Trex vs. Plastic Decking

What is Plastic Decking?

Plastic decking (also known as PVC decking) is lumber made from 100% plastic. Plastic decking is often confused with composite decking, which contains plastic film, but isn't quite the same thing. Learn more about the various types of plastic decking, the pros and cons of these materials, and how plastic decking stacks up to Trex® composite decking.

Types of Plastic Decking

Two of the most popular choices for building a deck are plastic decking and composite decking. But not all decking material is created equal. There are some important differences between the two:

Composite Decking

Composite decking—like Trex—is a blend of plastic film and wood fibers. The plastic film that goes into composite decking can include polypropylene or polyethylene. These plastics work well with wood fibers to create a strong, resilient material that is more stable than 100% plastic decking.

PVC Decking

PVC decking is made completely from synthetic materials. PVC consists of polyvinyl chloride, a type of vinyl typically used for outdoor siding and fencing.

PVC-Wrapped Composite Decking

PVC-wrapped composite decking is a plastic-coated board comprised of a composite core wrapped with a vinyl shell.

PVC Decking

Cold Resistance

PVC decking is resistant to moisture and rot because synthetic fibers are not absorbent. However, it can expand with heat and contract with cold. This can cause it to crack and make your deck potentially unstable.

Fading and Scratching

Some PVC decking materials can fade or peel as a result of exposure to the elements.

Composite Decking

Trex Recommended

Composite decking does not splinter or crack and does not become as slippery as solid plastic in winter months.

Trex Recommended

Trex composite decking products are infused with stain-resistant, fade-resistant color throughout the entire board to minimize the look of any surface scratches, giving uniform color all the way through.

Is Trex Plastic?

Nope. Although Trex contains plastic, it’s a composite decking material. As a result, you get the the eye-catching look of rich wood with the durability of a composite. Backed by a 25-year limited warranty, it’s environmentally friendly and designed to remain free of rotting, splitting, splintering, insect damage. See the Trex difference for yourself.

How Long Does Plastic Decking Last?

Composite decking requires minimal upkeep and can last between 25 and 30 years. On average, plastic decking has a similar lifespan to composite decking and can last nearly 30 years. Geographic location and weather patterns can play a role in its lifespan since plastics can expand, contract, and crack with extreme weather conditions. No matter where you live, Trex composite decking is backed by a 25-Year Limited Residential Warranty. It’s engineered to stand up to harsh weather and decades of foot traffic.

Is Plastic Decking Recyclable?

Some plastic decking is recyclable. Others are not. PVC decking is typically made from virgin plastics, which can be recycled after use. Although Trex decking cannot be recycled due to the mingling of wood fibers and plastics, it can be repurposed into new decking materials. Even better, it contributes to less trash in landfills and on the planet.

Trex composite decking is made from 95% recycled materials.

Trex uses recycled plastic film and reclaimed wood to build a better decking material. Trex saves 400 million pounds of recycled materials from landfills each year.

As one of the largest plastic film recyclers in the U.S., our eco-friendly approach contributes to a healthier environment.

Composite decking vs. wood

Composite decking has a clear advantage over wood:


Weathers All Weather

Resists The Elements