Capped composite decking: what it is, and why you need it

Is your deck the relaxing haven you deserve, or more of an eyesore? If your old wood deck is splintered and cracked, but the idea of staining and restoring your tired, always-needs-something wood deck makes you want to retreat back indoors, consider a more long-term, low maintenance solution: capped composite decking.

Unlike wood, capped composite decking won’t splinter, crack, or decay. It won’t fall victim to insect infestation, and never needs sanding, staining, or refinishing.  In fact, an occasional soap-and-water bath is usually all that’s required to keep it looking like new. Plus, capped composites are exceptionally resistant to staining and fading, so your deck will retain its beautiful appearance for years with only minimal upkeep. The same just can’t be said about wood.

Capped composite provides an extra layer of protection and resists fading and staining. Shown above: Horizon Decking in Ipe with Tudor Brown accents. Deck built by Chattanooga Exteriors of Tennessee.

Capped composite decking has come a long way from earlier, uncapped options

Today we have capped composites, which feature a “cover” that provides added protection against the elements and everyday living. This capping contains UV inhibitors and provides an additional element of strength and resilience.

Of course, when we say cap or “cover” we don’t mean something that is added after the composite decking is made. In the case of Fiberon capped composite decking, the cap is bonded to the core during the manufacturing process.

Co-extrusion process creates strong, resilient deck boards with lasting good looks

So, how are capped composite deck boards made? At the in North Carolina and Idaho, the wood and polyethylene polymers are carefully blended to create a solid, dense core material. Then, a separate, stabilized polymeric cap is fused around the wood-plastic composite core. The core material is then co-extruded with a non-organic surface product that has a unique blend of premium, non-reactive color pigments, UV inhibitors, anti-oxidants, and mold inhibitors. These features combine to provide Fiberon capped composite decking with superior resistance to sun, stains, mold, and bacteria, as well as ensure lasting durability and outstanding color. Adding color pigments at precise intervals during the manufacturing process results in distinct multi-tonal streaking. Some streaking is dramatic, much like exotic hardwoods, while other boards have more subtle streaking. Either way, the result are beautiful, and one of the key elements that sets Fiberon composite decking apart from other brands.

Discover the secrets to capped composite decking

Innovative. Beautiful. Sustainable.

Eco-friendly, sustainable manufacturing processes and a high percentage of recycled content are two other hallmarks of Fiberon capped composite decking. All Fiberon composite deck boards for the North American market are capped and made using pre- and post-consumer recycled content. The wood comes from lumber mill scraps while the plastic (polyethylene) polymers are recycled items such as shampoo and detergent bottles. Using recycled content prevents further deforestation and prevents unwanted materials from polluting the earth via incinerators or landfills. We also utilize a more sustainable manufacturing process, including a closed loop water system. Whenever possible, we transport our finished goods via rail car, furthering reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.

Four-sided capping gives composite decking added versatility

In addition to enhanced durability and performance, four-sided capping means the boards are reversible. Fiberon decking is unique and is one of the few manufacturers whose deck boards are reversible. Reversible boards offer several advantages over non-reversible boards; specifically, fewer board cuts and less material waste, as well as the ability to emboss different grain patterns on either side of the board, thus increasing design options and visual appeal. Fiberon deck boards also have a polished appearance on top and bottom, so they’re a great choice for second-story decks. Plus, they are available in square edge (for traditional face fastening) and grooved edge (for hidden fasteners). Hidden fastening gives your deck a smooth, fastener-free surface that’s easy underfoot and more like your indoor wood flooring.  Fiberon offers two lines of four-sided boards: Horizon Decking and Symmetry Decking.

The beauty of Symmetry Decking, including its refined matte finish and understated, multi-toned streaking, is a real show-stopper. And with a warm, earthy color palette that looks rich and natural and is comparable to authentic hardwoods, you can create that low-maintenance sanctuary without sacrifice.

Symmetry Decking is the ideal choice for those who want it all: style, resilience, and low-maintenance. Shown above: Symmetry Decking in Cinnabar.

Horizon Decking is another great option for those seeking all the benefits of four-sided capping at a price point comparable to others’ three-sided decking. Bold, rich color options that emulate exotic hardwoods, elegant, dramatic streaking, and distinct grain patterns catch your eye from the get-go. And of course, it all comes with the traditional composite finish you’ve sure to love. Those features coupled with a composite core that resists splintering, cracking, rotting, insects, and decay make this an easy choice to make.

See a side-by-side comparison of all Fiberon decking options.

Horizon Decking provides exceptional stain and fade resistance in bold, dramatic colors, including our bestseller, Ipe, shown above.

Now that you’re fully aware of the benefits of capped composites, maybe you’re wondering how beautiful your home would look with a new Fiberon capped composite deck. See it all come together with our new Outdoor Living Visualizer.


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