What is the Difference Between PVC Decking and Composite?

What is the Difference Between PVC Decking and Composite?


If you’re in the market for wood alternative decking you probably found that there are two kinds. Composite is the material blend most home owners hear about. PVC decking is another option for wood alternatives. So, what’s the difference?   Is one better than the other? In this blog we outline the differences between PVC and composite decking.



The Builder’s Experience

Composite decking is made of a combination of wood particles and plastics. Because the material blend includes wood, it is generally easier to work with. Composite is easy to cut, bend, route, and rip. PVC on the other hand, contains no wood and is less flexible and as such more difficult to work with.



Which Looks Better?

Wood alternative decking started with the birth of composite. As such, composite has had more time to evolve. The idea behind both materials is to mimic a natural wood appeal. Composite decking in general does a better job of creating natural wood grain. PVC has a reputation of featuring repetitive grain patterns and color streaking. While much newer, PVC decking has come a long way. Brands like AZEK now produce collections of PVC that emulate natural wood, as opposed to synthetic plastic.



Durability of PVC Decking

One important question for home owners is which material is stronger? Let’s measure durability in terms of three characteristics: scratch resistance, mold resistance, and strength. Unfortunately, composite decking is easily scratched. If you drag your grill across the boards, you may end up with unwanted scrapes. Cellular PVC on the other hand is virtually scratch resistant. Next, we consider mold. Because of the wood filler and types of plastics used to make composite, mold is more likely to fester than with PVC. Lastly, in terms of shear strength, PVC is a more durable product. It’s important to mention that composite decking brands constantly work to improve weaknesses and most offer a mold and stain warranty.


Check out these two links for information and inspiration for your PVC deck:


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