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.

Melanie Musson

Melanie Musson

Melanie Musson is a home improvement expert with Clearsurance.com.

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.

Volodymyr Barabakh

Volodymyr Barabakh

Volodymyr Barabakh, Co-founder and Project Director at Fortress Home.

Max Benz

Max Benz

Max Benz, Founder, and CEO at Remote-job.net.

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.

Andre Kazimierski

Andre Kazimierski

Andre Kazimierski, CEO at Improovy.

Jenny Stokes

Jenny Stokes

Jenny Stokes, Founder, and CEO at MinimalJapan.

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.

Matthew Paxton

Matthew Paxton

Matthew Paxton, Founder of Hypernia.

Leonard Ang

Leonard Ang, Realtor, and CEO of iPropertyManagement.

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!

This is a crowdsourced article. Contributors' statements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this website, other people, businesses, or other contributors.


  • Nate Barrett

    As the President of SRI Decks, my greatest satisfaction comes from the immediate sense of fulfillment that our work brings. From the initial design discussions with our customers to the moment we capture the final project in photos, I feel an immense pride in my team for their dedicated efforts. My passion for hands-on work and outdoor projects is matched only by the joy I derive from seeing a delighted customer when we’ve successfully completed a job. Fun Facts: I like hot chocolate in my coffee. I’ve been with SRI for 12 years, prior to ownership. I have a daughter, 3 dogs and a loving girlfriend.

    View all posts