Vinyl Decking Vs. Composite Decking – Performance Measurements

Decking information sources like and are just two of the many sites that are discussing the topic of composite decking, a decking product alternative that has raised many questions. Vinyl decking has developed a reputation as a reliable, low maintenance solution for waterproofing decks and outdoor living space, but if you’ve been to any home shows or building shows in the last few years, you have probably seen or heard about composite decking.

Composite decking is a wood and plastic combination formed into planks that closely resemble the look of real wood. In theory, WPC decking, or wood plastic composite decking has an appeal for people who like the look of wood, but want a low maintenance alternative. But if what you truly want is a deck that is made to last without a lot of maintenance, you might want to do a little investigating before you sign any contracts.

Decking Solutions: Proven Performance or Trial and Error

Duradek, the premiere deck waterproofing PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) membrane has a history of nearly 40 years of protecting decks throughout North America. There are few waterproofing products that can come close to matching Duradek’s record of performance for waterproofing effectiveness and the promise of low maintenance deck surfaces. Certainly, over such a span of years, there has been ongoing research and development to ensure Duradek is always working well with new grades of lumber and updated building codes, and only subtle adaptations to already proven methods of the application has kept Duradek rated as an approved walkable roof deck membrane. Overall, Duradek is a time-proven success story for waterproofing decks.

A deck protected with Duradek Ultra Cork Natural membrane
A deck protected with Duradek Ultra Cork Natural membrane

Composite decking, however, is still developing through its infancy stage and manufacturers seem to steadily be making changes or ‘improvements’ to the product. From the original WPC (Wood Plastic Composite) to today’s Capped WPC, what works and what doesn’t work is changing. Now there is even a company developing a wood plastic composite using nanotechnology to create a tougher ‘cap’ to encircle the composite deck boards. For many building professionals, these types of innovations raise more questions and uncertainty on long-term performance value. Sites like are attempting to shed some light on the topic of composite decking and its manufacturers.

Deteriorating Composite Decking form
Deteriorating Composite Decking from

There is a huge strain on contractors to develop enough familiarity with composite products to have the required amount of expertise that you would expect from their services. Installations of products that are going through so many early-stage developmental changes are quite risky indeed. Besides the fact that contractors may not have enough history with composite products to deal with any intricacies that may apply to a given installation, it is the manufacturing companies that offer the warranty on the product. There has been some notable turnover in the composite decking industry, and one company has changed ownership twice since their composite decking products were released, which in effect makes any warranties offered by prior ownership completely worthless. offers an insightful article on composite decking from the deck builders perspective.

Duradek vinyl has been produced by the same North American manufacturer for its entire history and has maintained consistent ownership for nearly 40 years. Duradek’ s leading 10 year waterproofing warranty raised the bar for industry performance and Duradek professionals know the intricate details involved in waterproofing.

In fact, Duradek vinyl is installed ONLY by specially trained and authorized installers, so there is no guesswork on the job site. When you call a Duradek installer, you can be confident that your contractor knows the product well and has been specially trained in its installation, that the product performs well, and that you have the written guarantee of roof grade waterproof protection.

If you would like to speak with a Duradek installer in your area for a free, no-obligation estimate on your deck, check out Duradek’s ‘Find a Dealer’ page to begin your journey towards beautiful and protected outdoor living space.

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