Composite Decking vs. PVC Decking: Which Wood-Free Decking Is Right For You?

Composite and PVC decking are both high-quality alternatives to traditional wood decks. But what’s the difference? 

 

If you’re considering composite or PVC decking for your next outdoor project, we’re here to help. Let’s jump in.

 

What is Composite Decking?

Most composite decking is made from a blend of wood filler and plastic. However, premium brands like TruNorth utilize innovative materials to offer boards that are 100% wood and sawdust-free. 

 

The synthetic materials used in composite decking make it: 

 

  • Extremely durable and long-lasting
  • Resistant to mold, warping, and insects
  • Easy to install and maintain

Composite decking brands include TruNorth and TruEcono

 

What is PVC Decking?

Like composite products, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) decking is made out of synthetic materials. The difference is that PVC is always made entirely out of plastic.

 

PVC shares many of the same benefits as composite decking, while its all-plastic nature also makes it:

 

  • Exceptionally lightweight
  • Best-in-class for heat dissipation
  • 100% recyclable

PVC decking brands include Clubhouse and Lanai.

 

Comparing Composite vs. PVC Decking

The truth is that composite and PVC decking have way more similarities than they do differences. It’s hard to go wrong with either, especially when comparing the benefits both offer over natural wood decking.

 

However, every outdoor space is different. That means it’s worth it to compare the minor differences between composite and PVC before purchasing.

 

Cost

Both composite and PVC decking are excellent choices for budget-minded homeowners. While PVC boards tend to have a slightly higher price tag than composite, both end up being 2-4x less expensive than natural wood over the lifetime of your deck.

 

Installation

Unlike wood, composite and PVC boards don’t require any special or expensive tools to install. Most boards are able to slide directly into place for easy DIY installs. 

 

Still, some products, like Lanai’s Premium PVC planks, utilize a patented snap-in fastening system to make the process even smoother.

 

Style

One of the greatest benefits of composite and PVC materials is the wider variety of colors and styles they offer compared to wood decking.

 

Composite and PVC decking both have that “natural” look and feel that homeowners love. However, some PVC boards offer smaller gaps and beveled edges to provide an overall cleaner look. 

 

For style inspiration, check out our deck color-matching guide. 

 

Deciding Which is Right For Your Project

So, which is the better choice: composite or PVC decking?

 

It’s all up to personal preference.

 

When it comes to the most important aspects of your deck — durability, longevity, and value — both composite and PVC materials are miles ahead of natural wood. That means smaller decisions regarding color & style will likely be the deciding factor.

 

Whichever material you land on, Composite Deck Direct has you covered. We offer both composite and PVC decking from the industry’s best brands to provide you with the right product for any project.

 

Interested in learning more? Check out our products here, or reach out to us directly with your questions!

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