Open Accessibility Menu

What is the difference between composite and PVC decking?

Custom composite deck​When it comes to choosing the right material for your low-maintenance outdoor living space addition, there are many choices…

As we discussed in our previous story which outlines the 3 types of synthetic decking, What is the difference between Composite decking, PVC decking, and Capstock? the task of deciding which decking is the right fit can often be daunting. Here at Archadeck of Oakville, Burlington, West Mississauga & Milton we realize this and are poised to educate about the various species of synthetic on the market so that you have all the tools necessary to make an informed choice.

Today, we are going to compare the differences between composite and PVC decking.

Composite vs PVC Decking: Pros & Cons At a Glance

Capped Composite:

  • Capped Wood/Plastic Composite Material
  • Periodic Cleaning of dirt & debris
  • Real Wood Look
  • 25-Year Fade & Stain Warranty
  • Durable
  • Mold/Mildew Resistance
  • Stain Resistance
  • Scratch Resistance
  • Colorfast
  • Splinter Free


  • Solid Cellular PVC
  • Sweep or hose off when dirty
  • Enhanced wood look with colors, patterns, and undulation
  • Lighter weight
  • 30-year limited fade & stain plus limited lifetime against material defects, termites, rotting, cracking, cupping and more
  • Maximum durability
  • The most mold and mildew resistant material for decking
  • Increased stain resistance
  • Improved scratch resistance
  • Highest fade resistance
  • Splinter Free
  • Heat dissipation keeps it cool on bare feet
  • Higher up-front cost

Modern Composite Decking

Composites are by far the oldest decking product on the market. Composites came onto the scene in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Composites are made up of wood pulp that is combined with plastic which is often derived from recycled plastic. This combination of wood pulp and plastic is used to create this low-maintenance decking material. Even though composites don’t require staining or painting, they do need to be kept clean in order to keep them looking and functioning their best. A good comparison of what can happen to a wood composite deck is to look at what an ignored leaf can do to a concrete driveway if it is not removed promptly. This is the same thing that can happen to a composite deck if it is not kept clean. Since we are dealing with products that are exposed to the outside elements on a daily basis, composite needs to be checked for any debris or dirt on a regular basis too.

Over the years, Archadeck has watched composites continue to improve in appearance and durability. Many composites promise the best of everything, from stain resistance to low maintenance and much more. TimberTech is a renowned leader in composite decking and a brand we embrace as Oakville’s premier deck builder. Their composite decking offers scratch, stain, and fade resistance that carries a 25-year warranty. TimberTech, like many of the leading composite manufacturers, has mastered the art of composites with wood graining and details that closely resemble the look of real wood. In the case of this high- quality composites it is like real wood, but even better.

Custom modern deck

PVC Decking

PVC (polyvinyl chloride) decking materials, just like traditional composites, have fade and stain protection through their warranties. But unlike composite, PVC is solid cellular plastic. This means PVC is free of any wood ingredients. This makeup creates a non-porous and very dense decking material. With these attributes, PVC decking only requires minimal maintenance. It will not fade, warp, crack, splinter, or stain. PVC is also very moisture friendly and is used heavily around pools, spas, and as a docking material.

Solid PVC is known as the second generation of decking materials, as it arrived on the scene a little over a decade ago. Pro-cell was the original PVC manufacturer which was later purchased by AZEK, which specialized in PVC trim used around homes. Today, AZEK and TimberTech are part of the same company. PVC products deliver the ultimate in low-maintenance characteristics but are generally at the higher end price point. The cost for synthetics can vary depending on the color, pattern, and amount of streaking and undulation present but are more expensive than traditional composites. Among the leader in solid PVC decking is, of course, AZEK, but Fiberon and many other manufacturers are offering solid PVC along with their capstock and composite decking lines.

PVC vs Composite Decking - Which is Right for Your Project?

When it comes down to the differences between composite and PVC, the bottom line is their makeup and price. Our goal as Oakville’s best deck builder is to provide you with all the information you need to make the best decision when choosing the material that bests suits your needs and budget for your new outdoor structure.

Contact us today to learn more about choosing the perfect deck for your home in Oakville ON, Mississauga, Burlington ON or Milton ON. Give us a call for a free consultation at (877) 362-5802 or drop us an email us.