Vinyl Decking Vs. Aluminum Decking: How Do These Low-Maintenance Deck Materials Compare?

Posted on: 6 March 2023

Installing a deck in your yard gives you a great place to host barbecue parties or relax outside. Wood decks, however, have a number of maintenance concerns that can make owning one a headache. They need to be periodically stained in order to protect them from being damaged by the rain. 

If you want a low-maintenance deck option, then a vinyl deck or an aluminum deck is a great alternative to a wood deck. Vinyl and aluminum are both waterproof, so you don't have to worry about them being damaged by heavy rain. They're also easier to keep clean than wood since stains from food and drinks aren't able to seep into the material. When comparing the two materials, however, vinyl often has an edge over aluminum when used for a deck. To learn why, read on to learn about how vinyl decking compares to aluminum.


Vinyl decking and aluminum decking can both be painted. One of the biggest advantages of vinyl decking, however, is that it's able to look more like wood compared to aluminum. Aluminum can be painted brown, but brown aluminum still doesn't look very similar to wood when you're close to it. The surface is far too smooth, and painted aluminum doesn't have any wood grain.

With vinyl decking, a grain can be painted on the surface of the boards to make them look very similar to wood. If you want a wood deck in your yard with fewer maintenance requirements, then vinyl is a much better option than aluminum.

Scratch Resistance

Aluminum decking is typically powder coated in order to give it color. This process uses a dyed powder that chemically binds to the surface of the aluminum. One downside of powder coating is that it's possible to scratch the powder layer, which will reveal the bare aluminum underneath.

Vinyl decking is more resistant to scratches because the boards and railings are dyed all the way through instead of getting color from a thin layer of powder on the surface. While vinyl decking can still be scratched, the scratches will be less noticeable compared to aluminum decking since the scratched area won't be a different color.


Aluminum decking stays cool when it's in direct sunlight because it's very reflective. Unfortunately, this can be a downside when you're trying to enjoy your deck. The reflected sunlight can shine in your eyes, and the reflected sunlight can also make you uncomfortably warm when you're sitting or standing on the deck. Vinyl has a matte surface that is much less reflective, so there's less glare and less heat from sunlight reflecting off the surface.

If you want a low-maintenance deck for your home, vinyl, and aluminum are both durable choices. However, vinyl decking is a much better fit if you want your deck to look like wood. Even if you don't, then its lower reflectivity and increased resistance to scratching often make it the better choice. If you're planning to install a deck in your yard, then vinyl is often your best option.


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