- What is Plastic Composite Decking?
- Advantages of Plastic Composite Decking
- Materials and Tools Required 4.1. Materials 4.2. Tools
- Preparation 5.1. Choose the Right Composite Decking 5.2. Measure and Plan 5.3. Prepare the Ground
- Installation 6.1. Build the Frame 6.2. Lay the Decking Boards 6.3. Secure the Decking Boards
- Finishing Touches
- Maintenance Tips
- Frequently Asked Questions
How to Lay Perfect Plastic Composite Decking
Are you considering building a new deck, or perhaps upgrading your existing one? Plastic composite decking is an excellent choice, offering the perfect combination of durability, low maintenance, and aesthetics. In this article, we will walk you through the process of laying perfect plastic composite decking. Let’s get started!
What is Plastic Composite Decking?
Plastic composite decking is a type of decking material made from a combination of wood fibers and recycled plastic. This unique blend offers the look and feel of natural wood while providing superior resistance to fading, staining, scratching, and mold. It’s also environmentally friendly, as it helps to reduce waste and the use of toxic chemicals.
Advantages of Plastic Composite Decking
- Low maintenance
- High durability
- Resistant to fading, staining, and scratching
- Environmentally friendly
- A wide range of colors and textures available
Materials and Tools Required
To lay your perfect plastic composite deck, you’ll need the following:
- Composite decking boards
- Joists (pressure-treated wood or composite)
- Decking screws or hidden fasteners
- Starter clips (optional)
- Tape measure
- Circular saw or miter saw
- Power drill
- Carpenter’s square
- Chalk line
5.1. Choose the Right Composite Decking
Select a reputable brand with a good warranty and choose the color and texture that best suits your preferences and your home’s exterior.
5.2. Measure and Plan
Take accurate measurements of the area where you want to install the deck. Sketch out a plan that includes the layout, dimensions, and the location of the joists.
5.3. Prepare the Ground
Clear the area of any debris and ensure the ground is level. If necessary, use gravel or a weed barrier to prevent unwanted growth under your deck.
6.1. Build the Frame
Construct a frame using pressure-treated wood or composite joists. Ensure the frame is level, square, and properly supported.
6.2. Lay the Decking Boards
Start laying the composite decking boards by attaching a starter clip to the first board’s edge. Place the board onto the frame, ensuring it’s flush with the edge and properly aligned. Use a chalk line to mark the positions of the screws.
6.3. Secure the Decking Boards
Secure the boards to the frame using decking screws or hidden fasteners. Keep a consistent spacing between boards for proper drainage and ventilation.
Add finishing touches like fascia boards, railing systems, or built-in lighting to enhance the look and functionality of your deck.
- Sweep your deck regularly to remove dirt and debris
- Clean your deck with mild soap and water as needed
- Avoid using harsh chemicals or pressure washers that may damage the composite material
- Periodically check for loose boards, screws, or fasteners and tighten or replace as needed
- Remove any snow or ice buildup during winter months to prevent slipping hazards
Laying perfect plastic composite decking is a straightforward process that requires planning, preparation, and a few essential tools. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can create a beautiful, durable, and low-maintenance outdoor space for you and your family to enjoy for years to come. With the right care and maintenance, your composite deck will remain looking great with minimal effort.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How long does plastic composite decking last?
Plastic composite decking can last 25 to 30 years or even longer with proper care and maintenance. It’s essential to choose a reputable brand and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for installation and care.
- Can I install plastic composite decking directly over my existing wood deck?
It’s generally not recommended to install composite decking over an existing wood deck, as the old deck’s structural integrity may not support the new material. It’s better to remove the old deck and start fresh with a new frame.
- Do I need to seal or stain my plastic composite deck?
No, plastic composite decking does not require sealing or staining, as it is designed to be resistant to fading, staining, and scratching. However, occasional cleaning with soap and water is recommended to maintain its appearance.
- What is the ideal spacing between the deck boards and the frame?
The ideal spacing between deck boards is typically 3/16 inch (5mm) to allow for proper drainage and ventilation. For the frame, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for proper joist spacing to ensure adequate support.
- How can I prevent mold and mildew on my plastic composite deck?
To prevent mold and mildew, ensure your deck has proper ventilation, and avoid allowing standing water or damp leaves to accumulate on the surface. Regular cleaning with mild soap and water can also help prevent mold and mildew growth.