Wood vs. PVC Decks: Which Material Should You Choose?

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No pressure, but choosing the material you want your deck is one of the biggest decisions you can make. While wood is still considered the most popular deck material, manufactured PVC or composite decking has continued to gain popularity for its low-maintenance properties. The material you choose will have an effect on your deck’s longevity, maintenance, and overall price of construction—so choose wisely! Wood and composite decks both have their benefits, but this important choice depends entirely on which is right for you.

PVC Decking: A Low-Maintenance Option for Your Busy Life

A composite deck

The deck purists may hold it against you, since wood is a classic deck material; however,  PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) decking has made numerous strides in the decking market over the past few years. Even some deck purists have been impressed with how manufacturers can replicate the look of wood.

If you think the time you spend deciding between composite and wood is too long, you’d hate the amount of time you need to spend maintaining a wood deck! PVC, on the other hand, is relatively maintenance-free. All you need to do to a PVC deck is give it a quick wash with your garden hose as needed. PVC decking is designed to withstand the elements of nature, so while Mother Nature will take its toll on a wooden deck over time, PVC can hold up without fading or warping.

PVC decks are safest for small children and pets because they are splinter and slip resistant, and they usually also come with a warranty, so any issues that arise should be easily solved.

Wood Decking: Classic, Beautiful, and Natural


A classic wood deck

Deck purists, rejoice: we’re going to say it. Despite the growing popularity of alternative decking materials, you can still never go wrong with a classic wooden deck. Wood makes for a beautiful, aesthetically pleasing deck to accompany and enhance any backyard. There’s a reason both PVC and composite decking materials are made to mimic and recreate the look of wood.

You can choose from a variety of options for wood decks, and each has its own unique benefits.

Pressure treated lumber is the most popular material for wooden decks because of its low cost and easy construction. Due to the pressure treatment, it is less susceptible to decay, insect damage, and splintering.

Cedar is known for being bold and beautiful, and a cedar deck can be expected to last 15 to 20 years with proper maintenance. Pressure treated wood can be prone to warping, but this is much less true of cedar. The cost is lower than most other hardwoods, and cedar is more resistant to rotting and insects than some other options.

Mahogany is known for its durability and ability to stand up against weather and rotting. However, its tough durability makes it a bit difficult for DIY projects—you’re going to have to really struggle to cut it.

Ipe or ironwood is the longest-lasting deck material—its life expectancy is aThe desirable ipe tree makes a beautiful and long-lasting wood deck - but can be costly due it's difficult nature. whopping 40 or more years! It is also the most durable of the wood deck options. Its hard density makes it highly resistant to scratches and stains. However, with the durability and lifespan comes a high cost for both materials and labor.

Whatever material you choose, you’ve already made a great choice in deciding to add a deck to your house. Both PVC and wood decking make for a great spot to relax
 and entertain. If you’re really thinking ahead, a deck also increases your property value—but of course we hope you’ll stick around to enjoy that beautiful deck for years to come. For more information on decking options, you should contact your local deck building company to discuss the type of deck that is right for your yard. There’s nothing like an expert opinion to make you feel secure about this major choice.

Download the New Deck Guide

Do you prefer PVC decks for their low-maintenance appeal, or do you still believe there is no substitute for a great wooden deck? Let us know on our Facebook page!

1 Comment

  • Amy Winters says:

    I’m glad you pointed out that vinyl decks are easier to clean and maintain, and also have a natural resistance to fading or warping in response to the natural elements. My husband and I are interested in having a deck installed, so I’ve been doing some research into the different building materials available. I like the idea of low-maintenance and durable, so thanks for pointing out that a vinyl deck will have those qualities!

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