Plastic decking
Photo: Hamilton Hedrick
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Plastic

This decking is splinter-free and requires almost no maintenance, except for the occasional cleaning. But it doesn't always look, sound, or feel much like wood. These decks also have complex fastening systems so the pieces can move as the temperature changes, but they squeak when you walk on them.

PVC
The 1.2" thick ForeverWood contains hollow channels to maximize stiffness. A hidden rubberized strip helps minimize noise and squeaking. The tongue-and-groove feature makes for easy installation and hides the screws so that you have a neat, uniform look. DeckoraWood is a similar material, but only 5/8" thick, so it can be placed over existing wood decks or concrete patios. The wood-grain on each material provides extra traction, especially when the deck becomes slick.

1. ForeverWood, from ICA Group, Inc., $3.50/lineal ft.; 100% PVC; limited lifetime warranty
2. DeckoraWood, from ICA Group, Inc., $2.25/lineal ft.; 100% PVC; limited lifetime warranty

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