Which Is More Durable, Poly Lumber Or Wood?

Wood has been used for thousands of years to build structures both small and grand. While wood used to be the best material available for construction, new and innovative building materials have been developed, like poly lumber. 

What Is Poly Lumber? 

Poly lumber is made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE). This versatile plastic can be formed into any shape and is frequently used to make bottles, pipes, automobile parts, and even toys. Over the last several decades, HDPE has also been used to create lumber profiles. 

Poly Lumber: The Most Durable Of Lumbers

Here’s why poly lumber is considered the most durable option: 


The chemical makeup of HDPE gives it great strength. HDPE is made up of covalent bonds, known as carbon-to-carbon bonds. These bonds are very difficult to break or disrupt, ensuring strength. 

HDPE Can Be Reinforced 

Plastic lumber is made by breaking down HDPE into pellets which are then melted, mixed with additives, and extruded into a final shape. To even further increase strength, other materials, such as fiberglass, can be added. In fact, fiberglass is included in Structural Lumber


A fascinating fact about plastic lumber is that while it is strong, it is also flexible. Poly lumber can be molded on site using a heat blanket, allowing designers and builders to create unique structures without cutting and rejoining boards. 

Ability To Withstand Environmental Factors 

Exposure to the elements is a serious concern for any structure. Here’s how poly lumber handles various elements: 

Heat & Cold

Temperature extremes cause wood to expand and contract, weakening the integrity of the board over time. When humidity is added into the equation, it’s typical to see boards that swell and warp. This ultimately results in cracking, peeling, and splintering in addition to board weakness.

High quality HDPE lumber is not seriously impacted by temperatures under 400 degrees, even when humidity is present. 


Even pressure treated lumber will eventually absorb water, simply because wood is a porous material. Boards will rot and degrade as a result. 

Plastic is waterproof. It’s the perfect material for any marine application and in areas that are humid. Although not common, if mold and mildew do grow on plastic lumber, it can simply be wiped off with soap and water! 

Pest Resistant 

It’s not enough to say that poly lumber is pest repellent – insects like termites, carpenter bees, ants, and beetles have no interest in burrowing into plastic. Weakening and damage to a structure by these common pests simply can’t occur when poly boards are used. 

Are Recycled Materials Used To Make Poly Wood? 

Yes. At Plastic Lumber Yard, our high-quality HDPE boards include plastic sourced from recycled materials. Shampoo bottles, detergent bottles, and other products are broken down and melted. 

It’s even possible to recycle any scraps of lumber that are left over once a project is completed! 

Learn More About The Construction Materials We Offer 

If you have questions about how our poly lumber can be used in your next construction project, reach out to our experienced team: email info@plasticlumberyard.com or call (610) 277-3900.