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Best Materials for Docks in Sarasota: Vinyl vs Wood vs Trex

by Duncan Seawall

A custom dock in Sarasota is only as good as its materials. To make sure you're designing a custom dock that's worth the investment, you need to know the benefits and pitfalls of each material that's most commonly recommended by Sarasota's dock experts 


Related Blog: 3 Ways To Enhance Vacation Properties With Marine Construction


There are three major options for durable and visually appealing materials: vinyl-based boards,  pressure-treated wood, and trex decking (composite planks). To find the perfect balance between durability, aesthetics, and maintenance for your dock, let's explore the pros and cons of each:


Vinyl-Based Boards

Whether you own a residential or commercial waterfront property, vinyl materials are a highly durable option for Sarasota’s marine setting. The authentic wood-look design infuses a natural charm into your dock without the more frequent wear and tear of wood materials. Although vinyl material doesn't resemble the natural wood style as well as trex does, it's a substantially cheaper option with the same durability.


These water-resistant planks are engineered to repel moisture, preventing the common pitfalls of warping, swelling, or deteriorating. That means you can enjoy your dock year-round, come rain or shine, without paying for extra maintenance costs or frequent cleaning. But if you're looking for an option that can be cut and stained to fit your exact vision for your custom dock, pressure-treated wood might be a better option.


Pressure-Treated Wood

For a truly natural wood look, for a lower price, pressure-treated wood, such as IPE hardwood or western red cedar, is a great option. They're also the most customizable option, as they can be cut and stained to match your specific desired look.


Custom wood docks blend perfectly with Sarasota's natural scenery, but they're not the most practical for the harsh marine environment, needing to be refinished or replaced every 10-20 years. 


Trex Decking (Composite Planks)

Ideal for marine construction in Sarasota's coastal environment, trex offers unmatched durability and the authentic look and feel of natural wood. Made of a combination of recycled plastics and wood materials, composite plans are eco-friendly and built to withstand fading, staining, scratching, mushrooming, and mold for several decades.


While you can choose from a range of colors and finishes for your custom dock, trex decking is not as easily cut to fit your exact vision for your waterfront property. But it will capture the same natural wood style without frequent or costly maintenance. The deep wood-grain patterns and finishes offer a great alternative to pressure-treated wood that seamlessly blends with your waterfront property's luxurious ambiance.


When you start planning marine construction, it's important to consider the marine environment, the intended purpose of your dock, and your design preference before you choose your materials. If you're not careful, the cost of maintenance and upkeep to maintain your desired appearance might only come up after you've made your investment.


At Duncan Seawall, our commitment to transparent communication has led to over 40 years of countless picturesque custom docks in Sarasota. We ensure the utmost durability, efficiency, and elegance when choosing materials and crafting your design. We want to see your ideas, so if you have a vision that you want to bring to fruition, download our complete guide to docks.


Complete Guide to Docks

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