The Difference Between Capped and Uncapped Composite Decking

The Difference Between Capped and Uncapped Composite Decking


If you decided to install wood alternative decking, you have a lot of research to do. We all know the benefits of composite decking: you enjoy an easy cleaning, splinter free, and virtually maintenance free deck. We also know you pay a pretty penny for it. When making the investment, we want home owners to consider all the facts. In this blog we outline the difference between capped composite and uncapped composite decking.


Uncapped Came First

First, the early generations of composite feature uncapped decking boards. While the original composites succeeded in offering an improvement over wood for many characteristics, it wasn’t perfect. Staining, mold, and mildew reduced the life span of early wood-alternative decking. Recycled plastics and wood particles blended together make up the substance of composite decking. These boards have a dense, solid core. Composite companies learned that a strong core was not enough.


Capped Composite

Capped refers to the outer surface coated during manufacturing. The durable plastic coating adds UV inhibiters and antioxidants that protect the boards. Manufacturers cap the boards on three sides, allowing the under side to breath. The extra coating creates added durability not found in uncapped composite decking. Also, the plastic capping protects the boards against mold, mildew, staining, and insect infiltration. It also prevents damage due to weather exposure. Capping composite was the solution to the weaknesses of the early generations.


Installing Capped Composite

When shopping for the best wood-alternative decking, make sure to select a capped composite or capped PVC option. Look at samples to see how thick the capping is on a particular brand. The good news is, the capped layer is easy to notice. Some samples show a thicker capped layer than others. Remember that the capped aspect of the decking is what guarantees long-term durability.


Many companies manufacture quality composite decking.  Here are a few of our favorite options:


Fiberon Good Life

Azek Vintage Collection


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