Composite decking has become more popular than ever before. More people value having a space for relaxation and living space. You may even consider building one for your home. But what if you already have paving slabs in your backyard? Can you put decking over paving slabs?
Can You Build a Deck Over Paving Slabs?
Many homeowners already have paving slabs on their backyards. But the concern is whether you can install decking over them. Whether you can do it or not depends on many factors. In most cases, however, it’s completely okay to do so. More so if you’re using high-quality materials like composite decking.
However, as previously mentioned, there are things you should consider first before starting to install the deck. For concrete slabs, you have to make sure that it’s in excellent condition. For stone slabs, make sure that every piece is stable and attached to the ground.
Regardless of whether it’s concrete or stone slabs, you have to ensure that there are no problems regarding water pooling, which can be a problem from wooden decking. Another issue that you have to take note is whether the slabs are level. Not only will it cause instability, but it can also damage the deck and shorten its lifespan.
Lastly, if your patio is in bad condition, it’s best to remove it and create a new foundation altogether. For this, you need to prepare the ground for decking. You can find a lot of guides on how to prepare your deck installation area, depending on what type of decking you are planning to build.
How To Build Decking Over Paving Slabs?
Now with all out of the way, the question is, how can you build a deck over existing concrete or stone slabs? While the process depends on what type of deck you’re planning, you can use these steps as a general idea on how to do it.
Select The Best Material
One of the most crucial steps in building a deck is selecting the best material, especially if you want to set it on top of paving. Because it’s more likely to be exposed to moisture, you will need to choose a durable, water-resistant, and long-lasting decking. For this purpose, composite decking is one, if not the, best options that you can pick. If you plan to choose other materials, you may need extra protection to assure long life and durability.
Prepare the Installation Area
Next, you will need to prepare the paving slabs for deck installation. Whether you will set the decking on concrete or paving slabs, you will need to inspect for drainage problems. While it may not affect the deck, especially if you’re using composite decking, it will affect the frame of the deck. For concrete, you can apply a self-levelling compound. You can also plan your decks to be sloped towards one end, away from your home is recommended.
For stone paving slabs, you may need extra protection from weed growth, more so if you plan to build a ground-level deck. You can protect your decking frame by installing a weed barrier or covering the paving slabs and tiles with landscaping fabric. For best results, you may need to add edging to protect further from weed growth.
Build The Frame
The next step is to build an appropriate frame for the deck. You can follow many guides on how to do it. However, there are a few crucial details that you should remember, regardless of what type of decking you are planning to build. One of them is joist spacing. For decking, you want to have at least 16 inches on centre joist spacing. Any more than that can cause the decking boards to sag.
If you plan to build a ground-level deck, it’s also best to choose water-resistant materials for your frame. Most builders will recommend using at least pressure-treated wood. You can also use composite lumber for framing.
Install the Decking Boards
After installing the frame, the last step is to install the decking boards. You will need to follow any specific instructions from your decking board manufacturers. You can also check the internet for more detailed guides on how to do this step.
An easier way to install decks over patio slabs, whether stone or concrete, is by using composite decking tiles. For decking tiles, you won’t need to prepare the installation area. Most tiles will have interlocking clips. They are easy to install and maintain.