Industry pros toss around terms like “PVC decking,” “composite decking,” and “polymer decking” almost interchangeably — even though the materials are different. For the uninitiated, it can be confusing, but don’t worry: we’ve got easy-to-understand explanations, ahem, on deck.
Once defined solely by traditional wood as the go-to building material, the decking industry has grown leaps and bounds since the introduction of the composite decking category several decades ago. This has injected some new terms in the world of outdoor living. You may have heard about “PVC decking” and “composite decking,” or heard them used interchangeably, but do you really know what they mean?
No worries — we’ve made it easy for you.
Keep reading for an explanation of PVC decking and its benefits, how it relates to composite decking, plus, and which innovative capped polymer lines from TimberTech is right for you.
What Is PVC Decking?
Let’s start broad and filter down. As a category in the marketplace, “composite decking” refers to engineered deck boards — meaning: any deck boards that aren’t 100% organic material (like wood). There are two related types of engineered deck boards: capped polymer and capped composite boards. Both capped composite and capped polymer boards feature proprietary polymer caps — but in the case of capped polymer boards, the core of the board contains NO organic material, like wood flakes. This means superior resistance to moisture, mold, mildew, and weathering. Hello, enduring beauty.
PVC Decking & Composite Decking
Capped Polymer Boards
Deck boards that contain no organic material in the core or cap; made from 100% polymers (plastics including polyvinyl chloride, or PVC).
4-Sided Capped Composite Boards
Deck boards with a core made from a blend of engineered materials (like recycled plastics, HDPE, etc.) and organic materials (wood), with an engineered cap.
PVC decking therefore refers to capped polymer deck boards, such as the TimberTech® AZEK® line, and is an offering within the larger composite decking category of the decking industry.
Why Choose PVC Decking?
There are major benefits to both capped polymer and capped composite boards. The product line you choose will depend on your investment level, design goals, and ultimate vision you have for your outdoor oasis.
To learn more, read a more in-depth composite decking comparison. Below, we’ll take a closer look at capped polymer (PVC) decking.
Benefits to PVC Decking
TimberTech AZEK capped polymer boards:
- Are highly resistant to mold and other moisture damage because they contain no wood in the core or cap.
- Boast proprietary polymer caps backed by Alloy Armour Technology® for incredible protection from fading, staining, and weathering.
- Stay up to 30 degrees cooler than competitive composite products.
- Are backed by industry-best warranties including a Lifetime Limited Warranty and 50-Year Fade & Stain Limited Warranty.
- Are low-maintenance and easy to clean.
- Don’t require the labor-intensive and costly staining, sanding, or painting that wood does.
- Promote sustainability as capped polymer boards are environmentally-friendly products made from up to 54% recycled material.
- Won’t shear or splinter, so your children’s feet or beloved pets’ paws stay protected.
- Can be heat-bent for custom deck applications.
- Bring value and beauty to a home for decades (and can even be used as exterior cladding).
Which PVC Decking Collection Is Right for Me?
Now that you know a little more about composite decking as a whole, it’s worth taking a deeper dive and asking: “Which PVC decking collection is right for me?”
Our TimberTech AZEK line comes in three collections, all with boards made from 100% polymer cores and caps, and all tailor-made for the discerning homeowner. Click through the images below to learn more about each collection.
The Vintage Collection®
The PVC decking of the TimberTech AZEK Vintage Collection embodies some of the most resilient and gorgeous deck boards on the market. The collection features moisture-, fade-, stain-, and weathering-resistant capped polymer (PVC) deck boards, plus color-blending of up to six hues and infinitely variable grain patterns that bring richness and complexity to your outdoor living space. Available in multiple widths for versatile deck design options.
The Harvest Collection®
If you want the sleek simplicity of a painted-wood look, opt for the PVC decking of the TimberTech AZEK Harvest Collection. Like all collections in the TimberTech AZEK line, the Harvest Collection features moisture-, fade-, stain-, and weathering-resistant capped polymer (PVC) deck boards. Now available in both standard and wide-width in Brownstone and Slate Gray.
If you’re looking for low maintenance, high value, and serious aesthetic appeal, PVC decking is the clear choice.