What’s The Difference Between PVC and Composite Decking?

October 7, 2019

Decks have come a long way over the years with the most significant innovations created with PVC and Composite decking materials.

When designing and planning your deck, deciding on the materials can be one of the toughest parts. With so many material and design options—all with their pros and cons—homeowners have a lot of factors to consider before we dig the first post hole.

What’s The Difference between PVC and Composite?

In general, it is the makeup and price of each that differs between the two. Composite decking is made up of wood pulp that is combined with (often) recycled plastic while PVC decking (polyvinyl chloride) is a solid cellular plastic.


Both composite and PVC decking, while more expensive than wood, end up saving homeowners money in the long run with lower maintenance costs. They are durable, mold-resistant, and easy to clean. Combined with a matching composite or PVC railing, a simple pressure wash can have your deck looking like new in a matter of hours.

In terms of design and style, these materials have come a long way, looking more like their wood counterparts than ever. They are more resistant to dings, they do not splinter, and scratches are almost unnoticeable due to the fact that the color runs all the way through the boards (not just on the surface).

Also, PVC decking like the TimberTech/Azek products we use are fully recyclable.


These types of decking materials tend to absorb and radiate more heat than their wooden counterparts—sometimes too hot to stand on without shoes. This isn’t a problem our clients have to worry about much here in the Asheville area.

Though it’s recycled when created, composite decking—due to its makeup of wood/plastic—can’t be recycled when disposed of. This is due to the bonding agents that combine the materials and prevent any machine from separating them.


As is with any decking material, the costs vary greatly between the different types of composite and PVC decking. Homeowners have to consider the different variables like color, style, thickness, finish, etc.

Remember, not all composites and PVC decking materials are equal. There are a lot of factors to consider when designing, planning, and building your deck and that’s why we’re here to help. From start to finish, we’re here to help you design and build your dream deck. Contact Sexton Deck Builders today to learn more and get a free estimate.