Installing a deck is a great home improvement option. It adds style as well as added space to our homes. They are great for entertaining company or simply relaxing on and enjoying a beautiful day. However, when it comes time for installing we are often overwhelmed with the options of what to build it out of. It used to be simple, when you wanted a deck you built it out of wood. Now, we have additional options such as composite decking, capped composite decking and PVC decking. Each type of material has its own pros and cons. So what’s the best option for me?
Wood is the least expensive option overall when it comes to decking material. However, wood often comes with many downsides. Wood requires annual maintenance, including staining, sealing, sanding, and cleaning, in order to prolong the life of the deck and the additional costs of annual maintenance adds up fast. Wood is also very prone to rotting, mold, and wood-loving insects such as termites. Over time, wood will also crack, splinter, and cup which leads to a very aesthetically displeasing deck.
Composite decking is a type of material that combines both wood and plastic fibers. This creates a denser and more durable product than just wood. Composite decking can be broken down into two sub-categories; capped composite and non-capped composite. The difference between the two, structurally, is that capped composites are wrapped in a pure plastic cover while non-capped composites are not. The advantage to capped composites is that the cap provides more durability and protects the wood and plastic core from the elements that can cause cracking, color fading, and mold. Capped composites tend to be a little more expensive than non-capped, but both require very little maintenance other than occasional cleaning. Both capped and non-capped composites come in a variety of colors and surface textures, such as wood grains to match any style of home décor.
PVC decking is a pure plastic material. This option tends to be the most expensive option, but PVC is also the most maintenance free and longest lasting decking available. PVC is superior to wood and composites when it comes to withstanding the physical elements of the outdoors that every deck encounters. PVC will not crack, warp, or rot over its lifetime because there is no wood component to the products. It does not require sealing, staining or sanding and only requires periodic cleaning. It comes in a variety of colors and wood grains similar to composites to match any style of home décor.
At Kirby’s, we’re always here to help. If you have any questions about decking and the pros and cons of each type of material, contact us, or stop by the showroom.