Decking Materials: Vinyl Decking

Find out all you need to know about one of the most cost-effective and low-maintenance decking materials: vinyl decking.



By: Sean McEvoy

Any deck owner who's ever power washed or—worse yet—scrubbed mold, mildew, dust and dirt from their formerly pristine deck will view the extreme low maintenance and cost effectiveness of vinyl decking with envy. If you're in the market for a new deck or ready to replace a rickety old one, this synthetic decking material could be the answer you're looking for.

Types of Materials for a Backyard Deck

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Finished Deck Will Provide Years of Enjoyment

A finished deck will add years of enjoyment, and can solve the problem of a sloping lot or poor access.

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Wood is Most Common Material for Decking

There are a variety of materials that can be used when building a deck. Wood is the most common material for decking. Make sure it is treated to prevent rot.

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Plastic Decking Ideal for Low-Care Design

There are a variety of materials that can be used when building a deck. Plastic decking is a low-cost option for decking. It is an ideal choice for low-care garden designs.

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Decking Tiles Made from Soft Wood Easy to Repair

Decking tiles made from light softwood are easy to replace when they start to wear.

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Pretreated Lumber Can Be Stained or Left Natural

Wood stains can transform pretreated lumber used for decking material.

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Some Decks Need Railings for Safety

Decks need safety railings if decking is too far off of the ground. These railings can be a decorative of the deck.

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Decorative Deck Finials Added for Style

Attractive finials can be used to personalize deck posts and come in a variety of styles.

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Vinyl decking has one clear disadvantage versus wood decking: it's not made of wood. So in terms of look and feel, it's different—that much is certain. Constructed from either hollow or solid pieces of PVC, vinyl decks can, however, be made to resemble natural wood (especially the solid pieces).

One advantage of vinyl decking is color customizability. Vinyl decks can literally be made to order in any color. Durability is another plus—vinyl decks are very stable. But beware: vinyl decking is prone to cracking and expansion when exposed to excessive heat or direct sunlight.

Maintenance is probably the single biggest advantage of a vinyl deck. Simply spray it clean, and don't worry about refinishing or staining.

Price is another win in the vinyl decking column—it's cheaper, in both hollow and solid form, than its wood or aluminum counterparts.

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