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Installing a composite deck over a wooden deck

If your wood deck has begun to creak, wobble and rot, the signs are there that you should probably start thinking about getting it replaced. Not only will it start to look bad, but a deck that has surpassed its time can be a major safety hazard. By replacing your wooden deck, you'll be doing yourself and others a huge favour. 

Since wooden decks have a limited life span, composite decking is often turned to as it is much more durable. The question many homeowners ask, however, is can you install composite decking over wood decking? Well, let's find out! 

Laying composite decking over wood 

The most logical reason for laying composite decking over an existing wood deck is the time that it can save. But can you do such a thing? In short, yes you can. You are more than capable of placing composite deck boards over existing wooden ones in order to save time and money from building an entirely new frame. However, despite the fact that you can do, should you do it? 

Should you place composite deck boards over wood?

So, we've gathered that you can place a new decking over your old wooden one, but is this something that you should do? Well, not really. While it does seem like the logical choice when we think about time and money, doing so has several downsides. 

Before you begin any rebuilding work, you need to first think about the quality of the existing wood deck. How old is it? Is it fairly new? Or has it begun to rot and now needs to replaced? These questions are crucial questions to ask because when you begin to place new materials over existing decking, the latter can directly impact the former. In the case of wooden decking, if the existing boards are old and rotting, the new composite boards on top will have their lifespan reduced. Despite composite deck boards offering great resistance to rotting, the surrounding structure will unfortunately suffer. Moisture will begin to get trapped underneath and will damage both the pre-existing wood decking and the new composite one. By placing new composites over wood, you may be doing more harm than good and in the end, it will cost you even more money to replace. 

On the other hand, if your wooden deck is relatively new and the materials have been pressure-treated, there's a good chance that it won't affect the overall quality and lifespan of your new composite boards. Even if it did, it will not cause as much damage as an old deck would cause. But the question remains, why would you want to build over a new-ish deck? Before carrying out any sort of work, you should consider the price of the materials needed since composite decking does have a high initial cost. 

Knowing that installing composite decking over existing wood decking isn't recommended, what else can you do if you need to replace it? 

How to replace your wooden deck 

If you have an old, tired, rotting wooden deck, instead of building a new composite deck over it and causing further potential issues later on down the line, simply replace your wooden deck boards with composite ones! Yes, it's that simple. It does mean that you'll have to rip out each of your existing boards and adjust the existing frame to be able to hold the weight of your new composite deck. But by doing this, you will be saving yourself a whole lot of trouble, time and money. Replacing an old deck is fairly straightforward, but if you need some direction, you can watch our video which explains the steps you need to take. 

Replacing Your Existing Deck >


If you require more information on replacing your wooden deck with a new composite one or for some advice on laying composite deck boards over an existing wood deck, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the TimberTechUK team - we'd be more than happy to help! 

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