Replacing Wood Deck Boards With Composite Decking: Tips & Benefits

October 7, 2020
HomeOutdoor Living IdeasReplacing Wood Deck Boards With Composite Decking: Tips & Benefits

If you’re the owner of a pressure-treated wood deck and beginning to notice the unavoidable wear and tear that comes with traditional wood, you’re likely looking into alternatives. Replacing wood deck boards with composite decking is a surefire way to improve the overall aesthetic, performance, and long-term value of your deck. Even better news? We’ve got the tips and best practices to get your project started right.

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Tips for Replacing Wood Deck Boards With Composite Decking

Before you start any decking installation project, you should take care to consult all local building codes and thoroughly read the appropriate installation guide for the TimberTech decking line you choose.

Once you’re ready to begin, here are some of the tips to focus on.

Replacing Wood Deck Boards With Composite: Best Practices


Check Your Deck Frame Replacing Wood Deck Boards With Composite

Check Your Deck Frame

Inspect thoroughly for any structural damage, like mold, rot, or mildew. Signs of damage include: erosion around your deck posts; gapping between the deck frame and the house; unstable railings; extensive staining.

Run String Lines Replacing Wood Deck Boards With Composite

Make Sure Deck Joists Are Spaced Right

Your deck joists should be evenly spaced, measured from the center of each joist to the center of the adjacent joist (or, in the case of the terminating joist, from the center of the joist to center of the frame at the edge of the house.)

Deck Joist In-Plane Replacing Wood Deck Boards With Composite

Make Sure Deck Joists Are Level / In-Plane

Run string lines to check the spacing and levelness of your joists. You may need to solve for crowned joists (shown above). You may also need to notch and/or shim the joists.

Cut Your Composite Deck Boards

Cut Your Deck Boards

Measure twice and cut once. Use proper saw and blade. Cut deck boards one at a time, with the grain facing upward.

Install Your Composite Decking by TimberTech

Install Your Decking

Your installation process will vary by decking line and the fasteners you use. In all cases, double check your joist and deck board spacing before application.

Install Fascia for Composite Deck

Install Your Fascia

Use the appropriate TOPLoc® fasteners to install your TimberTech® AZEK®, PRO®, or EDGE® decking.

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Benefits to Replacing Wood Deck Boards With Composite Decking

There are a number of related benefits that come with replacing wood deck boards with composite decking.

Improved Long-Term Value

Traditional wood decking may* cost less to install upfront than composite, but wood deck boards become vulnerable to deterioration the day they are installed. This will mean replacement, maintenance, staining, and/or power-washing – costs that will only continue to accumulate the longer you stick with wood decking.

*Cost Example: Ipe vs. TimberTech® AZEK® Vintage Collection®

Consider highly sought after Ipe, a Brazilian hardwood. When comparing the cost of installing Ipe versus TimberTech AZEK Vintage Collection boards on a 16′ x 20′ deck, Ipe is actually slightly more expensive. Over 10 years, the associated maintenance costs for Vintage Collection boards versus Ipe will be 24% less.

Cost comparison infographic over 10 years between Ipe and TimberTech AZEK

NOTE: The estimated average cost of capped polymer deck boards and Ipe hardwood decking costs are based on the national average for a 16’ x 20’ deck. Meant for visual representation only. Actual costs may vary.

Bear in mind that factors ranging from design complexity to substructure health influence the cost to build a deck. Working closely with a contractor will help you develop the right budget for your project.

Unrivaled Performance

When it comes to performance, replacing wood deck boards with composite decking is a no-brainer. TimberTech offers industry-leading warranties – including a Lifetime Limited Product Warranty for our TimberTech AZEK capped polymer decking collections.

Why? When your portfolio is defined by the truism “Better Tech, Better Deck™,” it just makes sense.

Leading Design

Making the choice to invest in replacing wood deck boards with composite decking is an important decision. That thoughtful choice should be met with thoughtful design options.

Our decking portfolio is inspired by nature and defined by a wide range of colors, grain patterns, and finishes – so you can find the enduringly beautiful option that’s just right for your outdoor living space.

Cool gray composite decking

Design’s the Limit

Explore customizable templates with our 3D Deck Designer tool.

In the end, replacing wood deck boards with composite decking can be the just-right investment for your home. To make sure your project aligns with your needs, we recommend working with a TimberTech-registered contractor. Get started today, and move one step closer to your outdoor oasis.

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