Wood vs Composite vs PVCu Decking
Choosing the correct material for your outdoor decking can be a hard decision between the three main options available. Here we break down the pros and cons of each.
Wooden decking is a quick problem solver to your garden and can look fantastic, but in the long can be costly; As a result it needs to be replaced far sooner and is subject to rotting, warping and splintering which leaves your garden looking old and worn before you know it.
- Looks natural
- Cheap initial outlay
- Unmaintained wood can split, crack and change colour.
- Rapidly deteriorates
- Requires frequent cleaning
- Requires yearly maintenance in the form of varnishing, staining and treating
- Very slippery when wet, or after mould/algae starts growing
Composite decking is made partially from plastic but contains a blend of wood and polymer to imitate the real wood decking with the moisture resistance of plastic decking. It tends to sag and bend more than a premium hardwood, however this is mitigated by bringing the joists on the subframe closer together.
- Good slip-resistance
- Similar in appearance to wood decking
- Unlikely to rot
- Easy to fit
- Can get incredibly hot in the sun, especially with darker colours
- Not very scratch resistant – cheaper composite boards will be a different colour inside so chips are obvious
- Subject to fading
PVCu decking is quite similar to Composite decking, except that no organic compounds are used in its creation. This type of decking requires virtually no maintenance, especially when compared to other options. Fitrite PVCu decking in particular offers natural aesthetics meaning it still looks like real wood and comes in many varieties of natural colours and finishes.
- Completely waterproof, and non-slip even in wet conditions
- Guaranteed to never rot
- Eco-friendly – no trees are felled to create the boards, they are made from 95% recycled materials and are 100% recyclable
- Excellent heat dissipation
- No maintenance
- Likely to be the most expensive option
- End caps need to be used to maintain the illusion of real wood
A PVCu deck is likely only marginally more expensive than a Composite deck, however the benefits outweigh the small price difference especially if the deck is kept for a long time.
This article by MASTERDECKS states that in their experience, PVCu decks have the lowest level of failure amongst all decking options:
“MasterDecks is a certified installer for all 5 products and have found that the least amount of product failure when it comes to synthetics is with full PVC lines. […] at MasterDecks we have noticed more warranty claims on Capped Composite material than we have seen with full PVC lines.”
Click one of the links above to explore the Fitrite range, or to make an enquiry.