Homeowners that have installed time decking can testify that it is not the best outdoor flooring option. The timber patio has lots of disadvantages that make it a less durable material for outdoor flooring. Then decking alternatives were created, and the rush for better decking materials began. Two common deckings that can replace timber decking are composite and plastic. Using composite decking and plastic decking to build a patio in your garden will produce desirable results. But the results of the two deckings are not the same. That is why most homeowners new to installing decking are confused and don’t know which to install between composite and plastic. So, composite vs plastic, which is better?

Plastic Decking Material

One main difference between plastic and timber decking is that the former is synthetic while the latter is made from lumber. Plastic decking is made from PVC material. Engineers created plastic decking in a factory where they mix the PVC material with other chemicals. Then the finished PVC is cut into boards so that they will be used as an outdoor patio. 

Composite Decking Material

Although composite decking is a synthetic material like PVC decking, it is completely different from it. While PVC contains only plastic, composite decking contains wood dust or fibre and plastic. The wood combination of composite decking makes it different from plastic decking. As a composite, this outdoor patio material is stronger, durable, and long-lasting than timber decking. Engineers created composite to solve the water-absorbing property of wood and the lack of textile strength of plastic. That is why wood-plastic composite is better than lumber and PVC. It retains the strength of timber and the water-resistant property of the plastic.  Composite decking has a protective shell on the surface that keeps moisture away. 

Composite vs Plastic

Comparing composite decking with plastic is crucial if you desire to install the best decking material. For starters, it might be difficult to tell the difference between plastic decking and composite. 

Composite vs Plastic Surface Texture

The surface texture of composite decking and plastic decking looks similar. There are some grades of composite decking that have nearly the same colour and texture as PVC decking. Grey composite decking can look similar to grey plastic decking. But on close assessment, you will discover that composite decking has a better surface texture than plastic decking. The aesthetic value of wood-plastic composite will not be enhanced without the wood part. 

Composite decking vs plastic

Since composite contains lumber fibre, it is easy for engineers to make the top look like wood. Top-quality plastic wood decking has a wood grain surface texture or a matte finish. This surface texture looks and feels like lumber decking. Homeowners that have used timber decking for a long time will find it hard to spot the difference between wood grain decking and lumber decking. Plastic decking does not have the surface texture of composite. But like the lower end composite decking, plastic decking comes in beautiful colours. Regarding the surface texture, composite decking is better than plastic. 

Resistance to the Elements

Both composite and plastic are resistant to the elements. But composite outperformed plastic when it comes to weather resistance. The UV rays of the sun will fade the surface colour of plastic decking more quickly than composite. If you installed both plastic and composite out in your garden, you would notice a colour change in plastic decking before you notice it in your composite. Top-quality composite decking will not produce any noticeable colour change until after you have used it for years. Colour change occurs when the sun’s rays reach and fade the surface of a decking. Since composite has a shell on its top, it will resist the UV rays of the sun better.  Regarding weather resistance, composite is better than timber.

Composite vs Plastic Maintenance

One attribute of composite and plastic is that they are easy to maintain, unlike timber that needs scrubbing, sanding and painting, composite and plastic needless tedious maintenance. Homeowners that install composite or plastic will discover that cleaning the top is easy and need sweeping or spraying with a hose. Scrubbing composite and plastic decking of stains are easy. And better still, homeowners don’t have to stain and paint plastic or composite. Regarding maintenance, composite and plastic are on the same level. So, composite decking vs plastic which is better?


Composite vs plastic, which is better? Selecting between composite decking and plastic can be difficult for homeowners that are new to both. If you consider the surface texture and resistance, composite decking is worth choosing over plastic.

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