Fortress Blog

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

What Are Deck Post Caps and Why Do You Need Them?

Think of your deck as a blank canvas. It’s waiting for you to incorporate bold new accessories that reflect your desired design aesthetic. One of the simplest ways to transform the look of your deck and curate a personalized open-air space is to attach railing post caps to your deck’s railing system. But what are deck post caps? And why do you need them?

Deck post caps are a covering that fits over the top of the posts on a deck. Since they are typically considered a decorative item, deck post caps are not usually critically needed for deck completion. That said, it is the responsibility of the installer to meet all local building codes and safety requirements. We also recommend making sure your deck’s railing system doesn’t require post caps to maintain the warranty.

When selecting post caps for your deck, it’s important to note the various material options. While in the past wood was considered to be the most popular option, because of its tendency to rot and deteriorate over time, vinyl post caps have grabbed the limelight. However, these too will fade and become brittle due to their lack of UV resistance. Nevertheless, post caps are still an attractive option for those looking to integrate a few subtle decorative elements to their outdoor living space. And with long- lasting metal options like aluminum or steel that can protect post tops from the elements, you can expect more than a few benefits when adding these accessories to your deck. 

Deck post caps add a touch of style to railings

While deck post caps may not be necessary to adhere to code, they are an attractive way to garnish your railing system and elevate your design game. Because deck post caps are commonly made from a variety of different materials such as vinyl, composite and metal, they can help support an array of styles—especially when paired with different railing materials. For example, if you have a composite railing, steel or aluminum deck post caps can help create ornate detail to heighten your decks aesthetic appeal. Those with flat pyramid caps nod to contemporary lines, and contrast with soft angles to add an attractive finish. They are even available in multiple colors to accommodate a range of exterior design schemes.

Extend evenings on deck with deck post cap lighting

Beyond adding visual interest, we also recommend installing post caps if you dream about spending late nights enjoying the outdoors from the comfort of your deck. Fortress® offers an integrated line of stylish railing post caps and LED lighting accents that will “light” up your deck with personality after the sun goes down. Our innovative design features allow lit and non-lit post caps to be used interchangeably. With this modular system, installing and removing a waterproof LED light system is a breeze.

An easy upgrade: How to replace old deck post caps to refresh your deck

Perhaps one of the best features about deck post caps is how simple they make it to upgrade your outdoor living space. If you’re updating an older deck’s vinyl or wood post caps, upgrading to more durable options like die-cast aluminum is a relatively straightforward process.  With just a little sweat equity and a sunny weekend, you can easily add a modern touch to your deck.

  • Since most vinyl and wood deck post caps are attached using adhesive PVC glue, use a small hammer and carefully hit the underside of the cap all the way around the post. This should loosen the cap enough so that you can remove it.
  • After that, thoroughly clean off the surface.
  • Install your new aluminum deck post caps using the screws, base caps and all other provided materials.

For more information on how to install deck post caps, check out our installation guide.

Whether you are building a new deck or updating an existing one, check out our line of versatile, virtually maintenance free deck post caps that can be paired with our wide selection of steel, aluminum, cable and glass deck railings systems.

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