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Comparing Composite Deck Materials

Composite Deck Materials: PVC vs. Traditional Composite

A deck provides the perfect spot to entertain guests, host a backyard barbecue, quietly birdwatch, or enjoy a cup of coffee. When deciding on the right material for your deck, there are many factors to consider. In the past, decks were made of wood and stained with a high-quality oil stain. But composite decking has become a more popular choice in recent years. This type of artificial decking has made deck building more affordable and accessible for homeowners than ever before. When comparing composite deck Materials: PVC vs. Traditional Composite, we first have to learn what exactly is composite decking? Composite decking is engineered boards which are made of a combination of recycled wood and plastic fibers. Both PVC and traditional composite are high quality alternatives to wood.

PVC Deck Materials

PVC is short for polyvinyl chloride, a commonly used plastic in packaging and building materials, window frames, and decking. It is a very popular decking material for many reasons. Due to the upscale look without requiring much maintenance. It is lightweight and comes in a wide variety of color shades, including a rustic wood-grain pattern. PVC deck boards are also well protected against color fading. They are resistant to moisture, so prohibitive to mold growth. Because they are not made with any organic materials, PVC deck boards are resistant to pest infestation and damage. PVC deck boards are also eco-friendly, as they are often made from recycled plastic.

Though PVC decking has many advantages, it has some cons. Vinyl is the most expensive of the deck material options. Also, certain materials such as rubber can cause discoloration when used on PVC  deck boards. Lastly, it does not have a natural wood look, the way a composite deck does.

Traditional Composite Deck Materials

Traditional Composite decking is made by mixing plastics and wood fibers. Mixing these two materials provides a stronger product that is still well protected from moisture. Make sure, when you are compairing these composite deck materials: pvc vs. traditional composite, first look into these differences. Traditional composite decking is long lasting and durable. It has a more natural “wood look” compared to PVC decking because it contains wood pulp. The wood grain also helps to make these decks more slip-resistant than PVC decks. As with PVC, there are a wide range of colors available. There is little maintenance required, and they can be constructed using recycled materials. Composites will not rot or attract unwanted insects, such as termites. You can also walk around without having to worry about splinters.

When the temperature changes suddenly, PVC deck boards can expand and contract. This leads to a less stable structure over time. But because the wood fibers in composite decking make it more rigid, it does not expand and contract as easily as PVC in direct sunlight, making it a more stable choice, and less prone to warping.

The cons of traditional composite deck boards are the high initial cost, their ability to become scuffed up, and their tendency to stain. Darker composite boards can also get quite hot.

Each of these types of composite decking has its own advantages and disadvantages. No matter what composite deck materials you decide to use for your new deck, Crosby Home Services will guide you through the process, making sure your deck is exactly what you want it to be. Whether you need a completely new deck, or are replacing an existing deck, we are here to help you from start to finish. Click here to read more about our deck services.