How To Lay Decking On Concrete

An old, cracked, partially sunken concrete patio can be an eyesore if not a safety hazard. Demolishing it and replacing it with newly poured concrete is an economical but extremely labour-intensive process. Instead, consider covering your ageing concrete patio with decking. Select from a variety of materials including treated lumber such as pine or cedar or lower-maintenance products like composite decking or PVC. Start by securing two-by-four runners, or sleepers, to the concrete, then attach decking to the runners. Keep drainage in mind, and the end result is an attractive, durable surface.

Regardless of the style of your property and purpose, you now know how to lay decking on concrete. If you require further information and advice, don’t hesitate to contact our team, as well as taking a glance at our services.

Level Out The Concrete Patio

Check the drainage of the concrete patio. Fill in any spots where rainwater pools with either self-levelling compound or a concrete topping mix. Clean the area thoroughly, mix and pour your chosen material into the sunken area and run a straightedge over the newly poured mix until it is level with the surrounding concrete. Allow the repaired concrete to cure completely. Cleaning may also be an option here, for any potential moss or paint.

Begin Planning

Plan the layout of your sleepers. They will run perpendicular to the decking material. Consider drainage again in the layout. Patios typically drain away from the house. In that instance, if your sleepers are perpendicular to the house, they will not impede drainage, but if they are parallel to the house, they may. Refer to your chosen decking material’s specifications for the maximum allowable distance between supports. Snap chalk lines where each sleeper will be placed. Make special compensations for any decking material that you plan to lay in a different direction such, as parallel to the sleepers or diagonally. Runners should overhang the patio when first installed.

Find The Perfect Level

Find the high point of your patio by a laying a flat board across the patio where you plan to install your sleepers. The sleepers can follow the slope of the patio rather than being perfectly level, but they do need to create a flat plane to properly support the decking.

Begin Installing

Secure the first sleeper at a high point. Working your way out from there, use shims to create a flat plane. Drill pilot holes a maximum of 24 inches apart along with the sleeper, using a hammer drill to drill through the wood and into the concrete ¼ inch to ½ inch deeper than the length of your screws. Drive concrete screws into each hole with an impact driver. Similarly install additional sleepers, moving out from the high point, using a 4-foot level and shims to maintain a flat plane.

Secure The Runners

Fill screw holes and any knots in the wood with silicone. Run flashing tape along the top of the runners.

Begin installing The Deck Board

Install the first deck board. If a single board will not span the width of the patio, cut it with a circular saw so that its end lands on the middle of a sleeper. Take extra caution to ensure that the first course is aligned correctly because successive courses will run parallel to it. Secure it to the sleepers as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

Second Load Of Deck Boards

Place the second course of deck boards. Leave the amount of space recommended by the manufacturer between courses to allow for expansion and drainage. If necessary, use spacers cut from scrap wood to maintain even spacing. Secure the second course to the sleepers and continue installing successive courses. Stagger joints in a random pattern to minimize their appearance.

And Finally..

Cut the sleepers and any overhanging deck boards to length with a circular saw. Attach skirt boards or trim around the outside of the deck and to any other vertical surfaces.

If DIY isn’t your forte, maybe our blog on how to make concrete look like wood would be a better option.