Are you tired of your old wood decking and thinking about a more modern upgrade with plastic decking? The good news is that you might not have to remove the existing wood decking to install new plastic decking. But before you start, it’s essential to understand the pros, cons, and factors to consider when installing plastic decking over wood.
- It might be possible to install plastic decking over wood decking.
- Understanding the differences between plastic and wood decking is crucial.
- Pros of installing plastic decking on top of wood include durability, easy maintenance, and a modern look.
- Cons of installing plastic decking on top of wood include potential rot and drainage problems.
- Factors to consider before installing plastic decking over wood include the condition of the wood, the type of plastic decking, and the local climate.
- Proper preparation and installation are critical for a successful project.
- Maintenance tips include regular cleaning and inspection for damage.
- Plastic decking can last longer and be more durable than wood decking.
- Environmental considerations include the potential for recycling and disposal of old materials.
- Cost comparisons between plastic and wood decking are essential to consider.
Understanding Plastic Decking and Wood Decking
Before diving into the topic of installing plastic decking over wood, it’s important to understand the differences between these two types of decking materials.
Wood decking has been a popular choice for many years due to its natural look and feel. However, it requires significant maintenance, such as staining and sealing, to keep it in good condition. Additionally, wood decking is prone to rot, splintering, and fading over time.
On the other hand, plastic decking, also known as composite decking, is a synthetic material made from a mixture of plastic and wood fibers. It offers the appearance of wood without the maintenance requirements. Plastic decking is resistant to rot, splintering, and fading, making it a long-lasting and durable option.
While some people may prefer the natural look of wood decking, plastic decking has become a popular alternative due to its low maintenance and longevity. If you’re considering switching from wood to plastic decking, or installing plastic decking over an existing wood deck, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of each before making a decision.
Pros of Installing Plastic Decking on Top of Wood
Transforming an old, worn-out wood decking into a brand new-looking outdoor space can be easily achieved by installing plastic decking on top of it. Here are some of the pros of covering wood deck with plastic:
|Low Maintenance||Plastic decking requires minimal maintenance, saving you time and money in the long run. Unlike wood decking, plastic decking does not require staining, painting, or sealing to keep it looking as good as new.|
|Durability||Plastic decking is made of durable materials that are resistant to scratches, stains, and fading caused by exposure to the sun and other environmental factors.|
|Safety||Plastic decking is slip-resistant, making it a safer option for outdoor spaces, especially around pools and other areas where water can accumulate.|
|Versatility||Plastic decking comes in a variety of colors and designs, allowing you to choose the one that best matches your outdoor decor. It also enables you to customize the space to fit your needs and style.|
Overall, installing plastic decking on top of wood decking can give you a low-maintenance, durable, safe, and versatile outdoor space to enjoy for years to come.
Cons of Installing Plastic Decking on Top of Wood
While plastic decking offers a variety of benefits, there are also some drawbacks to consider before installing it over wood decking.
1. Reduced Space: Installing plastic decking on top of wood decking will reduce the available space on your deck as it will add an additional layer. This can affect the overall aesthetic and functionality of the deck.
2. Higher Cost: Covering wood decking with plastic can be more expensive than simply replacing the wood decking with plastic. This is because the extra labor and material required for installation can add up, making it a more expensive option
3. Unbalanced Weight Distribution: Adding an extra layer of decking can affect the weight distribution of the structure, leading to potential safety issues. This is especially true for older decks that may not be able to handle the added weight.
4. Reduced Stability: Plastic decking is typically thinner than wood decking, which can lead to reduced stability and durability over time. This can cause cracking, warping, and other damage, which will require repairs or even replacement of the decking.
Before deciding to install plastic decking on top of wood decking, it’s important to carefully consider these potential drawbacks and consult with a professional to determine if it is the right choice for your specific deck and situation.
Factors to Consider before Installing Plastic Decking over Wood
While it may seem like a good idea to install plastic decking over your existing wood deck, it is important to consider a few factors before embarking on this project. First, you need to ensure that your current wood deck is structurally sound and able to support the weight of the plastic decking.
Additionally, you should consider the condition of the wood deck, as any rot or decay could compromise the longevity of the plastic decking. It is also important to note that installing plastic decking over wood will raise the height of your deck, which can impact stairs, railings, and any nearby structures.
Other Factors to Consider
Another important factor to consider is the climate and weather conditions in your area. If you live in an area with extreme temperature fluctuations or heavy precipitation, you may need to take extra precautions to ensure your plastic decking is properly installed and maintained.
It is also worth noting that not all plastic decking materials are created equal. Some brands may be more compatible with your particular wood deck than others. Doing research and consulting with a professional can help you make an informed decision about which type of plastic decking is best for your specific situation.
Preparation Steps for Installing Plastic Decking over Wood
Before installing plastic decking over wood, there are certain preparation steps that need to be taken to ensure the success of the project. Firstly, remove any loose or damaged boards and clean the surface thoroughly to get rid of any dirt, debris, or mildew buildup.
Next, ensure that the remaining wood surface is level and even. Use a level tool to check the surface and make any necessary repairs or adjustments. It is also recommended to sand down any rough areas, splinters, or protrusions to create a smooth surface for the plastic decking to adhere to.
If the wood decking has spaces between the boards, consider filling them with a compound filler to create a solid and continuous surface. This will prevent any loose fitting or movement of the plastic decking once it is installed.
Lastly, measure the dimensions of the wood decking and purchase enough plastic decking to cover it completely. It is also important to ensure that the plastic decking is compatible with the underlying wood surface by checking the manufacturer’s guidelines and recommendations.
Installation Process for Plastic Decking over Wood
Before starting the installation process, ensure the wooden deck is in good condition as any damage or rot will affect the integrity of the plastic decking. The following steps should be taken when installing plastic decking over wood:
- Clean the wooden deck thoroughly to remove any debris, dirt, or mildew using a deck cleaner and rinse with water. Allow the deck to dry completely.
- Install a moisture barrier over the wooden deck where the plastic decking will be installed. This will prevent moisture from getting trapped between the wooden deck and plastic decking, causing rot.
- Install a layer of insulation over the moisture barrier to prevent the plastic decking from coming into contact with the wooden deck. This will also prevent moisture from being trapped between the two surfaces.
- Start installing the plastic decking by securing the first board in place with screws. Work your way across the deck, adding more boards and securing them with screws until the entire deck is covered in plastic decking.
- Trim the edges of the plastic decking to fit the shape of the wooden deck using a saw. Sand any rough edges to smooth them down.
- Install the finishing touches such as railings and stairs, as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
It is recommended to hire a professional to install the plastic decking over wood as they have the expertise and tools to ensure the job is done correctly and safely.
Maintenance Tips for Plastic Decking over Wood
Installing plastic decking over wood can make your outdoor space more durable, but proper maintenance is required to ensure the longevity of your investment.
Here are some tips to maintain your plastic decking over wood:
- Clean your plastic decking with warm soapy water and a gentle brush regularly to remove dirt and debris.
- Remove any stains or marks using a specialized plastic decking cleaner and a soft cloth.
- Apply a protective coating to your plastic decking to resist fading and other damages caused by UV rays and weather elements.
- Avoid using harsh chemicals or pressure washers on your plastic decking, as they can cause damage and discoloration.
By following these maintenance tips, you can keep your plastic decking looking as good as new for years to come.
Longevity and Durability of Plastic Decking over Wood
One of the most significant advantages of plastic decking over wood is its longevity and durability. Unlike wood, plastic decking resists rotting, warping, and fading caused by exposure to the elements. It is also highly resistant to insects and other pests that commonly infest wooden decks.
Most plastic decking materials are made of 100% recycled plastic or a blend of recycled materials and virgin plastic. This makes them more environmentally friendly and longer lasting than traditional wood decking. Plastic decking can last up to 50 years or more with proper maintenance, which is a significant improvement over the average lifespan of wood decking of around 10-15 years.
|Factors affecting longevity and durability||Recommendations|
|Installation process||Make sure to properly prepare the wood deck and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installing plastic decking.|
|Maintenance||Regularly clean and inspect the decking to prevent mold, mildew, and other issues. Use only recommended cleaning solutions and avoid using pressure washers as they can damage the surface of the decking.|
|Climate and weather||Choose a plastic decking material that is suitable for your climate and weather conditions. Some materials may perform better in extreme temperatures or high humidity.|
Overall, the durability and longevity of plastic decking make it a smart investment for homeowners looking to transform their old wooden decks. With proper installation and maintenance, plastic decking can provide a beautiful, long-lasting, and eco-friendly outdoor living space for years to come.
Environmental Considerations of Plastic Decking over Wood
As we become more conscious about our impact on the environment, it’s important to consider the environmental implications of installing plastic decking over wood. While plastic decking may seem like the eco-friendlier option, there are some important factors to consider.
|Durability: Plastic decking is highly durable and can withstand harsh weather conditions, reducing the need for frequent replacements.||Non-biodegradable: Once plastic decking reaches the end of its life, it cannot be composted or biodegraded, leading to a buildup in landfills.|
|Low maintenance: Plastic decking requires minimal maintenance and doesn’t need to be stained or sealed, reducing the need for chemical treatments.||Production impact: The production of plastic decking requires significant energy and resource use, contributing to environmental degradation.|
|Recyclable: Some plastic decking can be recycled at the end of its life, reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills.||Potential for microplastics: Over time, plastic decking can break down into small particles that can enter the environment and harm wildlife.|
While plastic decking can offer some benefits over wood decking, it’s important to weigh the environmental pros and cons before making a decision. If you’re concerned about the environmental impact of your decking choice, consider using sustainably sourced wood or other eco-friendly materials.
Cost Comparison: Installing Plastic Decking over Wood
Installing plastic decking over wood can be a cost-effective solution to give your old and weathered deck a fresh new look. However, it’s important to consider the costs involved before you proceed with the installation.
Firstly, you need to factor in the cost of the plastic decking material. The cost of plastic decking can vary, depending on the brand, quality, and design. On average, plastic decking can cost anywhere from $6 to $9 per square foot, which is slightly more expensive than wood decking.
Secondly, you need to consider the cost of installation. Installing plastic decking on top of wood requires more preparation and labor compared to installing plastic decking on a new surface. Therefore, the cost of labor can range from $5 to $8 per square foot, which is higher than the cost of labor for installing wood decking.
Thirdly, you need to factor in the cost of additional materials required for the installation. These may include hardware such as screws, joist hangers, and flashing. You may also need to purchase additional tools if you don’t already have them, such as a circular saw or a jigsaw.
Overall, while installing plastic decking over wood can be a cost-effective solution in the long run due to its durability and low maintenance, it’s important to consider all the costs involved before proceeding with the installation.
So, can you put plastic decking over wood decking? The answer is yes, but it’s important to understand the pros and cons before making a decision. Plastic decking offers many benefits, including low maintenance, durability, and environmental considerations. However, it may not be the best option for everyone.
If you decide to install plastic decking on top of your existing wood deck, it’s important to consider factors such as the age and condition of the wood, as well as the type of plastic decking you choose. Proper preparation and installation are also crucial to ensure a successful outcome.
Maintenance is relatively easy with plastic decking, but it’s important to follow manufacturer recommendations to keep it in top shape. In terms of cost, plastic decking may be more expensive upfront, but it can save you money in the long run due to its longevity and low maintenance requirements.
Ultimately, the decision to install plastic decking over wood decking is a personal one that depends on your specific needs and preferences. We hope this article has given you the information you need to make an informed decision.
Q: Can you put plastic decking over wood decking?
A: Yes, it is possible to install plastic decking over existing wood decking. However, there are a few factors to consider before making this decision.
Q: What is the difference between plastic decking and wood decking?
A: Plastic decking, also known as composite decking, is made from a combination of recycled materials and plastic. Wood decking is made from natural wood boards.
Q: What are the pros of installing plastic decking on top of wood?
A: Installing plastic decking over wood can help transform your old wooden deck, providing a new look and increased durability. It is low maintenance, resistant to rot and insects, and comes in a variety of colors and styles.
Q: What are the cons of installing plastic decking on top of wood?
A: While plastic decking can offer many benefits, there are some drawbacks to consider. It can be more expensive than wood decking, may require additional structural support, and can become hot in direct sunlight.
Q: What factors should I consider before installing plastic decking over wood?
A: Before installing plastic decking over wood, consider the condition of your current deck, the structural integrity, and any local building codes or restrictions. It’s also important to choose the right type and brand of plastic decking for your specific needs.
Q: What are the preparation steps for installing plastic decking over wood?
A: The preparation steps include cleaning and repairing the existing wood deck, ensuring proper ventilation, and applying any necessary waterproofing treatments.
Q: What is the installation process for plastic decking over wood?
A: The installation process involves laying down a moisture barrier, attaching support joists, and then installing the plastic decking boards according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Q: What are some maintenance tips for plastic decking over wood?
A: To maintain plastic decking over wood, regularly clean it with a mild detergent and water, avoid using abrasive cleaners or tools, and periodically check for any signs of damage or wear.
Q: How long does plastic decking last compared to wood?
A: Plastic decking generally has a longer lifespan compared to wood decking. It is resistant to rot, mold, and insect damage, and can last for 25 years or more with proper maintenance.
Q: What are the environmental considerations of using plastic decking over wood?
A: Plastic decking is made from recycled materials, reducing the demand for new lumber. However, it is important to choose a brand that prioritizes sustainability and uses eco-friendly materials.
Q: How does the cost of installing plastic decking over wood compare to other options?
A: Installing plastic decking over wood can be more expensive upfront than simply replacing the wood. However, it can save money in the long run due to its durability and low maintenance requirements.
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