For a safe and sturdy deck, a flat and level foundation is most necessary. However, there will be instances that the ground will not be as level as you hoped it would be. In which case, you will have to make some adjustments to make it a suitable foundation for composite decking. Because standard decks require additional effort to install, especially on uneven grounds, many homeowners and builders use decking tiles instead. They are easier to install, require less maintenance, can be removed and reinstalled when necessary. The best part is it works on any surface. But how do you install them? And what should you do if the ground is uneven?
What to Do If Ground is Uneven
Decking tiles today have interlocking mechanisms. Because of this, they are the easiest and quickest decks to install. Homeowners who have no experience in construction or first-time DIY-ers will want to try using them out.
The first thing you have to do is to find a level foundation to install the decking tiles. You can install it on most surfaces, from the ground, concrete, or existing decks. But what if the foundation is uneven? Is there nothing you can do? Fortunately, there are a few ways around this.
If you plan to install the tiles on bare ground as a floating deck, you can adjust the height by digging the foundation. To do this, you will want to dig a few inches into the ground and remove all the weeds and grass. Next, you will have to tamper the foundation to make sure it’s even and flat. Then, cover the area with landscaping fabric and gravel. Doing this can help prevent moisture and insect damage to the tiles, especially if you’re using wooden ones. You can also add a traditional deck frame if you wish to elevate the deck a few inches of the ground.
What if it’s an uneven concrete slab? For concrete slabs, you will want to detect any problems first. Check for water pooling issues and larger cracks. If possible, fix them before installing the tiles. More so if you are using wood decking tiles. If the concrete slab is uneven, you can make use of adjustable deck pedestals. You’ll likely find them in the same place you bought the tiles. Alternatively, you can construct a deck frame tailored to adjust the uneven ground problem.
As for existing floors and decks, you can set the decking tiles directly on top of them. You will have to check on the quality of the existing deck, especially if it’s wood decking. Depending on the situation, you can also use deck pedestals to make your new deck more event.
Installing Decking Tiles
Once you find a suitable foundation for your deck, it’s not time to install the tiles. First, measure the total deck installation area where you will lay the tiles. You will want to do this before ordering the tiles. It’s best to get a few extra tiles in excess to account for future replacements and repairs. Some tiles may run out of stock when you need them, leaving you with an unrepaired deck.
Once you receive your tiles, lay some tiles across all corners of your planned installation area. Then, one by one, attach the tiles using the interlocking system. Different decking tiles will have slightly different clipping mechanisms. You’ll want to consult your manufacturer if you have questions on how to clip them together.
If your deck plan has some curves or the installation area has irregular or rough edges, you can see the decking tiles according to your preferred cuts. Before you see them, you can use a cardboard piece the same size of the decking tile as a template. Mark and cut the needed shape on the tiles and use them as a guide when sawing the boards.
Things to Remember When Using Decking Tiles
As previously mentioned, decking tiles are some of the easiest and quickest ways to transform concrete, existing decks, and floors into beautiful decks. However, there are more advantages to using them.
Since decking tiles can be easily removed and replaced, they are easier to maintain than traditional decks. If you use vinyl or composite decking tiles, you’ll require even less maintenance. But because they are removable, they are perfect for people who are only renting houses. People often move into different homes and can also benefit from them.
However, there are few disadvantages of using them as well. First, they are only a temporary fix and can be a disadvantage for some homeowners. Some decking tiles also have visible seams and gaps between them, which may be unattractive to some. Lastly, if you want to add value to your home, don’t expect anything from a deck made out of tiles. Instead, a full-sized traditional deck is better.
Decking tiles are excellent options if you want a fast and easy-to-install deck. Even if you don’t have even ground, there are plenty of ways around it. In a matter of a few hours, you can achieve the deck of your dreams by installing high-quality decking tiles.