What to Know About 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
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How to Build a Deck

Find complete instructions on how to construct a deck from the ground up.

Overview

In this series, Chip Wade shows you how to build a deck from the ground up.

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.

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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