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Synthetic Wood Decking Costs

Also known as composite decking, synthetic wood decking is made from a combination of wood fiber and plastic. These two resources come together to create a decking plank that requires less maintenance than real wood and is believed to have a longer lifespan. Composite decking is waterproof and will not crack, warp or separate due to harsh weather conditions. It is capable of resisting damage from insects, such as termites, and does not require regular water repellant or stain treatments. This form of decking is available in many distinctive styles and patterns so that homeowners can add their own personal style to their backyard deck. 

  • Minimum Cost of mid-quality decking: $1,715
  • Maximum Cost of mid-quality decking: $1,975

Different Materials Used to Make Synthetic Wood Decking

Synthetic wood decking is made from one of several polymers, including polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride and polypropylene. Other ingredients such as wood flour may be added to the formula in order to stabilize the plastic material and prevent it from damage caused by UV rays. Wood flour can also cause the boards to have a more uniformed look. 

Polyethylene is an inexpensive form of plastic material that is resistant to chemicals. It is a durable plastic that is available in both a low and high density form. Low density polyethylene plastic may be used to create products such as plastic bags and general-purpose containers. Synthetic wood decking that is manufactured using polyethylene is typically the least-expensive form of composite decking that is available. The average cost for composite decking materials that contain polyethylene can be from $1,520 up to $1,748. 

Polyvinyl Chloride, also known as PVC or simply vinyl, is another inexpensive form of plastic that is extremely versatile. It has been used to create a wide assortment of products, including everything from window frames to furniture. PVC is widely used in manufacturing decking materials and one of the most common types of synthetic wood decking. 

Polypropylene is a plastic polymer that can be used in industry and consumer goods. It is resistant to heat and will not warp or become damaged when exposed to prolonged moisture. It is found in some of the most expensive synthetic wood decking materials because of its durability and resistance to a number of outdoor elements. The average cost for decking materials that contain polypropylene is from $1,943 up to $2,170.

Different Uses for Synthetic Wood Decking 

Synthetic decking materials can be very versatile and provide many advantages to homeowners. Decking that has been made with polypropylene plastic is ideal for building a deck nearby a swimming pool, lake or pond. This type of decking is highly resistant to mold, mildew and warping, which make it an excellent choice for decks that are located in high-moisture areas. It is a very useful resource for lake houses and beach homes that are located near the water. It can also be used to create low-maintenance boardwalks, docks, footbridges or walkways for private boat docks or public marinas. 

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Installing Synthetic Wood Decking 

There are many pros and cons associated with using synthetic decking materials. While some home-improvement experts may argue that it is always best to go with natural wood materials when it comes to building a heavy-duty structure, others will say that a synthetic deck will offer more benefits over time since the materials are low-maintenance and weather resistant. 

When choosing which type of materials to go with, homeowners should look at several factors, including their budget, why they are building a deck and which product offers benefits that outweigh the disadvantages. Synthetic wood decking is weather resistant, which means that it can withstand mold, mildew and rain damage. And since the material is waterproof, harsh weather conditions will not impact the overall stability or long-lasting quality of the structure.

Synthetic materials can be very easy to maintain, and cleaning does not require a large amount of time or effort. These decks can usually be hosed off now and then to eliminate dirt and debris. And since the decking materials are not made of natural wood, termites and other infestations are never a problem. There are a variety of styles, shades and types of synthetic decking available that will complement any kind of home exterior. Homeowners can choose from polyethylene based composites, polypropylene based composites, wood-free plastic and fly-ash based products. Plus, most synthetic wood decking is made of recycled plastics, making the materials an eco-friendly and green choice for building supplies. 

While it is easy to see why so many people have chosen to use synthetic decking materials, there are still some disadvantages that go along with using this type of product. Synthetic decking can be very expensive. Most supplies will cost around three to five times more than the same amount of pressure-treated wood. And even though there are many different wood patterned designs available, it is hard to deny that natural wood decking looks much more appealing. 

Synthetic materials are denser and can be heavier than natural wood decking. While this may not be a problem for homeowners who are having their deck professionally installed, those who choose to install their own deck may have some difficulty. 

Synthetic materials are quickly becoming more available in most areas, but it can still be difficult to find some particular styles and patterns at local supply stores. It can be difficult for some individuals to find the pattern they like best in large enough quantities to get the job done. Durability is another factor that no one is really sure about. Since synthetic decking is still considered to be a fairly new product, it is difficult to say exactly how long it will last.

Last updated on Apr 16, 2014

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