What Are the Best Joists to Use on Composite Decking

best joists to use for decking

Best Decking Joists

One of the most durable and safest decking materials is composite decking. Composite materials are composites of recycled plastic and reclaimed wood. It boasts durability, but it also retains the aesthetic of wood. Before, people considered it 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 finished, 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? 

Joist Framing

One of the first processes of deck construction is laying an excellent foundation. Compared to other decking options, when using composite materials, you don’t need to do extensive work for the foundation. You will only need to create a sturdy joist frame to serve as the foundation or as decking support. 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 decking joists, are the backbone of your flooring construction. To get the most out 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. 

decking joists

How do you know what joists to use? When selecting a joist for your composite decking, there are many things that you should consider. 

  • Material. You can build decking frameworks from different materials. The usual type of material 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 joists 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. You will need to defend your framework from moisture and rotting for ground-level floors and decking. For this reason, you want to use pressure-treated or extremely durable lumber. As an alternative, you can use composite materials 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, the results will not be appealing if you don’t set up a suitable space between the beams. For spacing, the standard for residential areas is 300mm, while commercial decking often requires 200mm for safety regulations due to increased weight from higher footfall.  Some do 400mm of spacing. The more space between the joists, the more flimsy the boards will become. So if you want a sturdy deck, go with shorter 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 for decking joists, if any, in your country.
  • Joist Thickness. The thickness of the joists will also affect the outcome of your decking construction. Like spacing, joist 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, you can do a solid lumber frame if you are going with wood. 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 remains a common choice for frameworks. Some of the other framework systems you can choose from are I-joists and Open web floor trusses. Before choosing one, consider each of its advantages and disadvantages.



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