The Best Materials for Fence and Deck Post Caps, Finials, and Toppers


Front doors are where we welcome friends and family, so they should not only be attractive but also represent us well.

Did you know deck and fence posts last longer when the tops are protected from exposure to sun, water, and debris? When the tops of posts are not covered, exposure to the elements causes wood to swell, split and rot over time.

Homeowners who do not cover their posts find they must repaint or replace them more frequently. Fortunately, there’s an easy and stylish way to prevent this frustration.

You can avoid sun exposure, deflect water, and protect your posts from other damage by covering he top of your posts with a post cap, finial, or topper. If it ever becomes necessary, exchanging these caps is much more affordable than replacing the supports in your fence or deck. A small investment can keep your project sturdy and beautiful for years.

Before you start shopping, check out this article. We’ve done the research for you on the three main types of post-covers and reviewed the most effective post-cover materials.

3 Post Cover Types

Post Caps

By: Island Post Cap
Location: Birmingham, AL

Post caps are made to sit on top of posts, covering a post’s top and upper edges, making them the easiest and most-forgiving option. They can be attached using glue, nails, or screws. You can find many styles — flat tops, pyramid-shaped to facilitate water runoff, or decorated tops like the enduring ball-shaped cap.

Post Finials

By: Island Post Cap
Location: Birmingham, AL
Because finials are designed to sit on top of posts, finials tend to be of a narrower design. Finials are usually secured by a lag bolt screwed into the top of the post or welded onto metal posts. They come in both simple and timeless designs. Island Post Caps even offers custom-shaped wood finials to replace old finals or turn drawings into reality

Post Toppers

By: Madison Iron and Wood
Location: Madison, IN

For a more personal touch, you can choose a topper. Madison Iron and Wood make toppers in many fun shapes to match your (and your home’s) unique character. These toppers do not cover the entire post, but you could pair them with a flat post cap for complete protection. Toppers are most commonly screwed to the tops of posts but may vary depending on the topper and your choice of application.

Now that you’ve chosen your type of post cover, you may wonder which material will hold up the best. Post caps and finials come in many materials and at nearly every budget. We’ve provided you with a list of the most common materials and their advantages.

7 Post-Cover Materials

Wood Caps & Finials

By: Island Post Cap
Location: Montgomery, AL

Wood is a timeless option. You can choose a type of wood that closely matches the material of your deck and fence. Or, for greater durability, many people select hardwoods like mahogany or cedar. These choices will last the longest, and you can still pick the color of your wood stain. Island Post Cap offers standard and custom sizes, shapes, and styles for wood post caps and finials.

Stainless Steel Caps

By: Wagner Companies
Location: Milwaukee, WI

You can never go wrong with stainless steel when seeking long-lasting protection from the elements. Metal lasts longer than wood, creating a sharp, modern contrast against natural wood. You can choose between caps pressed from sheet metal or cast. Wagner Companies offers even better product protection with galvanization or zinc plating.

Aluminum Post Caps

By: Mashko Metals
Location: Paterson, NJ

Aluminum is another standard option for metal post caps, especially since many industrial fences are made of aluminum. Affordable, durable, and easy to maintain, aluminum is a mainstay in home products. Mashko Metals keeps it straightforward by offering just three main post-cap styles. We love their promise of easy maintenance.

Vinyl Post Caps & Finials

By: Weatherables
Location: Groveport, OH

Vinyl post caps stand up well in the weather, are affordable, and can be color-matched to your deck or fence project. Weatherables makes high-quality vinyl caps to match your vinyl fences and promises easy installation. They offer multiple post-cap styles to match your architectural preference, and solar options double as lamps.

Composite Post Caps (Polystone)

By: Island Post Cap
Location: Montgomery, AL
Composite caps provide a middle ground between wood and vinyl options. Some homeowners find that wood post caps wear down or split too quickly, but they may not like the look of vinyl. Composite materials like Polystone offer a longer-lasting but aesthetically pleasing choice. Polystone is an artificial stone, perfect for casting. Island Post Cap offers beautiful sculptural caps in a variety of  natural colors.

Glass Post Caps

By: Birmingham, AL
For an extra flair, choose glass post caps! Glass may not sound like the sturdiest option, but makes theirs with ¼-in solid-molded glass, built to last. Glass post caps are semi-transparent and available in four rich colors that add a luminous glow to your landscape. You can pick a classic pyramid shape for standard 4″ posts and larger 6″ posts.

Lamp/Solar Post Caps

By: Dekor Lighting
Location: Denver, CO
Add an extra element of functionality to your post caps by adding illumination. Dekor Lighting offers solar post caps, which doubly serve as lamps. These LED post caps are fitted with a premium solar battery that can charge themselves during the day and light up your house party at night! They even use a recycled  owder-coated aluminum casing for double sustainability.
About the Author

Caylah Coffeen is a writer and editor sharing her insight on unique home products that help readers make their homes feel more like home. She also mentors fiction authors at her publishing company, Creative Cornerstones, based in Huntsville, Alabama.


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