RDA Blog - Breadcrumbs

DIY Advice Blog

Get the latest information on new tools, trends and ideas for your DIY projects from The Family Handyman experts.

Maintenance-Free Decking: PVC vs. Composite

  • Comments 1

 

PVC vs. Composite Decking

Do you know how to avoid staining a deck? Build it from something other than wood. There are a hundred different low-maintenance decking products on the market, but the two most popular are composite and cellular PVC (polyvinyl chloride). Both will save you from your summer staining rituals, but there are differences between the two. And even within these two categories, there are many different manufacturers and a wide variety of products, but here are some general characteristics:

 

Composite decking has been around since the early '90s. Many popular brands are made from 50 percent wood fibers and 50 percent recycled plastic. Composite decking is a solid color all the way through, so the ends of boards are not as noticeable. It's stiffer than PVC and can span greater distances. Its stiffness also makes it easier for one person to handle and helps hide minor imperfections in the framing. Composite is also less slippery than PVC when it's wet. You should be able to get at least 20 years of use, depending on the conditions. Expect to pay about $6 per sq. ft. just for the decking.

 

PVC decking is the relative new kid on the block but is quickly gaining popularity. Most PVC decking is made from 100 percent plastic—and no wood means no mold or mildew. It holds its color, it's easy to clean and it won't stain if you spill a little suntan oil or hamburger grease on it. PVC is much harder and more scratch resistant than composite decking, which is good news if you have a large dog or heavy patio furniture. All these benefits don't come cheap, however: PVC decking will cost you about $10 per sq. ft. Some companies offer a limited lifetime warranty.

— Mark Petersen, Contributing Editor

For more information on decking products, ideas and techniques, search for "decks" at the top of this page.

 

Blog - Post Feedback Form TFH
Thank you, your comment requires moderation so it may take a while to appear.   Close
LEAVE A COMMENT
  • * Please enter your name
  • * Please enter a comment
  • Comments
    • by posted on

      composite looks more durable, however I still like the old wood deck feeling, less rigid

    Page 1 of 1 (1 items)
    Save and organize projects in your Project Binder with a FREE Membership! Join today»

    Free OnSite Newsletter

    Get timely DIY projects for your home and yard, plus a dream project for your wish list!

    Follow Us