Capped composite decking is an eco-friendly and durable alternative to traditional wood decking. The composite core is comprised of recycled plastic that might otherwise end up in landfills along with wood fibre waste from timber mills. In some cases, the core might also contain other organic materials such as rice hulls. A cap or shell is then fused to the core providing it with added protection and durability. This cap is non-organic vinyl (PVC) that is watertight and stain-resistant. Depending on the manufacturer, the cap may be on one side of the board, or it may completely encase the board.
The advantage of the capping is that it prevents moisture from getting to wood fibres in the core, which can lead to mould and mildew. It also makes for a deck that is extremely low maintenance and easy to clean.
Unlike traditional wood decking, you won’t have to worry about boards splintering, decaying, or becoming infested with insects. This material never requires sanding or refinishing. The only thing required to keep capped composite looking like new is the occasional cleaning with water and mild soap. Furthermore, capped composite is resistant to fading and staining.
Some of the better brand names for capped composite decking include Armadillo, Trex, TimberTech, Fiberon, TruNorth, IDekk and Moisture Shield.
Are all brands the same?
As with most products, not all capped composites are created equal. Some have very thick, hard capping that will hold up to a lot of abuse, while others may not be up to that same challenge. Each brand will also have its own selection of colours, textures and clip systems.
Most companies offer two or more models of their capped composite boards to suit various tastes and budgets. Boards may be monocoloured or embossed with a wood grain to look more natural.
Why choose capped composite decking?
While natural wood decking looks beautiful, it isn’t always practical for a busy household. Many capped composites can give the appearance of wood without the regular maintenance necessary to keep your wood decking from looking old and faded.
It is also a good choice for the eco-conscious household as by choosing composites, you know you are helping divert plastic and wood waste from landfills.
If you are looking to build a new deck on your home, capped composite decking deserves your consideration.