One of the most durable and safest deckings is composite decking. Composite materials are composites of recycled plastic and reclaimed wood. Not only does it boast durability, but it also retains the aesthetic of wood. Before, people considered it as fake wood. But now, homeowners are turning to composite materials for their decks.
However, for your deck to be durable and safe, you’ll need more than strong materials. The process of building the floor, from the foundation up until it’s finishing, is crucial. Planning the construction process is as important as the materials that you’ll be using. So what is the first thing that you do when creating a deck?
One of the first processes of decking construction is laying an excellent foundation. When using composite materials, you don’t need to do extensive work for the foundation, compared to other decking options. You will only need to create a sturdy joists frame to serve as the foundation. You don’t need to set up an elaborate foundation, or set concrete foundations for your decking construction.
Yes, compared to others, composite decking requires a more simplistic foundation. However, it does not mean you will settle for something average. Remember that the outcome of your decking relies on these frameworks. Failing to pay close attention to these details will result in unfavourable consequences.
What Are The Best Joists for Composite Decking?
Decking framework, including the joists, are the backbone of your flooring construction. To get the most of your composite decking, you want to create the best foundation possible. To do this, you will need to find the best joists to use.
How do you know what joist to use? When selecting a joist for your composite decking boards, there are many things that you should consider.
- Material. You can build decking frameworks from different materials. The usual type of materials used for joists is wood, especially in residential settings. Pines, oaks, and cedars are some of the most used types of wood for flooring frameworks. Aside from wood, you can also use composite decking for the frames.
- Height of the Frame off Ground. When choosing materials to use, you should also consider how high your deck will be from the ground. For ground-level floors and patios, you will need to defend your frameworks from moisture and rotting. For this reason, you want to use pressure-treated or extremely durable lumber. As an alternative, you can use composite materials, which are resistant to rot and moisture.
- Joists Spacing. One of the most crucial things to consider is the joist spacing. It’s the distance between the centre of one joist to the other. Even if you have the best materials, if you don’t set up a suitable space between the beams, the results will not be beautiful. For spacing, the standard for residential areas is 16 inches, while commercial deckings often require 12 inches due to safety regulations. Some do 24 inches of spacing. The more space between the joists, the more flimsy the boards become. So if you want a sturdy deck, go with a short joists spacing. However, it’s best to follow the guidelines supplied by your manufacturer or supplier. Aside from that, you will also need to follow the building standards in your country.
- Joist Thickness. The thickness of the joists will also affect the outcome of your decking construction. Like spacing, joists thickness will determine the overall capacity of the floors. Thicker and stronger beams translate to sturdier decking.
- Flooring System. Finally, you will need to consider what type of framing you’ll be doing. For instance, if you are going with wood, you can do a solid lumber frame. Like what the name implies, you will be only using wood for the boards and the beams. This system is once the usual framing for most decking projects. However, the innovations of science and engineering developed new flooring systems. Regardless, it still remains as a common choice for frameworks. Some of the other framework systems you can choose from are I-joists and Open web floor trusses. Before picking one, consider each of their advantages and disadvantages.