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What To Know When Comparing Three Popular Deck Material

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When planning to build a new deck or upgrade an existing one, choosing the right material is crucial to ensure the job is done right. Each deck material has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, catering to different preferences and needs. Here is what you need to know about the differences between wood, composite, and PVC deck options to help you make an informed decision.

The Materials

There are three popular materials that people often use to build a deck, which really helps narrow down the selection process. 


Wood has been a traditional favorite for deck construction due to its natural beauty and timeless appeal. Common wood choices include cedar, redwood, and pressure-treated lumber. The pros of wood decks include their warm aesthetics and affordability. However, wood requires regular maintenance, including staining, sealing, and occasional repairs due to warping, rotting, or insect infestations.


Composite decking blends wood fibers and recycled plastic, offering the appearance of wood without intensive upkeep. The biggest advantage of composite decks is their low maintenance requirements. They resist rotting, warping, and insect damage, making them ideal for busy homeowners who want a beautiful deck without constant upkeep.


PVC (polyvinyl chloride) decking is a synthetic material made from plastic. Unlike wood or composite, PVC decks are entirely impervious to moisture, making them highly resistant to mold, mildew, and rot. Additionally, PVC decking does not require staining, sealing, or sanding, making it the ultimate low-maintenance option. However, PVC decks may have a higher upfront cost compared to wood or composite.

The Comparison

These fencing materials are best compared by looking at three main categories.


Wood decks boast a natural, warm appearance that can complement various architectural styles. The unique grain patterns and color variations add character to the outdoor space. On the other hand, composite and PVC decks offer a more uniform and modern look, with a wide range of colors and finishes to choose from, catering to different design preferences.


Wood decks can last for several decades with proper maintenance, but they are more susceptible to wear and tear over time. Composite and PVC decks generally have a longer lifespan, as they are highly resistant to moisture, fading, and staining. They are also less likely to splinter or crack, providing a durable and safe surface for years to come.

Environmental Impact

For eco-conscious homeowners, composite and PVC decks are more environmentally friendly choices. Composite materials utilize recycled content, reducing the demand for virgin wood. PVC decking is entirely synthetic and does not contribute to deforestation.

For more info, contact a local deck contractor