So you’ve decided to build a deck, great. A deck can be an amazing outdoor living space that is perfect for entertaining or just relaxing at home. But which type of deck is the best? It’s likely you have friends or family members with decks, so you’ve seen decking materials at their best and worst. That being said, each type of decking material has a pro and con, which we will review now.

What is the Best Material to Use — Wood, Vinyl or Composite Decking?

Building a Deck From Wood

One of the most widely-used materials, wood is a popular option for many homeowners. Wood is not only a natural and beautiful compliment to any home. Its initial costs are also generally lower than those of other materials. On average, a pressure-treated wood deck will cost between $15 and $25 per square foot. If maintained properly, a wood deck should last, at the least,10-15 years.

Cons of Wood Decking

If you’re not a big fan of maintenance, you may want to pass on wood decking. Wood decks tend to break down quicker (warping, splitting, cracking and splintering) and aren’t the best long-term solution for your decking needs. Besides having to stain and seal your deck often, it may also be necessary to replace boards and rails, etc. As we mentioned above, this deck will also have a limited life span.

Building a Deck With PVC or Vinyl

PVC, also called vinyl is one of the most common plastics in the world. Today, it is used in many building materials, including decking and windows. The average cost of polypropylene-based (PVC) decking is $8.68 per square foot and solid polyvinyl chloride decking is around $9.48 per square foot. This material is fully recyclable, insect-resistant and easy to maintain.

The Cons of PVC or Vinyl Decking

PVC is a plastic material so decks made with it tend to look less natural than wood or composite decking. If you live in a hot climate, PVC can also become quite hot, uncomfortable and impossible to enjoy on the days you need it most. Lastly, you cannot paint or stain PVC decking and, due to expansion and contraction, deck fasteners can loosen over time.

Building a Deck With Composite Decking

Composite decking is mainly a mix of resin and wood. Wood not only adds structural support to each panel, but it also helps to give the material a more natural wood look. In fact, composite decking is one of the most natural-looking manufactured decking you can buy. The resin is used to hold wood pieces together and protects the material from weather damage.

Including installation, a composite deck will cost $30 to $45 per square foot, installed. Although slightly more expensive than pressure-treated wood and PVC, the long-term benefits of composite decking are very appealing. First, unlike wood decking, it will never need staining or sealing. It is also very strong and retains less heat than PVC decking. Lastly, Because composite decking is weather, insect and rot-resistant, it won’t need replacing for 25 to 30 years or longer. Overall, composite decks are a great option for people who prefer more enjoyment and less work for years to come.

The Cons of Composite Decking

Although composite decking is by far the best choice for low maintenance, durable decking, there may be one drawback. For those who live in warmer climates, composite decks retain large amounts of heat. This can make them uncomfortable to sit or stand on during peak sunlight hours.


While wood sometimes has a lower initial cost, after time, wood becomes far more expensive. PVC is less natural and tends to hold a lot of heat. In the long run, composite decking is by far the best choice, and Armadillo Composite Decking is more affordable than any of the leading brands.

What Types of Armadillo Composite Decking Are Available?

Armadillo Lifestyle Composite Decking is the ultimate choice for a low-maintenance, high-performance, long-lasting deck. Armadillo composite decking is wrapped on all four sides with a polyethylene protective shell to create a natural wood grain finish and protect against fading, weathering, stains, mold, and mildew.

Armadillo Essential Composite Decking proves that high-quality doesn’t have to be expensive. Available in two popular decking colors, the Essential line offers the same quality and durability of all Armadillo products with a price that appeals to budget-conscious homeowners.

Armadillo Commercial Composite Decking features a non-capped board, and is the perfect, low-cost solution for applications such as apartments, townhomes and commercial properties.

Does Armadillo Offer a Warranty?

Armadillo offers a limited-lifetime warranty for residential applications of our Lifestyle and Essential composite decking and 2x4s. We also offer a 10-year-limited warranty for commercial applications. Commercial composite decking (non-capped boards), includes a 5-year limited warranty.

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