When it comes to the thickness of your vinyl decking material, how can you know you’re making the best choice for your deck and your budget? Is thicker or thinner better? We gathered responses from our readers as they weighed in on this debate. Keep reading to see what thickness they recommend.
The Vinyl Decking Sweet Spot
Thicker is not necessarily better. Vinyl decking can become problematic when it’s too thick. The seals between pieces will cause rises and could lead to pooling water in the lower parts. Meanwhile, there are no benefits to offset these potential problems.
In places where there are building codes, the minimum thickness requirement for vinyl decking is 60 mil. As it turns out, 60 mil is the sweet spot for vinyl decking thickness. Any thicker and you start running into problems, any lower and you risk diminished durability.
Vinyl is waterproof at any thickness. If you choose a fabric-backed vinyl, you may run into water problems with vinyl because the fabric hinders a good seal from forming when the decking material is heat welded. Vinyl-backed-vinyl has an excellent seal, so you won’t have to worry about water damage with it.
Thinner Vinyl Decking Is Cheaper and Easier To Install
Thinner vinyl decking (under 1.5 inches) is cheaper and easier to install than thicker decking. It can therefore be more suitable for smaller balconies that are covered, where you are not too worried about wear and tear from rain and extensive footfall.
If you want to lay down the flooring yourself, then opt for thinner vinyl decking. Keep in mind, anything thinner than 1-inch is too thin and may be prone to buckling or squeaking underfoot.
Thicker Vinyl Offers Stability
Vinyl decking materials are becoming increasingly popular in the construction industry because of their low cost, durability, and sustainability. However, not all vinyl decking materials are created equal. In some cases, the thicker vinyl decking material is not always better than thinner vinyl decking material.
The thickness of the vinyl decking material can vary depending on the application. For example, thicker vinyl decking would be better for exterior applications where there is a lot of foot traffic and heavy wear and tear.
Thin vinyl would be better for interior applications where you don’t have a lot of contact with people or objects that are heavier than standard vinyl decks.
Thicker vinyl could be used for both interior and exterior applications because it offers more stability, which makes it easier to walk on.
Stick with Industry Standard
There is an assumption that the thicker the Vinyl decking is, the more waterproof it is. This is not true. Your deck may require a roofing membrane due to building code requirements, making the thickness of the Vinyl past industry-standard pointless. The industry standard is 60 mil, and anything above that doesn’t do much extra for you. However, I wouldn’t recommend going under 60 mil either.
Pros and Cons of Thicker Vinyl
As a home decoration expert, being better is dependent on the aspect that you are focused on. When it comes to aesthetics, having thicker vinyl decking can create additional bumps because of overlapping. If this is the case, it will not be better to use thicker vinyl.
But if you are more concerned about the durability of the decking, thicker is indeed better. Summing it up, thicker vinyl decking materials are sometimes better but not always. It can have advantages but there might be downsides that can exist.
Always Follow Building Code
When presented with choices for decking materials, you may think that a thicker material would be better when compared to a thinner one, but that isn’t always the case when it comes to vinyl decking. It’s consistently the most ideal decision to allude to construction law prerequisites as your rule. For example, you can get vinyl decks that are only 20 mils thick that are waterproof and can last for several years.
Consider the Maintenance
Thicker vinyl for decking purposes may appear like the best option, but it’s dependent on our taste and needs. I find that vinyl with a medium thickness is sufficient for almost every decking project. Sometimes, with a heavy thick surface, dirt and residue build up at a faster rate, making it more difficult to maintain. Consult with your local codes to help you make the right plans!
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