PVC vs Capped Composites

Non-wood decking planks are traditionally manufactured using one of two technologies: Capped composite technology or PVC technology.

Capped composite have been around the longest and are what most people associate with non-wood decking. These planks are developed from a mixture of plastics and wood fillers that are then capped with a plastic top layer which provides the plank its primary texture and color .

PVC planks are entirely made of PVC, contain no wood fillers and have become the primary plank of choice for most premier deck builders throughout North America.

While we are certainly willing and able to provide anyone an attractive and functional capped composite deck, we’ll never deny that it’s our preference to install PVC decking planks whenever possible. PVC decking planks are completely different and, in our opinion, vastly superior to capped composites as they outperform in virtually every category.



PVC decking

(100% polymer - pvc)

• Top of the line in quality, durability, and beauty

• Offering the most color options available

• Class A fire spread rating - best possible

• 0% waste during manufacturing

• PVC decking is 100% recyclable

• Minor scratches can be removed with heat gun

• Extremely light weight, yet stronger than capped composites

• Superior heat dissipation

• Industry best 50-year limited fade and stain, and a limited lifetime warranty

• Ideal for board bending

capped composite decking

(made with wood fillerS)

• Planks are beautiful, but prone to scratching, mold, mildew and end swell

• Less color options available than PVC

• Class B or C fire spread rating

• Waste is created during manufacturing

• Capped composites decking must be disposed of in the landfill

• Scratches cannot be removed

• Extremely heavy, yet not as strong as PVC

• Much slower heat dissipation than PVC

• 25 - 30 year limited fade and stain, and a limited lifetime warranty

• Very difficult to board bend


To someone who’s not seen PVC products installed on a deck, it would be easy to assume that it would have the strong appearance of plastic. In reality, this is actually not the case and companies like AZEK have spent a lot of money developing products that mimic or resemble the look of natural wood. With the current trend for hardwood decking products like Ipe, Tigerwood and Batu on the increase, many synthetic decking manufacturers are using hardwood colors and grain patterns to influence their own range of plank styles. AZEK’s newest ‘Vintage Collection’ is a great example of how far PVC decking has come and how well the product can resemble the color and texture of real wood - and without the maintenance too.

Current day PVC decking planks fulfill the desire for low maintenance decking, contain no wood fiber (the common cause of mold, mildew and end-swell in capped composite decking planks), and offers the broadest color assortment and natural wood grains available. AZEK PVC is ranked #1 in quality and has a crisp, unparalleled aesthetic that can’t be found in other decking materials. It can be considered across most budget ranges – especially factoring in the higher cost of ownership over 20 years that you find with other alternative materials. AZEK Capped PVC will not rot, crack, warp, splinter or develop end-swell and does not require annual sanding, staining or sealing, and has an industry best 50 year warranty. Polymer based decking planks like Azek give you peace of mind, and more time to show off your outdoor masterpiece.

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