Wood, Composite, or PVC: A Guide to Choosing Deck Materials

Looking at your plan for your decking and want to know just what you should be choosing as far as the material is concerned? You’re in the right spot.  Below, we’ll go over the different types of materials and what you should know about making your decision. After all, an informed decision is always the best one to make, if you have the opportunity to do so.


Wood decking

This is, as you can guess, the traditional kind of decking that is out there. It is often seen as the “only” option when looking at decking, but it isn’t. You can get wood decking in a variety of wood types, depending on where you live and, of course, your price range. The wood is pressure-treated for resistance to pests and elements. 

When you invest in this kind of decking, you will have endless choices for stains or paints, and more. There will be upkeep required for this kind of decking, often every year.  Even with proper care and quality wood souring, however, eventually planks and the joists below them will need to be replaced. The lifespan will generally be about 10 years, but can be shortened or lengthened depending on where you live and the wear that you put on it.


Composite decking

Decking boards used for composite decking are made up of a combination of wood grains and PVC (aka plastic). The blended approach gives you the authenticity of wood decking but with the durability and longevity of PVC. This is one of the most popular options of decking because it looks authentic but still holds up better over time than wood decking.

You can find many grains and imitations to help you get just the right look. Since it is synthetic, it will not need maintenance or upkeep. The colour/strain is part of your selection and while gentle fading is common due to exposure to the elements, it’s designed to be fade-resistant.

Composite decking prices tend to be about the same as wood decking, but the difference is that wood often comes with other maintenance, For example: sanding and painting or staining every single year. Composite prices are the only ones that you’ll need to think about as far as the actual cost.

This often is the way to go for those that love the look of wood but don’t want the maintenance. The blend of PVC with real wood grains is really realistic and helps those who like both get, well, both.


PVC decking

This is another synthetic option and it’s going to entirely be made of plastic decking. It has no wood grains like composite decking does.There is little to no fading on it even after years of the environment and lots of wear. PVC decking is upkeep-free and won’t need to be replaced. It can be a bit more expensive compared to composite decking, but it does depend on the company you choose, of course.

One of the best perks of this kind of decking is that its longevity is going to be virtually endless. It will offer great value for money, with its only downside being that it won’t really imitate wood that well (though you can often mimic it in colour and grain look). It can sometimes be tricky to walk on with bare feet, though, since it will hold its heat rather than cool off throughout the evenings. 


Which is best?

The main criteria that you are going to be thinking of are affordability, durability, and use. When you want the best combination of those things that will still give you all of the aesthetics and convenience that you’re looking for, composite decking will be your best choice. Basically, it blends together all of the factors that you decide to be important, and it will help you get the best “bang for your buck”. While wood decking is classic and elegant, composite decking companies can often do a great job at mimicking the aesthetic of real wood with the convenience of synthetic materials. The rest is all about deciding whether you’re okay with the idea of blended materials.


At the end of the day, the choice that you make has to be right for you and your space. While all the options have some pros and cons to them, there is bound to be one that stands out for you in comparison to the others. If your choice is composite decking -- like it is for many these days -- then you’re going to find that the world is going to suddenly be at your fingertips as far as getting everything you could want!

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