A concrete patio is one of the many options for outdoor flooring. Many prefer it over other choices due to its cheap cost and low upkeep. For instance, most deck woods are high-maintenance despite being one of the most popular outdoor flooring options. Because of this, many homeowners are looking to replace it with something else.
If you have an existing wood decking, you may also have considered pouring concrete over it. But the question is, can you do it? What are the things you should know before doing it? And how should you do it?
Can You Pour Concrete Over Wood Surfaces?
Pouring concrete over wood, such as indoor flooring or outdoor decks, may seem far-fetched. However, it’s a common construction practice. Overlaying concrete over wood floors can hide damaged boards. It also works on other surfaces, such as cracked concrete or other non-wood floorings. Because concrete is easier to maintain, customizable, and cheap, many homeowners opt to replace their outdoor flooring with it. For concrete overlays, you will want to cover the floor with around 1/2 inch coating of concrete.
Things You Should Know Before Doing a Concrete Overlay
While it’s a common construction practice, there are a few things up for consideration if you plan to do a concrete overlay. For instance, there are several advantages and disadvantages of a concrete patio. What are the pros and cons of an outdoor concrete patio?
A concrete patio is significantly less demanding to maintain than most wood decks. It doesn’t need yearly treatments, such as staining and painting. While not aesthetically pleasing at first, you can customize a concrete patio with various patterns, finishes, and styles. And during the summer days, it’s considerably cooler to touch than other flooring surfaces.
While there may be several advantages of concrete patios, you will need to be aware of their disadvantages. For instance, concrete is susceptible to staining, cracking, and freezing. Compared to decks, they also don’t add as much value to your property. While cheap, adding features, designs, and stamping on the concrete can be expensive.
Lastly, there may be instances where pouring concrete over flooring is not advisable. You will need to check the condition of the existing wood deck. If it’s too worn down, it won’t likely be able to support the concrete overlay. If that’s the case, you may save more time, money, and effort by removing the deck first and then pouring concrete.
How to Pour Concrete Over Wood Floor
The complexity of pouring concrete over wood decks depends on many factors. While it’s a common repair practice, there are a few challenges when overlaying concrete into surfaces, especially wood flooring. Most homeowners will hire workers to do it for them due to how complicated it can be. The truth is, while the materials for it are cheap, the cost can get high due to the construction process. But if you want to try it for yourself, here are the steps that you can follow.
Step 1: Evaluating the Existing Wood Deck – The first thing you’ll want to do is check your existing deck’s condition. If it’s too worn down, it may not be able to support the added weight. If that’s the case, it’s better to tear it all down and start from scratch. You’ll also check how wide the decking board gaps are. If the decking board gaps are too far apart, poured concrete will spill from them. To fix this, you can cover the whole decking area with plywood or any thin material.
Step 2: Add A Waterproof Barrier – Another challenge in pouring concrete over wood decks is that wood and concrete are two different materials. When exposed to moisture and temperature, each material will react differently compared to the other. While concrete expands and shrinks with humidity, wood does so at a faster rate. And what’s worse, the wood can absorb the moisture from the poured concrete, causing cracks to appear. To resolve this, you will need to put a waterproofing barrier such as plastic or felt to separate the two materials.
Step 3: Cover the Area with Lathing System – After securing the waterproof barrier, the next step is to add the lathing system. Laths support and reinforce the concrete during and after pouring it on the wood floor. Many use metal laths for better reinforcement. You can secure them using galvanized staples.
Step 4: Mix and Pour the Concrete – The last step is to mix and pour your preferred concrete on the floor base. Depending on the products you’ll be using, you may need to apply multiple layers of different concrete mixes. For a more detailed guide, check with the products’ manufacturers or read the instructions. Once poured, let it cure according to instructions.
Pouring concrete over a wood deck has its advantages. However, you will want to consider whether it’s worth getting a concrete patio instead of a deck. In some instances, it’s also better to remove the deck first before pouring concrete. If you’re unsure how to do it, you can always hire tradespersons to do it for you.