Polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, and composite decking are two of the most popular deck materials available. Each has several unique benefits and features which should be considered when making a selection. Use the following guide to learn more about each to help you make a sound decision.

Is PVC or Composite a Better Material for Your Home?

PVC Decks

PVC boards are made entirely from low-maintenance, durable plastic. It is available in a wide range of colors and realistic wood grain patterns to fit various aesthetics.

Polymer decking can be capped or encapsulated by PVC to give it a tough exterior shell, enhancing its strength and lowering any maintenance requirements. Capping will eliminate the need for regular staining, sanding, or sealing. It will protect the deck from ultraviolet sun rays, preventing fading and discoloration. PVC is also exceptionally easy to clean and can be safely pressure-washed without splintering or being damaged.

deckingBoth capped and uncapped PVC are among the most affordable decking options available. While uncapped is less expensive, it comes with higher maintenance needs to keep it in presentable condition. PVC is an ideal material if you prefer simple cleanup, exceptional mold resistance, and low-cost installation and maintenance. It also absorbs less heat and dissipates heat faster than capped composite decking.

Composite Decks

Composite is a blend of wood pulp and recycled high-density polyethylene (HDPE), a plastic used to make detergent bottles, buckets, milk jugs, and other packaging products. This material first became popular in the ‘80s for its lower cost and easier maintenance compared to traditional wood. Since then, it has evolved significantly with the addition of capping options, various grain patterns and styles, and colorful selections.

Composite decking is more expensive than PVC, but it offers exceptional resistance to wear, discoloration, scratching, and mold. Like PVC, composite boards can be capped with a tough exterior to enhance their resilience. Composite decking has remained popular for its close resemblance to natural wood. This is achieved through the use of wood pulp and careful crafting in its construction.

If you’re interested in creating a natural-looking deck with superior resistance to warping and slipping, composite is a perfect choice. It performs well in warm climates under sustained direct sunlight, where it won’t suffer damage or discoloration.


Turn to Tri-State Wholesale Building Supplies to explore an extensive selection of PVC and composite decking materials. For over 50 years, this Cincinnati, OH-based building materials business has offered decking, windows, siding, and doors to suit every household budget and style. Visit them online to learn more about their deck options, or call (513) 381-1231 to speak with a friendly team member.