Over the last decade, the decking industry has seen big advancements in the design and innovation of decking materials. Substitutes for timber decking have been introduced with longer lifespans and a range of beneficial properties. Both Composite Decking and PVC Decking have a longer life than traditional Timber decking but different properties and costs.
The style, size, use and budget you have for your outside decking area will determine if a PVC or Composite Deck is best suited to your needs. This article will explain in detail the differences between PVC and Composite Decking materials, how the properties and pricing differ, the benefits for you, and where to find samples.
WHAT IS COMPOSITE DECKING?
Composite decking is an amalgamation of part wood and part plastic. Made from 60% recycled wood fibres and 40% recycled plastics, together with bonding agents and additives. The result is a low-maintenance, slip-resistant decking board that has a natural timber appearance. As there's no need to stain, varnish or sand the boards they're an attractive, low-maintenance option.
Cladco's Composite Decking boards, come with either a hollow or solid core. The Hollow Composite Decking boards have been designed with a five-hole honeycomb structure for superior strength. Available in woodgrain or original finish, hollow boards are finished with end caps to ensure bugs, debris and water don't get into the hollow interior.
COMPOSITE DECKING PROS & CONS
Advantages of Composite Decking
- Available in a range of eight colours - can be designed to match or contrast with your home. Composite Decking can all be one colour, or have a 'picture frame' edging in an alternative colour.
- Can be solid or hollow - Solid Composite Decking boards are ideal for areas with a high level of footfall.
- Low-maintenance - due to the material used for composite decking boards, they do not need to be sanded, stained or varnished.
- Low-slip properties - when composite decking boards are installed with the narrow grooves facing up the customer benefits from a low-slip decking surface.
- UV-resistant - The board colour should not fade.
- Long-lasting - Thanks to the high-quality materials and technology, composite decking boards have a longer, lifespan than natural timber deck boards.
- Insect resistant - Due to the dense make-up of composite decking boards, insects are unable to burrow into the material.
- Environmentally friendly - The boards are made from 100% recycled components.
- 10-year guarantee
Disadvantages of Composite Decking
- Composite decking boards are not 100% natural wood and can look slightly synthetic compared to natural wood.
- Composite decks are more expensive than timber boards due to their increased life, and range of properties.
- Composite decking boards cannot withstand heavy loads, such as hot tubs, statues and heavy water features.
What is PVC Decking?
PVC decking is a 100% manmade plastic product, designed and manufactured to look like natural wood, but made from non-wood materials. Created, like composite decking, to require a minimum amount of maintenance, with anti-fade and anti-slip properties.
PVC decking is made from Polyvinyl chloride, a durable, stronger, synthetic material. This popular material can be paired with an ASA (acrylic-styrene-acrylonitrile) core, creating one of the strongest, decking boards on the market. Some plastic decking boards can look synthetic, however, Cladco PVC Decking boards are a premium product, giving a high-quality wood aesthetic.
PVC DECKING PROS & CONS
Advantages of PVC Decking
- Premium look and feel
- Available in a range of six natural-looking colours - can be designed to match or contrast with your home. PVC Decking can all be one colour, or have a 'picture frame' edging in an alternative colour.
- Durable and strong - PVC Decking is able to support heavy loads such as hot tubs, statues and water features.
- Low maintenance - PVC Decking does not need to be sanded, varnished or stained.
- Scratch and stain resistant - Due to the hard exterior.
- Low-slip surface
- Long lasting - PVC plastic decking boards are made from high-quality materials that give a longer life than both timber and composite boards.
- Superior UV resistance - PVC Decking will not fade.
- Insect resistant - Due to being 100% man-made.
- No end caps are required - Unlike with hollow composite decking boards.
- 20-year guarantee
Disadvantages of PVC Decking
- PVC decking material is 100% man-made and is not environmentally friendly.
- PVC plastic decking boards are more expensive than composite decking boards due to the premium finish, superior properties and longer life span.
COMPOSITE AND PVC DECKING PRICES
The cost per square meter for a composite decking board starts from approximately £47 (as priced in 2023) -not including fixings or accessories.
The cost per square meter for a PVC decking board is approximately £95 (as priced in 2023) - not including fixings or accessories.
PVC decking is a longer lasting, more durable, premium style of decking with an improved wood like appearance. This is reflected in the difference in prices - you get what you pay for after all.
Composite Decking Board Prices (per board)
Cladco has a wide range of Composite Decking Boards available with prices ranging from £15.84 - £38.40 depending on the board's length, core (hollow or solid) and style (original or woodgrain).
PVC Decking Prices (per board)
PVC decking boards are a high-quality premium product, with a premium price to match. The 3.6m PVC boards are £63.54 per board and the matching bullnose edging boards are £58.20.
WHICH IS BETTER - PVC DECKING OR COMPOSITE DECKING?
Perhaps a better question is 'which is better suited to your needs?'. This depends on a number of factors - how you intend to use your decking, the look you want to achieve, what length of time you're investing in and how much budget you have.
Both PVC Decking and Composite Decking have a range of similar properties, such as low maintenance, low-slip surface and resistance to insect infestation.
However, if your deck is going to be withstanding heavy loads, and a large amount of footfall, PVC Decking would be the better investment, thanks to its durability and strength.
If you're looking for a quick instalment for a short period of time, not in your forever home, then Composite Decking with its ten-year guarantee and natural appearance will look great at a cost-effective price.
PVC Decking, is a premium quality board, with a 20-year guarantee, perfect for those who have found their long-term/forever home and are wanting to get the most out of the outside.
Order a sample of Cladco's PVC Decking and Composite Decking Here