Can you lay composite decking on soil?
Composite decking is becoming increasingly popular among homeowners as a durable, low-maintenance alternative to traditional wood decking. Most composite materials do not absorb moisture. Making them perfectly resistant to rotting, dampness, and cracking. One question homeowners often ask, though, is can I lay composite decking on soil?
The short answer is that we don’t recommend laying composite decking on soil. You must follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions so that the deck can be installed properly. In this article, we’ll explore whether you can lay composite decking on soil so you can make an informed decision.
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Can you lay composite decking on soil?
Composite material offers superior performance and longevity compared to traditional wood. Composite decks are more resistant to in-service damage and the effects of moisture. However, we recommend that you follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions. Which includes not installing composite decking directly on the soil.
You will need to install framing to ensure that the decking is optimally installed. This minimizes the risk of problems during subsequent use and improves the safety of your outdoor space.
Do’s and don’ts of lay a composite decking on soil
With a few precautions and proper installation, you can still build framing to install the composite deck on the soil.
Planning and preparation
Proper planning and preparation before installation are crucial. Consider the intended use of the deck, its dimensions, and the functions you want to fulfill. Measure the size of the installation area and plan the layout of the deck.
Understand the deck’s framing system
It is important to understand the different types of deck framing before installing a composite decking board on soil. Deck framing ensures the performance and longevity of composite decking, ensuring that homeowners enjoy their outdoor space for longer. The two common framing options available today are ground-level decks and raised decks. Ground-level decks are installed directly on the ground through framing. Elevated decks are built on a higher level of structural framing to elevate the deck. If you wish to install composite decks on the soil, then it is recommended that you choose the ground-level deck type.
Preparing the site
Before installing a deck over the soil, it is vital to prepare the proper site. The installation area first needs to be cleared of any vegetation, debris, and rocks to ensure that the ground is clean and level. An uneven installation area can lead to an unstable composite deck installation and subsequent serious damage. We recommend that you excavate and fill the installation area with a gravel base. This step can provide more stability and good drainage for the deck installation.
Building a weed barrier
Composite wood decks have excellent moisture resistance. However, weeds on the underside of the deck can still cause moisture problems. Therefore, we recommend that you install a weed barrier on the underside of your deck to prevent weed growth and moisture damage. The weed barrier effectively prevents weeds from growing. And inhibits moisture buildup underneath the deck. Prolonged moisture can cause rotting of the composite material and damage to the overall frame.
Creating a gravel base
A gravel base enhances the stability and drainage of a composite deck. Place a layer of gravel or crushed stone over the weed barrier to ensure it provides a level surface. A gravel base improves the soil’s load-bearing capacity and promotes drainage.
Choosing the right composite decking material
Composite material is abundant on the market today. Make sure the composite deck you choose is suitable for installation on soil. Not all composite wood decks can be installed on soil. Some products may be susceptible to moisture and damage. Be careful to identify and select composite decking that is specifically designed to be installed in the ground. This will ensure durability and longevity in your outdoor space.
Adequate structural support must be considered when installing composite decking on soil. Make sure the framing structure can support the deck, furniture, foot traffic, and other additional weight. Otherwise, outdoor decks are prone to sagging and collapsing, and in more serious cases, can even lead to damage to the overall deck. Consult a professional or review the manufacturer’s guidelines. This will give you a better idea of the installation instructions and recommendations for the bottom frame.
Maintain proper ventilation
Please keep your deck properly ventilated and air-circulated. This is critical to prolonging the life and performance of composite decks. Installing a composite deck over soil may restrict air circulation and cause moisture to collect. Taking proper ventilation measures can perfectly avoid these problems. For example, keep the decks with proper gaps between them or use perforated panels.
Maintenance and upkeep
Installing composite decking over soil may require more frequent maintenance and upkeep than raised outdoor decking. Regularly inspect the surface and underside of your deck for signs of moisture buildup, rot, and damage. Thoroughly clean the surface of your composite deck regularly. Prevent the buildup of dust and debris that can cause mold growth.
Although composite material has excellent resistance, mold can still cause damage to the interior of the deck. Follow the manufacturer’s instruction guide during maintenance. Ensure proper care to extend the life of your deck.
How to install composite deck board on soil
Installing composite wood decking on soil is not a difficult task. Follow our step-by-step process to complete your outdoor space.
- Circular saw
- Electric hammer
- Electric drill
- composite decking
- Soft ruler
- Concealed fasteners
- Bottom frame
Preparation and Layout
As we described above, you’ll need to lay the bottom framing over the soil to properly install the deck. Before laying the keel, however, you will need to prepare the uneven ground. Remove any vegetation, debris, and stones from the area to ensure the ground is level. A gravel base can also be placed over the soil to ensure the installation area is level.
After you have completed your preparations, it is time to start planning and laying out the area. Your layout should include the building and placement of the bottom frame and how you want to achieve your desired deck features. Or you can refer to other completed deck projects to view more attractive designs to guide your subsequent design. EVODEK, as a manufacturer with 22 years of experience in composite material development and production, can provide professional services. If you have any questions about layout and installation, please feel free to contact us. We will provide you with a professional free consultation.
Installation of the bottom frame
If the bottom is flat enough, then the frame can be installed directly on the soil. And the joists can be placed both horizontally and at an angle, just make sure their surfaces form a flat surface.
Starting at the highest point of the deck, place the first joist frame in place. Be sure to place the joists correctly to ensure that subsequent installations can be done correctly.
Secure the framing with conventional screws, penetrating the soil no less than one inch. Place the additional keel frames in the same manner, making sure that each frame is installed in line with the previous one.
Installing composite decking
Installing composite decks on frames is very easy. However, you will need to follow the manufacturer’s installation guide and installation video closely during the installation process.
EVODEK provides professional installation services to homeowners and customers. Not only do we have detailed installation manuals and videos, but we also offer professional one-on-one installation services. If you encounter any problems during the installation process, please feel free to contact EVODEK.
To summarize, we don’t recommend you install composite decking directly on the soil, you need to install joist framing on the soil. Ensure that the decking has enough bearing capacity to ensure a long life for your outdoor space.
Before installation, you need to take adequate preparatory measures. Prepare the site, choose the right composite material, and build a weed barrier.
When installing a deck, make sure that it has the right amount of co-efficient and that you maintain the deck regularly. This will ensure that it is durable and will not become damaged and rot over time.
By understanding these factors, homeowners can easily install composite decks over the soil to create beautiful and functional outdoor spaces.