What is HDPE Decking?

Updated: Jun 10

High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) is a petroleum thermoplastic that you most likely already have in your home and the main ingredient in WearDeck. Known for its strength, density and moisture resistance, HDPE is used to make products like milk jugs and pipe systems. The American Chemistry Council applauds the longevity and weather resistance of HDPE Decking, claiming, “…that (HDPE) plastic lumber deck in the backyard can entertain generations of families.”

Benefits of HDPE Decking

HDPE decking certainly offers an enticing alternative to common decking options like wood and wood composite lumber. Although manufactured to resemble natural wood, HDPE lumber is entirely synthetic and overcomes the disadvantages of natural materials. Waterproof HDPE resists the mold, mildew, stains and insect infestation that impact porous wood decking. Wood composite and capped wood composite last longer than traditional wood lumber, yet they remain susceptible to warping, bending, aging and water damage that can be avoided with HDPE.


Manufacturers use other plastics like popular Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) to create deck boards with similar qualities to HDPE. The drawbacks of PVC decking include its likelihood to expand and contract, produce static electricity, retain heat, appear chalky over time and feel bouncy from lack of strength. Unlike HDPE, PVC is not resistant to sunscreen and insect repellent. PVC also poses environmental and health disadvantages. The Center for Health, Environment and Justice dubs it "the poison plastic” due to the harmful toxic chemicals that are released into the air during the production, use, and disposal of PVC. In contrast to PVC, manufacturing HPDE produces no harmful gases, and HDPE decking does not contain toxic compounds like bisphenol A (BPA). Compared to other types of plastic decking, HDPE delivers superior building, environmental and health benefits for buyers.

HDPE Decking: An Investment Worth Making

Though the upfront cost of HDPE decking can be higher than traditional wood or low-end composite decking, HDPE provides significant value and savings over time. HDPE decking continues to grow in popularity as more deck and dock owners desire a low-maintenance, lifelong decking solution.

At WearDeck, we understand the stress of selecting a decking material. With over 20 years of experience in plastics, our founder designed a permanent decking solution. WearDeck boasts the highest live load rating in the industry while experiencing minimal expansion and contraction. WearDeck is heat-reflective and comes in two new Barefoot Colors designed to stay cool enough for bare feet even on the hottest summer days. We recently developed permanent static protection that we now add to our boards. We are determined to be the last deck board you’ll ever need and continue to improve WearDeck for your comfort and safety.

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