This composite deck in Lexington, SC, is a true gem!
In the final installment of our two-part series on decking material considerations, Archadeck of Central SC discusses the often confusing realm of low-maintenance decking choices on the market today. Low-maintenance decking is what is commonly referred to in the business as “synthetic decking”. Synthetic decking includes composites, capstock, and solid PVC. These materials represent the fastest-growing segment of decking materials sold today. When you begin to examine the abundant choices available when choosing the material for your new deck, it can get confusing keeping up with each “type” of synthetic offers what — Synthetic decks have evolved over the past several years to encompass beauty in a wonderful array of hues, undulation and wood graining that rival the look of natural wood minus the maintenance!
Composite spa deck by Archadeck of Central SC.
Archadeck of Central SC would like to elaborate on the characteristics of each type of synthetic so that you may make a well-informed decision in choosing the best material for your new deck or redecking needs…
- Capstock – Capstock is the newest of the three synthetic decking materials to come onto the scene. It is a third-generation synthetic which is also referred to as capped PVC. This product contains a composite core that has been capped or wrapped in PVC. The material’s makeup delivers a product that is impervious to the elements and everyday accidents endured by most decks. TimberTech Evolutions and Fiberon are both good examples of capstock decking. The benefit of capstock is the performance and the price point. Capstock is less expensive than pure PVC and performs quite well.
Low maintenance composite deck in Lexington, SC.
From a price perspective, wood plastic composites are the least expensive, capped composite will generally be less expensive than a pure PVC product. Synthetics can range in price from $2.50 linear ft. for WPC to $6.50 linear ft. for a solid PVC material. Though synthetics may appear to be the same, know that no two are created equal. There is a wide range of quality, colors, and textures within each category and often the deciding factor for a customer is their personal preference of the look and feel of a particular product.
Comparatively, synthetics are not as structurally sound as wood. In order to properly support composite decking, the joists will usually need to be closer together than when building with PT lumber to prevent sagging. For example, on diagonal decking comprised of composite, this may require 12″ spacing vs. 16″ for PT. The advantages of both solid PVC and wrapped PVC products include reducing the amount of maintenance required by the homeowner, and more specifically a decrease in the amount of cleaning required to keep the deck looking new. Wood-Plastic Composites are still a good product but require more effort on the part of the homeowner. It is important to know that “low-maintenance” does not mean “no-maintenance” and as with any structure, a synthetic deck will need to be kept clean in order to remain looking and functioning at its best.
No matter which synthetic is right for your needs or your budget, Archadeck of Central SC can answer any questions you have about all of the decking products we offer. We also build wooden decks as well. Learn more about all our wonderful deck designs by contacting us today. Contact us for a free consultation at (803) 784-1566
The Archadeck of Central SC team – Mike Reu, Marshall Reu, and Tucker Reu
Please visit our deck photo gallery and our composite and vinyl (PVC) deck photo gallery located on our website for more examples of lovely low-maintenance deck designs by Archadeck of Central SC.