Many homeowners want to save as much money as possible when making home improvements. For instance, a garden makeover in the UK will usually cost £2000 for a medium-sized space. And much of it will go towards building a deck. So when building a deck, you’ll want to get the best for your money without compromising quality.
For decking, wood has always been the primary choice for many homeowners. However, while cheap and beautiful, wood can be high-maintenance. Not only does it add the total cost, but it will also need more time and effort. For this reason, many choose alternatives like PVC and Composite decking. But the question is, what are their differences? Which one is cheaper? And most importantly, which one should you use?
Difference Between Composite and PVC
Prices often depend on many factors, such as design, production process, and availability of materials. In this regard, composite and PVC are very different, despite many people thinking they are the same. Thus, composite and PVC decking have different prices.
PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, is a material purely made up of polymers, or synthetic plastics. Many people call decks made out of vinyl as plastic decking. However, people also mistakenly identify composites as plastic decking. While composites do have plastic, it also has wood fibres.
Overall, PVC is slightly more expensive than composite due to needing more synthetic materials. On the other hand, many companies that produce composites use recycled plastics and wood flour for their products. Nowadays, PVC manufacturers use recycled materials as well, lowering their products’ cost comparable to composites. Of course, several other factors affect the price of both composites and PVC.
Brand and Quality Matters
One of the factors that may affect the prices of both composites and PVC is the brand. Many top brands of PVC, such as AZEK, produce different tiers of plastic decking materials. Likewise, companies such as TimberTech also have various product line-ups at different price ranges.
Naturally, the higher the quality of the materials, the more expensive it will be. Meaning that you can’t compare a top-quality PVC with an average tier composite, and vice-versa. Higher composite decking materials will be more expensive than average tier PVC, and vice versa. To truly know what they’re worth, you’ll have to compare products of the same price range and quality. With that said, you may have to look at reviews on the internet. You can find people’s opinion and experience in using either of the materials when making a decision on which one to use.
Of course, aside from internationally known brands, there are also popular local brands that may offer the same quality for a lower price. So whether you’re looking for PVC or composites, it’s best to look for as many options as possible.
When it comes to the cost of installing a deck, both PVC and composite decks’ prices are almost the same. In some cases, vinyl decks will cost a little more. But the question is, if their costs are identical, which one should you choose?
Which One Should You Choose?
Both PVC and composites have similar advantages. They are both better than wood when it comes to durability. PVC is resistant to moisture, moulds, rotting, and splintering. Capped composites also offer the same durability. They are also both long-lasting, which can last at least 20 years. Another advantage of composite and PVC is that they’re low-maintenance with very minimal upkeep cost. Eventually, you’ll spend more money on a cheap but high-maintenance wooden deck than PVC or composite.
However, plastic decking has one weakness that high-quality composites don’t have. PVC is susceptible to high temperatures, which can cause it to expand and warp. While composites may experience thermal expansion as well, due to its wood content, it holds its shape better than PVC. Because of this, it may be a better choice in places with high temperatures.
Lastly, there is one more advantage of choosing composite decking over PVC. Unlike plastic decks, composite decks look more natural and wood-like. Some have unique grain patterns and textures that capture the essence and aesthetics of wood. While some PVC decking boards may come close to imitating wood, they still have the manufactured and artificial look.
Both PVC and composite decking are excellent materials for decking. Most of the time, PVC will be more expensive than composites, but there are exceptions. But when it comes to value, composites offer better heat resistance and aesthetics than plastic decks.