Guide to Fitting Your Composite Decking Boards

How to Fit Your Composite Decking Boards

Composite decking offers many benefits when compared to timber decking, and is far more durable, low maintenance and still looks great as part of your outdoor space. Here is a step by step guide on how to fit your composite decking boards.

Composite Deck Boards Installation Guide:

Step One: Preparation

Before beginning the process of fitting your composite decking boards, it is always essential to leave the boards outside for a 24 hour period. This allows the boards to get used to the outside temperature, which will then make them easier to fit as they will have expanded or contracted to adapt to the environment.
Also be sure you have all the equipment you need at the ready, for example a saw if you need to cut your boards to size, along with safety equipment too, such as protective gloves and goggles.

Step Two: Creating a Substructure

A substructure will act as the support for your decking, which will allow your boards to remain stable when in place. It will also allow for water to run off effectively so that it does not pool beneath your decking, which can create problems for the future.
If using concrete, always be sure to use a 10cm thickness as a minimum and a slope of 1 - 80 gradient is recommended to ensure water can still drain away properly.

Step Three: Preparing to Secure the Boards

In order to secure the boards of your decking in place, you will need to use joists which can then be fixed to raw plugs made of plastic into the concrete substructure.
Always make sure you line your decking up in parallel rows that are evenly spaced in order to create the most aesthetically pleasing effect. This will also help water to drain away efficiently too.
It is recommended that the gap between each board should never be more than 40cm, and you should always leave space between the boards and a fence or other building of around 15cm to create a pathway for effective rainwater drainage and allow space for the boards to expand in warmer weather too.

Step Four: Fixing Boards into Place

When fixing your boards into place, always start at the outer area and work inwards, as this will allow you to easily place each board down one after the other and create a smooth surface where all boards connect together. As well as securing your boards in place using joists and plugs, you will also need to use t clips and screws.
These will sit underneath the boards and allow for better support and room for expansion in changing temperatures. Using t clips also helps you to more easily track the gaps between the boards that are adjacent to one another, which should be of no less than 7mm, with boards that sit end to end having a recommended minimum gap of 8mm.
Spacing your composite decking correctly when fixing into place is very important as this will allow for the boards to drain properly and react to changing temperatures without causing any damage to the look or function of your decking.

Step Five: Completing the Decking Process

Now that all of your boards have been laid and fixed into place, it is time to complete the finishing touches to your decking with skirting trims, and there are a number of different options to do so.
You can either use an appropriate adhesive to glue skirting trims to the edges of your joists, or if you prefer you can also opt to screw them into place instead.
Always remember to leave the recommended 8mm gap for optimum air circulation. Now your decking is fully fitted and ready for you to enjoy!