Two of the most commonly used materials in decking are composite decking, plastic, and wood. Wood has been used for generations and still is a top choice for building decking. 

On the other hand, PVC is relatively new on the scene, which was first introduced during mid-2000. Since its introduction, it continued to improve, making it a go-to material for decking.

Both plastic and wood each have their pros and cons. But the question many people are asking is: Is plastic decking cheaper than wood? Should you choose plastic decks or go for wood decks?

Plastic vs Wood Decking Price

When it comes to pricing of the materials, plastic is more expensive than most wooden decking boards. On average, PVC decking boards can cost around £10 per metre. 

Softwoods, the most common type of timber, cost around £5 per metre. There are also more expensive hardwoods that you can get for £5 to £10 per metre. 

The only wooden materials that are more expensive than plastic decking are exotic hardwoods like Ipe, which can cost more than £15 per metre. 

So in general, plastic decking is much more expensive than wooden decks. But what are the advantages of PVC over wood? Does it have any disadvantages? 

Advantages of PVC

PVC has many advantages over wood. One of the most notable is durability. Plastic decks are known to be more resistant to scratches, nicks, and dents. 

It can also withstand a lot of foot traffic. If you have big dogs or planning to place heavy pieces of furniture in your patio, a PVC deck is a better choice than wood. 

Another impressive advantage of PVC is its low maintenance. Wooden decks require careful maintenance. Most of the time, you’ll need to have a commercial product to clean a wood deck. 

When it comes to yearly maintenance, you also need to sand, seal, and stain the deck. Doing so can protect the wooden deck from damage.

But as for plastic, you don’t necessarily need to buy special products for cleaning. 

You also don’t need to seal, stain, and sand the deck as it’s already resistant to damage.

Regarding damage resistance, plastic decking is strong against moisture and mould growth. It also doesn’t rot, nor splinter, warp or bend. 

As for lifespans, a softwood deck can last for 15 years at most, while hardwoods can last as long as 25 years.

As for plastic decking, expect it to last for at least 25 years, as long as you maintain it properly. 

Plastic decking is also lightweight, making it easy to transport and install, especially if you’re building all by yourself. It is also easier to install, as it uses hidden clips and fasteners to lay the boards down. 

Disadvantages of PVC

While PVC has many advantages, it also has a few disadvantages. The most notable is it’s appearance. Many people prefer the feel and aesthetics of wood. And in this regard, PVC is lacking. 

Plastic decking has improved over the years, and many manufacturers are trying to produce materials that look and feel like wood. However, it still is the least wood-like among all decking materials. 

Plastic decking is also prone to long exposures in UV light. When exposed to UV, plastic decks can fade, which makes it look less like wood.

 Not only does it change colour when exposed to sunlight, but most plastic decks also become brittle, which makes it prone to damage. 

Best of Both Worlds

Are you still wondering whether to use plastic or wood for your deck? There’s one other choice, and it’s composite decking. Composite decking, like PVC, is made using plastics. 

The difference is that composites have both plastic and wood fibres, whereas PVC is 100% plastic. Composite decking has both the advantage of plastic and wood. 

Because of the wood fibres, composite decking is more wood-like than pure plastic decking.

plastic decking

It is also more damage resistant than wood, due to the plastic parts. It offers the best of both worlds of plastic and wood. 

Wood, composites, and plastic decking all have pros and cons. To choose which one, you’ll need to consider their advantages and disadvantages.

Regardless, all three of them are excellent choices when it comes to decking.


Plastic decking is not cheaper than wood decking, but it has advantages that make installing it the best thing to do.

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