Decking Materials 101: Understanding the Differences Between Vinyl, Wood, and Composite

Dec 20, 2023

Choosing the ideal decking material is the first step in designing a lovely and practical outdoor area. Choosing the material that is most suited to your needs might be overwhelming, given the wide range of possibilities on the market. Vinyl, wood, and composite are the three most widely used options for decking materials.

Making an informed choice and ensuring your deck is both aesthetically beautiful and long-lasting requires understanding the differences between these materials; read on to learn more!

Vinyl Decking: Low Maintenance and Durability Combined

Due to its extended lifespan and low level of require maintenance, vinyl decking has recently grown in popularity. Vinyl decking, which is made of PVC (polyvinyl chloride), is immune to rot, mould, and insect harm. It is a great option for regions with high humidity or near water, such as pool decks or waterfront properties; vinyl is a great option if you require decking material that is moisture-resistant and can tolerate harsh weather conditions.

With the variety of colours and textures that vinyl decking offers, you can give your outdoor area a unique appearance. Vinyl decking is a desirable alternative for homeowners looking for hassle-free decking material because it requires little to no upkeep.

Wood Decking: Classic Beauty and Natural Appeal

For outdoor settings, wood decking has long been a popular option because of its timeless beauty and rustic allure. Redwood, cedar, and pressure-treated lumber are common choices for wood decking. Any outdoor space can benefit from the warm, inviting appearance of wood decking, which also lends a touch of sophistication. To match the colour scheme you want, you can paint or stain it for a fully customizable deck.

The strength and durability of wood decking are also well-documented, particularly for pressure-treated options that we have available at Premier Sundecks. To prevent rot, insects, and moisture damage, you’ll want to opt for pressure-treated materials. If you’re looking to spend a little more for higher quality durability and resistance to the elements, you can go with the unmatched style of natural Cedar.

Regardless of the option you choose, wood decking requires regular maintenance. This maintenance includes staining, sealing, and sometimes even repairs—your wood deck will last for decades and look its best with proper upkeep.

Composite Decking: Beauty and Durability in One

The best qualities of both vinyl and wood decking are combined in composite decking. Composite decking, made from a combination of wood fibres and recycled plastic, offers the natural appearance of wood with the added advantages of durability and low maintenance. There is no need to seal or stain composite decking because it is resistant to decay, fading, and stains from other substances. It is a safer solution for households with children or pets because it is resistant to splintering or fracturing like traditional wood.

You can customize the appearance of your outdoor space by choosing from a variety of composite decking colours and treatments. Composite decking is a more cost-effective option than wood or vinyl, despite having a greater initial cost. Over time, composite decking can end up costing less due to its durability and a lack of required maintenance.

Factors to Consider: A Detailed Comparison

To further understand the differences between vinyl, wood, and composite decking, let’s explore some important factors:


The least upkeep is needed for vinyl decking. It doesn’t need to be painted, sealed, or stained. It normally only has to be cleaned with light soap and water to stay spotless. Regular care for wood decking includes staining, sealing, and sporadic repairs. Like vinyl, composite decking requires little care; to eliminate dirt and debris, only the occasional cleaning is necessary.


Vinyl decking is extremely resilient to rot, mould, and insects. It is also quite durable, and extreme weather conditions won’t cause it to distort or splinter. Although wood decking is sturdy, it typically requires regular upkeep to ward off rot and insect damage. Composite decking has a long lifespan and is pest-, mildew-, and rot-resistant. In comparison to wood, it is also less prone to warping and cracking with time and exposure to the outdoor elements.

Aesthetics, Colours and Textures

A wide variety of colours and textures are available for vinyl decking, although it might not have the same natural aspect as wood. Each type of wood offers distinct qualities that can give your wood decking a classic and natural appearance. The aesthetic appearance of composite decking is similar to that of wood, but it comes in a wider variety of colours and finishes.


Vinyl decking often costs more upfront but requires little upkeep, saving money over time. Although wood decking has a reasonable upfront cost, maintenance costs may be ongoing. Despite having a higher initial cost than wood, composite decking requires no ongoing care, which can mean long-term cost benefits.

Additional Decking Material Considerations

The following are some additional factors that you should consider when choosing a decking material.

Installation Method: There is a specific installation method for every material. In contrast to wood decking, which can be installed using standard techniques, vinyl decking frequently calls for professionals tools and methods. With regard to composite decking, the installation process may require specialized fastening techniques.

Lifespan and Warranty: Consider the warranties offered by the manufacturer as well as the expected lifetime of each decking material. Compared to wood, vinyl and composite decking often lasts for a much longer period of time.

Environmental Impact: Consider each material’s effect on the environment. Recycled materials are frequently used in vinyl and composite decking, making them an environmentally-friendly choice.


Making a long-lasting, beautiful, and useful outdoor environment requires careful consideration of the decking material you use. Each type of decking—vinyl, wood, or composite—offers particular benefits and considerations to keep top of mind when planning out your home’s exterior upgrades.

Vinyl decking is the best choice for those looking for a hassle-free alternative because it requires no care and is incredibly durable.

However, for those who are looking for more intricate aesthetics, elegance and customization, you’ll want to consider wood decking or composite.

You can make an informed choice and make sure your deck lives up to your expectations by speaking with an experienced Vancouver decking professional at Premier Sundecks. We possess the know-how to help you achieve your dream look, breathing life into your home improvement concepts as they come to fruition. Whether you like the ease of vinyl, the timeless beauty of wood, or the durability of the composite decking material, we’ll find the option that works best for your needs and style preference.

Vancouver Decking Experts

To discuss your decking project and learn more about the many decking material alternatives, get in touch with Premier Sundecks right away. Our team of experts is committed to offering superb craftsmanship and building gorgeous outdoor areas that improve aesthetic appeal and functionality for your home.