So your deck is looking a little worse for wear?

Don’t worry, you don’t have to tear the whole thing down and start from scratch. You can easily replace your old deck boards with composite materials that will make it look brand new again.

Not only will your deck look amazing, but it will also be a lot more durable and long lasting than if you had just replaced the wood boards. Plus, you won’t have to worry about any of the maintenance that comes with traditional wooden decks.

Even though the process of replacing your old deck boards with composite ones is fairly straightforward, there’s still a little preparation that needs to be done.

Is It Possible To Put Composite Panels Right On Top Of Wood Boards?

Good question. Even though I would love to make your life easier. Unfortunately, the answer is no.

The reason being is that composite decking needs to be installed on a completely flat surface.

So if your current deck has any type of warping or unevenness, you will need to fix that before you can install the new composite boards. Trust me, it’s not worth trying to install the boards on an uneven surface. It will only end in frustration.

The other thing you need to take into consideration is the fasteners that you use to attach the composite boards to the joists.

You want to make sure that you use screws that are specifically designed for composite decking. That way you can be sure they won’t damage the material.

Oftentimes, your old decking will have dry rot beneath the decking boards.

This can happen if the wood wasn’t properly sealed or if it wasn’t maintained over the years. If you do have dry rot, you will need to replace any affected boards before you can install the new composite decking.

Once you have all of that taken care of, you are ready to start installing your new composite deck.

Related: Deck Replacement: When It’s Needed & What You Need To Do

Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to do:

Installing Composite Decking Over an Existing Deck: How to Do It Yourself

The first thing you want to do is measure the space between the joists. That will determine how wide of a board you need to purchase.

You also want to make sure that you leave about a ¼” gap between the boards so that they can expand and contract as the temperature changes.

Once you have your measurements, you can head to the store and purchase the amount of composite decking boards you need.

When you get them home, unpack them and lay them out in the sun for a few hours. This will help them to acclimate to the temperature and minimize any future expansion or contraction issues.

Now it’s time to start installing the boards.

Related: Less Obvious Alternatives To Wooden Decking

Step 1 – Remove all the old deck boards and rails

Removing the old deck boards is the first job on your list.

Remember to start from the edge of the deck and work your way in. This will make it a lot easier to remove the boards without damaging the framing.

You may need a claw hammer or pry bar to remove the old decking. Be careful not to damage the joists or posts when removing the old boards.

Related: Replacing Your Wood Deck with Composite Decking – With Steps

Step 2 – Inspect the framing for damage and make repairs as necessary

Once all the old decking is removed, take a look at the framing to see if there is any damage.

If there are any cracked or rotted joists, you’ll need to replace them. It’s also a good idea to check the posts and make sure they’re still in good condition.

If everything looks okay, you can move on to the next step.

Step 3 – Install the new composite deck boards

Now it’s time to install the new composite decking.

Start from the edge of the deck and work your way in, just like you did when removing the old boards. Remember to leave a gap between each board so that water can drain properly.

Most composite decking comes with hidden fasteners that make it easy to install. However, you may need to pre-drill some holes if the boards are particularly thick.

Once all the new composite decking is in place, you can install the rails and any other finishing touches.

Step 4 – Enjoy your new composite deck!

After following these steps, you’ll be able to enjoy your brand new composite deck.


If I have an old patio slab, can I lay composite decking over it?

If your patio slab is in good condition, you should be able to lay the composite decking boards directly on top of it. However, if there are any cracks or damage, you’ll need to repair them first.

Can I make a patio table to match my composite deck?

Yes, you can make a patio table to match your composite deck. You can either build it yourself or purchase one that’s already made.

Do I need to seal my composite deck?

Most composite decks don’t require sealing, but if you live in an area with a lot of sun or rain, it’s a good idea to seal it every few years. This will help to protect the boards from damage and keep them looking their best.

Can I build a raised deck with composite decking?

Yes, you can build a raised deck with composite decking. Just make sure to use the proper supports and joists so that it’s stable. You will need to build a subframe out of pressure-treated lumber to attach the composite boards to.

Is composite deck railing a good choice?

Yes, composite deck railing is a good choice because it’s durable and low maintenance. It’s also available in a variety of colors and styles to match your deck.

In Summary

Replacing your wood deck with a composite deck is a great way to improve the look of your home while also adding value. It’s a relatively easy project that anyone can do, and it doesn’t require a lot of tools or materials.

With a little bit of planning and effort, you can have a beautiful new composite deck that will last for years to come.

Thanks for reading!

About the Author

Passionate about helping households transition to sustainable energy with helpful information and resources.

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