For many years, wood has been the primary choice for decking. But now, there are several alternatives in the market. One of which is synthetic materials, including PVC. What is composite plastic decking? And what is the best PVC decking material? And what other synthetic materials that you can use?
What Is PVC Decking?
PVC is a decking material made from different polymers or plastic, mostly polyvinyl chloride. It’s a more expensive alternative compared to other decking options in the market.
PVC decking, or also called plastic decking, entered the market during the mid-2000s. Back then, there are only limited colours and options. But now, you can get them in different designs and shades. Some are even designed to imitate the appearance of real wood.
Despite the higher cost, PVC decking has solved many problems relating to using wood for decking. It’s more durable, easier to maintain, and can last longer than a typical wooden deck. Most wooden decking can only last for around 15 years, but plastic decks can last for at least 25 years depending on the quality.
Best PVC Decking Materials
Finding the best PVC decking materials can be easier said than done. For one, PVC is not as usual as other decking materials. Not only is it harder to find, but there are also different varieties of PVC decking boards. Nevertheless, some brands are known to produce high-quality plastic deckings, such as Timbertech and Trex.
As mentioned, there are various kinds of PVC decking boards. If you want to get the best ones, make sure that they are capped PVC boards. These types of decking boards have added protection, using a highly-resistant coating surrounding the entirety of boards.
Another factor that you should take in when getting PVC decking is recyclability. When it comes to being environmentally-friendly, plastic decking doesn’t use any wood, so companies won’t need to take down more trees. However, you’ll want to check how much of the board is recycled and whether it is recyclable or not.
Disadvantages of PVC Decking
Despite being one of the best alternatives to wood, PVC or plastic decking has some disadvantages. While most quality products won’t have a problem, the majority of the PVC decking boards in the market are prone to fading. Unless you use a fade-resistant PVC deck, you may want to consider if you’re planning to install a west or south-sided deck.
Another disadvantage of PVC is its weakness of heat. When exposed to prolonged high temperatures or sunlight, not only do they fade, but they can expand and shrink as well. This problem may become a more significant issue when the deck starts to warp due to the continuous movement of the boards.
Lastly, PVC decking can be quite hard to replace and repair. Most of the time, you’ll spend a lot of money if a section of your deck gets damaged. Fortunately, it’s likely to happen if you use the best PVC decking materials.
Composite Decking Vs PVC Decking
Aside from PVC, there are other synthetic decking options available. Alongside plastic, composite decking is one of the most popular. Many people confuse composite with PVC because they both have plastic fibres. The difference, however, is that composites have wooden flour mixed into them, whereas PVC is pure plastic. The question is, which one is better?
Composite decking, or wood-plastic composites, are slightly more expensive than PVC decking boards. In terms of durability, both PVC and composites are resistant to damage, such as moulds, moisture and insects. However, when it comes to high temperatures, composite decking is better. They don’t expand or shrink to heat.
Another advantage of composite decking is its looks. While there are PVC that imitates wood, they are not as beautiful as composites. Composites will look more natural and wood-like.
Overall, composites can be slightly better due to its beauty and resistance to heat. If you have the budget to spend, composites may be a better choice. Nevertheless, both synthetic decking options can be excellent alternatives to wood.
The best PVC decking material is one that is durable, strong, easy to maintain and aesthetically pleasing. Composite plastic decking is one such material that you can use to deck your home.