it does, when you first have it built always choose the high quality composite, and don’t forget to use the right deck products.
PVC Decking Material
- PVC Decking (2009 – Present day)
Polyvinyl chloride or PVC decking is made from all plastic so it does not contain any wood fibers, which is 100% plastic. Like composite, it was designed to minimize maintenance and prevent common problems associated with wood, such as mold, rot and insect infestations, but plastic decking has its problems. It might expand and contract in certain climates, loosening joints and making decks unstable.
However, you should be aware that when exposed to direct sunlight, PVC decks can get very hot and this material can expand and contract with extreme temperature changes. If this happens too often, it can affect the stability of the deck.
Capped Vs. Uncapped
Both composite and PVC decking materials can be either capped or uncapped. Uncapped decking is the more cost-effective choice, but it is also vulnerable to staining and mold growth if not carefully maintained.
Capped decking offers extra protection in the form of a hard outer shell. The shield and core are extruded simultaneously, so there are no adhesives or chemicals that are harmful to the environment.
Composite Vs. PVC – Which is Better?
- Authentic looking
Composite decking looks more natural due to containing wood fibers. It is more authentic looking than PVC.
- 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.
- Temperature stability
When the temperature changes suddenly, PVC decking can expand and contract. This makes the structure less stable over time. But because the wood fibers in composite decking make it more rigid, it won’t expand and contract as easily as plastic in direct sunlight.
- Mold resistance
Because composite still container wood fiber, it is not good at mold resistance, so the Capped Composite Decking emerged. The capped composite with the outer shield makes it better resistant to mold and mildew. PVC decking is made by 100% plastic, so its mold resistance is better than composite decking.
Zhongshan Sundi New Building Materials Co.,Ltd. is a professional manufacturer specializing in the R&D, production and sales of WPC (Wood Plastic Composite) materials, our products include: composite decking, capped composite decking, WPC Pergola & Gazebo, WPC Railing & Fencing, WPC Wall Cladding, WPC Chairs & Bench, WPC Flower Planter Pots etc.