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What Is The Difference Between Capped And Uncapped Composite Decking?

Friday, January 19, 2024

Capped and uncapped composite decking are two types of composite decking boards that you may have seen when looking for the best deck for your own yard. Both types are good choices for most deck projects. But before you make a choice, you should understand some of the differences.

This article will talk about the main differences between these two types of composite decking. We will also talk about the benefits of finished composite wood decking and why we think they are the best choice.

What Is Uncapped Composite Decking?

The most common type of composite decking boards are uncovered wood boards. They are made from recyclable plastic matter and wood fibers. The entire decking product is made from the same material.

In the composite decking making process, recyclable plastics, wood fibers, and other additives are mixed together and then extruded through an extrusion die to obtain molded decking boards. During this process, composite decking manufacturers often add a natural texture to the surface of these decks that mimics solid wood, giving them a more natural look and feel.

Although they are still high-quality composite decking boards. the wood fibers are still clearly visible due to the lack of capping. Some people prefer the look of uncovered boards because the exposed wood makes them look like traditional wood decking.

Composite wood decking is strong and durable, with very good water and mold resistance, and will last a long time even without capping. Uncapped composite decking is very non-slip due to the 3D wood grain on the surface. It is one of the best choices for building a pool deck.


What Is Capped Composite Decking?

Capped composite decking has the same core as uncapped composite decking. However, it is surrounded by an additional protective polymer shell. All four sides and ends of capped composite decking are covered with this polymer shell. This prevents water from entering the core of the decking.

Capped composite decking is the most durable of the two types of composite wood decking. This is because the extra layer of protection makes the decking stronger and more durable.

Today, capped composite decking is the most common type because it has many advantages. In other words, most composite decking boards on the market today are capped decks. Co-extruded (capped) composite decking comes in many different styles. COOWIN first had composite decking with a 3D wood grain finish and art color. This makes the decking boards look like real wood.

Is Capped Composite Decking Better than Uncapped Composite Decking?

Like uncapped composite decking, capped composite decking has many of the same benefits. However, it also has some additional benefits.

The most important thing you need to consider when making composite decking is the appearance and longevity of the deck. With that in mind, let’s take a look at why capped composite decking may be the best choice for your project.



Uncapped composite decking looks great, and the exposed wood fibers will make it look like a standard wood deck. Some people prefer this kind of composite wood decking because not only does this kind of decking provide the natural look of wood decking, but it also avoids the regular maintenance and upkeep work of wood decking.

As far as appearance is concerned, capped composite decking is more flexible and comes in a wider variety of colors and styles. This means you have more options when designing composite decking. It should be easier for you to find styles and color schemes that match your yard and home.

Due to the smooth surface of the polymer protective shell. Therefore capped composite decking looks more stylish and classy.

Which type of decking you like best ultimately depends on your personal taste. Capped and uncapped composite decking are both very aesthetically pleasing in appearance, but for different reasons.


When it comes to maintenance, there is not much difference between capped and uncapped composite decking. Because they are both made of the same material, neither of them needs to be repaired, sealed, or stained over time.

Both types of composite decking materials are low maintenance and only need to be cleaned every so often. You can clean with a strong detergent or warm soapy water and a soft bristle brush. In most cases, capped and uncapped composite decking only needs to be cleaned every six months.

Uncapped composite decking is a little more porous than capped composite decking. This is the only difference between the two. This means that uncapped composite decking will absorb a small amount of water over time.

This situation could lead to a small amount of mold or bacteria growth. If this is the case, these decking boards will need to be cleaned more frequently.

This is unlikely to happen though, and even if mold or algae did grow on uncapped composite decking, it would not affect their sturdiness.


Service life

Composite decking is made from recycled wood and plastic, so they have excellent waterproofing mold and corrosion resistance. In this regard, composite decking boards have an advantage over solid wood decks. This is because solid wood absorbs water and can rot if not treated properly.

Both capped and uncapped composite decking will last a long time because they are very strong and durable. On average, high-quality composite wood decking can last 25 to 30 years or more.

On the other hand, capped composite decking has an extra layer of protection that makes it more weatherproof. As a result, it usually lasts longer than uncapped composite decking.

Stain Resistance

Staining composite decking is not easy because all composite decking materials have excellent stain resistance. The presence of a protective polymer shell makes the capped composite decking even more stain-resistant. Because of the extra polymer coating on capped composite decking, spills stay on top of the decking boards and are easily wiped off.

This greatly reduces the likelihood of the boards getting stained. And in most cases, any liquid that gets on the decking will simply run off.

This is especially useful if you are going to be laying composite decking around the pool. This is because liquids such as sunscreen are more likely to fall onto the decking.

Since there is no polymer covering, uncapped composite decking is more likely to stain. This means that there is a greater risk of the deck being stained, and if too much time passes, spilled liquids may change the color of the deck’s surface.

However, as long as the liquid is cleaned off the surface of the composite decking as soon as possible, staining will not be a problem. Uncapped composite decking still has excellent stain resistance compared to other materials such as wood decking.



It may come as no surprise that capped composite decking costs more than uncapped composite decking. For the reasons we listed above, the extra cost of capped composite decking is worth it.

For example, capped composite decking has an extended lifespan, so it is less likely to need to be repaired or replaced during its lifetime. Another thing that is often overlooked may also make the high cost of capped composite decking worthwhile. If you are looking to sell your home, capped composite decking may bring more value to the home.

The reason for this is that most people believe that capped composite decking is of better quality than uncovered decking. This may make potential buyers rate your home higher.


One thing that makes uncapped composite decking better than capped composite decking is that it is easier to find. Due to the high cost of making capped composite decking, it is harder to find than uncapped composite decking as its popularity increases.

It depends on the seller you choose, but generally speaking, the lead time for purchasing capped composite decking is a bit longer. For most people, it’s not difficult to deal with this issue.

But if you need to start building the deck as soon as possible, using capped composite decking may make the whole project take longer.

Because capped composite decking has more advantages, it’s worth the extra time.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Paint Composite Decking?

You can paint your composite decking if you wish. If you decide to paint, it is best to use a primer first, followed by acrylic paint. However, we do not recommend painting the composite decking. This is because it is not necessary and will not make the decking last longer or be more durable.

It also means that you will have to paint the composite decking more often, which will make it require more maintenance. One of the biggest advantages of composite wood decking is that it doesn’t require much maintenance. This will take away from that advantage.

Does Composite Decking Get Hot in the Sun?

Most types of decking, including composite decking, will get hot when exposed to the sun for a long time. In other words, it will feel hot on the ground.

Since composite decking is designed to withstand thermal expansion, this will not cause the boards to warp or shorten their lifespan. However, if you want composite decking boards to be subjected to less heat, then you should choose a deck from the light color range.

Do I Need to Use a Cleaner to Clean Capped Composite Decking?

Capped composite decking does not need to be cleaned with composite decking cleaners. A power washer or warm water with soap is the best way to clean them. Acetic acid, baking soda, and water can be mixed together and used to clean stains that have been composite decking surfaces.

However, capped composite decking rarely hi appears stained, so you may not need to do this.


Final Thoughts

Capped and uncapped composite decking are similar in many ways, but capped composite decking is generally better. The extra layer of polymer shell makes it more durable and long-lasting, and the extra money spent is generally worth it.

If you are sure that composite decking is the right choice for you, check out our products today. We will provide you with free samples of composite decking so that you can have a more concrete understanding of our products. Meanwhile, our professional service team can answer all your questions.

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