Last Updated: October 13, 2020
In the design world, style and function are constantly at odds. Which is more important: shape and style, or practicality and purpose? Does form follow function, or does function follow form? Outdoor decking professionals see this conflict fairly often, particularly when it comes to cellular PVC decking vs. wood. After all, many homeowners might think that, since wood is stylish and PVC is traditionally functional, the two must be mutually exclusive. Fortunately, that doesn’t have to be the case. Let’s explore the differences between cellular PVC decking and wood and unpack why the former might be the stylish, functional decking material of your dreams.
Cellular PVC Decking vs. Wood
What Is Cellular PVC Decking?
Before we assess the differences between cellular PVC decking and wood, let’s explore the intricacies of cellular PVC decking. Unlike composite decking, which is frequently used to imitate wood, PVC decking is 100 percent plastic. PVC decking was designed to have the aesthetic appeal of wood without maintenance concerns like mold and insect infestations. PVC is also an easily customizable option, mimicking more expensive wood decking options like mahogany or redwood. Additionally, PVC decking is completely recyclable, able to be refinished or recycled at the end of its long lifespan.Finally, PVC decking is much more lightweight than wood decking. This makes PVC much easier to transport and install at any height.
We have great news for the discerning homeowner: It is entirely possible for a deck to be both stylish and functional. Don’t believe us? First, let’s consider the maintenance involved in cellular PVC decking compared with the maintenance necessary for wood decking. Cellular PVC decking requires virtually no maintenance whatsoever. It does not need to be stained, sanded, stripped, or painted, and it can easily be cleaned with soap and water. Wood, on the other hand, requires frequent maintenance. Most wood decks must be treated, painted, pressure washed, and/or stained at least once a year. So if you want to keep your wood deck looking its best, you’ll have to put in quite a bit of effort. Cellular PVC decking offers all of the aesthetic value with very little maintenance.
Who doesn’t appreciate the beauty of hardwood? It’s naturally elegant, complements a variety of styles, and comes in many shades and grains. Wood decking offers all of these qualities – but before you hand it the prize for style, remember that cellular PVC decking mimics the rich color of tropical hardwoods. Plus, unlike genuine wood, PVC decking won’t fade over time. Its color will remain bright and beautiful through the years, boosting your property’s value and turning your neighbors green with envy.
If you’re on a tight budget, you’ll want to consider the fact that PVC is initially more expensive than wood. However, it’s often more affordable over time. That initial sticker shock really only addresses the upfront costs of each form of decking. When you consider the lifetime costs, a different victor emerges. The maintenance of wood is far more expensive than the maintenance of PVC (including the cost of the products, the time spent, and the effort). Plus, PVC will last far longer and, unlike wood, it will probably not need to be replaced or repaired during your lifetime. In the end, PVC will stand by your side for the long haul, giving you the greatest value over time.
Due to its great density, cellular PVC decking will not absorb any moisture, so you won’t have to worry about mold, mildew, or warped boards. (That also means that spills like barbecue sauce and suntan oil are no match for PVC.) Plus, this amazing decking material will not splinter, making it safe for visitors who like to walk barefoot. Wood, on the other hand, is not naturally water-repellant, so mold and warping will always be a concern. Additionally, insects love wood, and weathering will occur over time (especially in climates with harsh weather). And, as with most wood products, splinters are inevitable. Finally, remember that you will need to replace a wood deck much sooner than a PVC deck, adding to budgetary concerns.
As a homeowner, you deserve to get the most bang for your buck. At MMC Fencing & Railing, we’re proud to carry Passport Decking from Gossen, which offers a lifetime warranty. Wood decks, on the other hand, might come with more limited warranty options due to their high level of upkeep and relatively low level of durability. If you’re looking for a warranty that will give you the most value over your deck’s lifetime, a synthetic material like PVC decking might be your best bet.
So, is it possible to prioritize both aesthetic appeal and durability in a deck material? The answer is a resounding yes. When you’re ready to browse decking options, look no further than cellular PVC decking, which offers both form and function, resulting in an exceptional choice for decking. If you would like to purchase PVC decking, check out MMC Fencing & Railing, a proud distributor of Passport Decking from Gossen. Combining the rich color and multi-shade grains of hardwoods with the functionality of cellular PVC, Passport Decking is both beautiful and low maintenance. Plus, as mentioned above, Passport Decking comes with a lifetime warranty! You won’t have to sand, paint, or seal it, and it will retain its vibrant color for many years to come.
When you need an expert who can walk you through purchasing and caring for an exterior decking system, MMC Fencing & Railing is here for you. In our online shop, we sell aluminum and vinyl railing in a variety of styles and colors, as well as stunning decking materials like the Passport PVC collection. So no matter what you’re looking for and no matter how large or small your budget, you’re sure to find something beautiful that will last for decades. Give us a call at 866-931-5002 to get started or to ask about decking installation options. We look forward to hearing from you!