How to Replace Wood Deck Boards with Composite

If you’ve got an old wooden deck that’s starting to show signs of wear and tear, you might be considering replacing the boards. But have you ever thought about upgrading to composite decking? Composite decking is an increasingly popular material that offers the style and function of wood without many of its drawbacks. This guide will walk you through the process of replacing your old wooden deck boards with composite ones so you can enjoy a modern and low-maintenance deck for years to come.

1. Introduction: Why replace wood deck boards with composite

If you’re considering replacing your old wooden deck boards, you may want to think about using composite deck boards instead. Why? For starters, composite decks require far less maintenance than their wooden counterparts. With composite decks, you don’t have to worry about annual staining and sealing to protect them from the elements. Soap and water are all that’s needed to keep them clean.

Plus, composite decks are much more durable than traditional wood, which means they’ll last longer and require fewer repairs over time. In this section, we’ll explore the many reasons why you should consider replacing your old wooden deck boards with composite. By the end of this blog, you’ll have a clear understanding of the benefits of composite decks and the factors to consider before making the switch. So let’s get started!

2. Cost of replacing deck boards with composite

Now that you know why composite materials can be a great option for replacing your old wooden deck boards, let’s talk about the cost. As mentioned earlier, composite decking can range from $15 to $30 per square foot, depending on the quality and brand you choose. Keep in mind that this is more expensive than traditional pressure-treated wood, which can cost between $1.60 and $2.00 per square foot.

The average cost to install a new composite deck is $8,850, which is more than double the cost of a wooden deck of the same size. However, the durability and low maintenance of composite materials make it a worthwhile investment in the long run. Plus, composite decking has a longer lifespan than wooden decking, so you won’t have to replace it as frequently.

Labor costs will also be a significant factor in your total cost. Expect labor to be between 50% and 60% of the total cost, so plan accordingly.

When considering the cost of replacing deck boards with composite, it’s essential to remember that this is an investment in your home. A well-maintained deck can add value to your property and provide a comfortable outdoor living space for many years to come.

In the next section, we’ll discuss the compatibility of composite boards with your existing deck substructure and provide installation tips.

3. Compatibility of composite boards with existing deck substructure

Now that you’ve decided to replace your old wooden deck boards with composite ones, it’s important to check if your existing substructure is compatible. Fortunately, most existing wooden substructures—the vertical posts, horizontal beams, and joists—that hold up wooden decks are more than adequate to support composite deck boards. As long as you had your deck built by a licensed professional, your current substructure should be able to accommodate new composite boards.

Before you start installing the new composite boards, it’s important to make sure that your substructure is in good condition. Check for any signs of rot or decay in the posts, beams, and joists. If you notice any serious damage, it’s best to replace those components before installing the new boards.

Once you’ve checked your substructure, it’s time to acclimate your new composite boards. Set the boards outside in a nearby location for a few days so that they can adjust to the temperature and humidity conditions in your area. This will prevent the boards from expanding or contracting after installation, which can cause warping or buckling.

Finally, it’s important to follow local building codes and manufacturer’s instructions when installing composite deck boards. Make sure to use the correct fasteners, spacing, and installation methods for your specific brand of decking. With a little bit of planning and preparation, you can replace your old wooden deck boards with beautiful and durable composite ones that will last for years to come.

4. Tips for installing composite boards on top of the old deck’s substructure

So, you’ve decided to replace your old wooden deck boards with composite ones. Congratulations on making this smart choice! But how do you install the new composite boards on top of the old deck substructure? Here are some helpful tips for you.

Firstly, make sure that the substructure is in good condition and the joist placement is no more than 16″ in the center. Then, let the composite deck boards acclimate before installation by setting them outside in a nearby location. This will allow for a more stable and accurate installation.

Next, ensure that the composite boards are properly spaced with the appropriate gap between each board. This will help prevent warping or cupping of the boards over time. Use a tape measure and chalk line to help you achieve accurate spacing.

When installing the boards, be sure to use the appropriate fasteners recommended by the manufacturer. These can include hidden fasteners or screws, depending on the type of composite board you have chosen.

Additionally, it’s important to choose the right type of screw or fastener for the job. Composite boards can be denser and heavier than traditional wooden boards, so using a longer screw or fastener with more holding power may be necessary for a secure installation.

Lastly, take the time to properly finish the edges of your new composite deck. You can use fascia boards or trim to give your deck a polished, professional look while also adding extra protection against moisture and debris.

With these tips in mind, you can confidently install your new composite deck boards on top of your old substructure and enjoy a beautiful, low-maintenance outdoor space for years to come.

5. Signs that indicate the need for deck board replacement

If you have an old wooden deck that has seen better days, you may be wondering whether it’s time to replace the deck boards with composite ones. But how can you tell if your deck boards need to be replaced at all? Here are some signs to look out for:

– Rot: If your deck boards are soft, spongy, or cracked, they may be rotting. This can be caused by water damage or insect infestation, and it can compromise the structural integrity of your deck.
– Warping: If your deck boards are warped or bowed, they may be old and weathered. This can make it difficult to walk on the deck and can even create tripping hazards.
– Splinters: If your deck boards are splintering, they may pose a safety hazard. Splinters can cause injury, especially to small children or pets.
– Stains: If your deck boards are stained or discolored, it may be a sign of mold or mildew. This can be caused by moisture that is trapped in the wood, and it can also compromise the structural integrity of your deck.
– Loose fasteners: If your deck boards are pulling away from the substructure, it may be a sign that the fasteners are loose or corroded. This can weaken the deck and make it unsafe for use.

If you notice any of these signs on your deck, it may be time to replace the deck boards with composite ones. Composite boards are made from recycled plastic and wood fibers, and they are designed to be more durable and long-lasting than traditional wood decking. Not only will they give your deck a fresh new look, but they will also require less maintenance and last longer than wood decking.

6. Factors to consider while replacing deck boards with composite

When replacing your old wooden deck boards with composite ones, there are certainly important factors to consider to ensure a smooth and successful installation. Firstly, the size and thickness of the new composite boards must match the existing ones. Check with the manufacturer if necessary, so you can be sure you are getting compatible material that fits the deck’s substructure.

Secondly, the ventilation and drainage requirements of the deck must be considered. Moisture buildup can cause damage to both wood and composite materials over time, so proper drainage and air circulation is crucial. Lastly, consider any existing features such as stairs, railings or lighting fixtures that may need to be modified or replaced to accommodate the new composite deck boards.

It is also important to measure the deck’s dimensions accurately when ordering the composite boards to ensure that you have enough material for the entire project. Plan on ordering extra boards, just in case there is any waste or errors in cutting.

Additionally, it is important to make sure the deck substructure is still in good condition. If not, it may need to be rebuilt or repaired before installing the new composite boards. You should also consider any future maintenance requirements when selecting your composite boards, such as how often they need to be cleaned or sealed.

By carefully considering all of these factors, you can ensure a smooth and efficient installation of your new composite deck boards. Remember, composite materials offer the promise of greater durability and less maintenance compared to wood, making them a smart choice for any homeowner wanting to upgrade their outdoor space.

7. Benefits of choosing composite boards over wooden ones

Choosing composite boards over wooden ones can bring a range of benefits to your deck. Here are some of the top reasons why you should consider replacing your old wooden deck boards with composite materials:

First and foremost, composite boards offer durability and low maintenance. Unlike wood, composite decking doesn’t rot, warp, or splinter, which means you won’t spend countless hours maintaining and repairing your deck. Plus, composite decking requires minimal upkeep, making it a great option for those who don’t have the time or energy to constantly maintain their outdoor living spaces.

Another advantage of composite decking is its longevity. While wooden decking may only last for 10-15 years, composite materials can last for decades. This means you’ll save money in the long run, since you won’t have to replace your deck boards as often.

Composite decking is also a more sustainable option than wooden decking. Many composite boards are made from recycled materials, including plastic and wood scraps. This means that not only are you getting a durable and long-lasting product, but you’re also helping to reduce waste and preserve natural resources.

Finally, composite decking can add value to your home. If you’re looking to sell your property in the future, potential buyers may be more attracted to a low-maintenance, high-quality composite deck than an aging wooden one.

Overall, choosing composite boards over wooden ones can bring a range of benefits to your outdoor living space. From durability and low maintenance to sustainability and increased home value, composite decking is a smart choice for any homeowner looking to upgrade their deck.

8. Cleaning and maintenance of composite decks

Congratulations on installing your brand-new composite deck! One of the best things about replacing wooden deck boards with composite is that it requires much less maintenance. However, that doesn’t mean that you can completely neglect cleaning it. In this section, we’ll discuss how to clean and maintain your composite deck to keep it looking like new for years to come.

First of all, it’s important to understand that composite decks are not completely maintenance-free. You’ll still need to clean it regularly to remove dirt, debris, and stains. The good news is that cleaning a composite deck is much easier than cleaning a wooden one, as you won’t need to stain or seal it.

The best way to clean a composite deck is by using soap and water. Simply mix some mild detergent with warm water and use a soft-bristled brush or a pressure washer to clean the surface. It’s important to avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive scrubbers, as they can damage the surface of the deck.

If you notice any mold or mildew on your composite deck, you can use a mixture of white vinegar and water to remove it. Simply spray the affected areas with the vinegar solution and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing it off with water.

To prevent scratches and other damage to your composite deck, avoid dragging heavy furniture or sharp objects across the surface. You can also place protective pads under furniture legs to prevent them from scratching the surface.

Finally, make sure to sweep your composite deck regularly to remove dirt and debris. This will prevent stains and keep the surface looking clean and fresh.

By following these simple cleaning and maintenance tips, you can keep your composite deck looking like new for years to come. So sit back, relax, and enjoy your beautiful, low-maintenance deck!

9. Precautions to take while installing composite deck boards

When you’re installing composite deck boards, there are several precautions you should take to ensure your deck looks great and is safe for years to come. First, make sure to inspect the substructure of your deck before installing composite boards. Check for any signs of rot or damage and replace any compromised pieces before installing new boards.

When installing composite decking, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Using the wrong fasteners or spacing the boards too close together can cause buckling and warping. To prevent this, use the recommended spacing and fasteners and ensure that the ends of the boards are properly supported.

Another important precaution to take when installing composite deck boards is to use the right tools. Composite decking can be more difficult to work with than wood, so be sure to use a carbide-tipped saw blade and drill bit. If you’re not comfortable with power tools, consider hiring a professional to install your deck.

Finally, be sure to consider the climate and environmental conditions in your area when installing composite decking. Extreme heat, cold, or moisture can affect the performance of composite boards, so be sure to choose a board that is appropriate for your area.

By taking these precautions, you can ensure that your composite deck boards are installed correctly and will provide years of safe and enjoyable use.

10. Conclusion: Can composite deck boards be installed over wooden ones?

Congratulations, you have come to the final section of this blog! As you now know, it is possible to install composite deck boards over your existing wooden ones. However, it is important to note that this is not always the recommended practice, and there are many factors to consider before doing so.

Firstly, it is crucial to inspect your current deck substructure for any damages or rotting. If you find any issues, it may be necessary to replace or repair the joists before installing composite boards. Additionally, if your existing wooden deck boards are in poor condition, it may be more cost-effective to replace them entirely rather than cover them up with composite boards.

That being said, if your current deck substructure is sound and your wooden boards are in good condition, then laying composite decking boards over them can be a great way to upgrade the look and feel of your outdoor space. Just be sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for installation and take all necessary precautions during the process.

By choosing composite boards over wooden ones, you can enjoy a low-maintenance, durable, and long-lasting deck that will stand the test of time. Plus, with a variety of colors and textures to choose from, you can achieve the look you desire without sacrificing performance or quality.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog and we hope it has been informative and helpful in your decision-making process. Happy decking!