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Discussion Starter #1
Our back deck measures roughly 20'x20'. It was a bit neglected before we bought our house 8 years ago. I let it go for another couple of years. About 4 years ago I power washed it, replaced a few boards and then painted it with that heavy "deck rehabilitation paint". I never was really crazy about the look of the paint.

This deck is on the west side of the house. There are also thick woods on that side of the house. The deck only gets a few hours of direct sunlight a day, so mildew is a bit of an issue. This deck is also where I keep my grills and where we have a table and chairs.

A couple of months ago I was out powerwashing the deck before my daughter and her boyfriend came over and my foot went right through one of the boards. Poked around and found a few more rotten ones. I need to do something!

At a minimum I'd like to pull all of the existing boards off and lay new decking. This would give me the ability to just put regular deck stain /water protection down. This would also more closely match the front deck.

BUT... I'm thinking about doing something a bit different. I've seen people online that cover an existing concrete patio with outdoor tile that has a "wood look" to it. Would it be possible to lay down concrete board and then cover it with tile? Would it hold up? The type of board I'm thinking of is what is used to line shower stalls that are then tiled over.

My joists are 24" OC, so I might have to add extra joists, or at a minimum, more blocking between the joists.

I've seen systems that are designed to go over the existing framing so you can lay patio pavers on top, but I can't do this as I need to keep the deck surface thickness very close to the existing surface thickness.

A couple of pics of the existing deck for reference purposes....

20180807_094934_resized_1.jpg

20180807_094834_resized_1.jpg
 

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Is it a dumb idea? It would be a bodge, at best. Wet tile is slippery and you'd need a way for water and snow melt to drain. I'm not even sure cement board is rated for outdoor use. It's meant to function as a bonding surface, not a water barrier.

If it is zero maintenance you are looking for, check out composite decking (not Trex) from a company like Timber Tech. All hidden fasteners and it looks awesome.

Al
 

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I would forget the idea of using cement board over your existing decking then covering with tile, as stated it's slippery, will not drain water or snow and the cement board may not last outside especially over rotted wood! You need to also watch the extra weight on the deck with this method. Go with a composite decking material as advised above but be warned; check the product for maximum distance between floor joists, I doubt you will find a material that can span 24" on center, some are 12" OC others 16"OC. They are expensive for something that is recycled but it will last for years with hardly any maintenance. You mentioned you don't see to much sun so you will have to wash the material probably yearly,, easily done.. Reapplying any wood product will eventually end up like what you have now because of your exposure. If you want to go with a relatively inexpensive product (comparatively speaking) go with #1 premium PT decking,, not the greatest but It's better than falling thru your deck.. And remember always, bark side up!!!!! Good luck.
 

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I would forget the idea of using cement board over your existing decking then covering with tile, as stated it's slippery, will not drain water or snow and the cement board may not last outside especially over rotted wood!
Cement "wonder board" is absolutely not rated for outdoors. If will fall apart if constantly exposed to moisture. Cement board siding (Hardie, et al) is nearly as bad; it needs to be installed vertically and painted. Laying flat, it will disintegrate. Adding joists to support composite decking, as other have said, seems like the best bet. (There are some very expensive alternatives if cost is no object...)
 

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My concern would be the integrity of the joists under the decking too. If the deck boards are rotting the joists could very well be weak also. If you think about using composite decking material you will want additional joists as 24" OC isn't safe in my opinion.

Best of luck in coming up with a good solution and let us see pics of the project..
 

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Cement board also isn't designed to be weight bearing on it's own. It is meant to be installed over the top of something else (i.e. subflooring). Any tile used would have to be porcelain. Plain old ceramic will absorb moisture and when it freezes in the winter it shatters. All of this could be done but by the time you figure a 3/4" subfloor, cement board, tile, etc... your deck height is going to go up an inch and your weight load quadruples (at a minimum).

So I'd have to weight in and say that composite decking is a better/easier/cheaper solution in the long run. IME, composites don't like 24" spacing for the joists either (it sags between the joists) so you'd probably still need to do something about that.
 

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Yeah don’t do it.
Way to much weight
Everything will still rot
Tile and grout will always crack and break.
And knowhweres for water to go

Inside of. A raised house you would put backer board down and cement that to the plywood, then add tons of screws, and tape & mud all seems.

I’d look into the composite decking like mentioned. I want to do that next year to our pool we just put in the back yard.
 

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My concern would be the integrity of the joists under the decking too. If the deck boards are rotting the joists could very well be weak also. If you think about using composite decking material you will want additional joists as 24" OC isn't safe in my opinion.

Best of luck in coming up with a good solution and let us see pics of the project..
This ^ If your decking material is that degraded, you have framing issues. I'd heavily inspect every joist inch by inch.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
hmmm, you guys weren't real clear in your responses, but I'm kind of getting the idea that you don't think this is a good idea. :laugh:


I'll probably end up going the composite route. I was actually going to hire someone last year to the re-do both the front and rear decks in composite and never heard back from the guy. Ended up spending that budget on new landscaping instead. The rear deck is small enough and simple enough (no ladders needed, just square, no angles) that I'll do it myself.

When I was calling around for material prices last year I found that the locally owned lumber yard actually had better prices on the Azek material than any of the national stores. I'm going to double check to see if I can get it in 20' lengths so there's no joints.

Hopefully my framing is in good shape. When I replaced some of the boards a few years back, it seemed to be OK. If not, I'll have to address that. I'm most concerned about the posts as I really don't want to be pulling old ones out, pouring concrete, etc. I keep thinking of the house as "new", but I have to remember it's approaching 20 years old now.

A couple of other things that are going to be "challenges" on this project. The first deck board is actually recessed into the siding. That means that I'm going to have to get it out of there and also means that the new decking material needs to be the same thickness as what's there now. When I get to that point I'll post some pics to get some more (subtle) opinions on whether to cut that piece out, leave it in place, or cut if flush with the siding. This is kind of hard to explain, so wait until I get to that point - and post pics - until we decide what to do.

The other thing is that the rear deck was actually constructed in two phases. When they originally built the house the rear deck was more of a "porch" - only extending out about 5 or 6 feet. At some point the previous owner expanded the deck to its present size. He tied into the original frame and the "first deck board" of the new section is about 1/6" - 1/8" lower than the "last deck board" of the original section. You don't really notice it visually, but you certainly notice it when wheeling the grill across the deck or if you happen to set one of the chairs right on that section. If I'm peeling up all the old decking, I want to address this issue.

As always, THANK YOU to all that chimed in. I was wanting to do something slightly different, but for some projects it's probably best to stick with tried and true!!

THANKS!!
 

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Definitely send pictures and I’m sure you will get more help than you want lol.

Without seeing a picture I’d definitely get that piece out under the siding. You are moving to composite. If you leave that it will just rot anyway. Especially since you won’t be sealing that one piece. The decking should be 1 1/2” and the composite is closer to 1” so you will have 1/2” or so gap under the siding. Just slide. Apiece under it when you get to that point. I don’t see it looking bad if it has a gap. I would be concerned if part of the house will be exposed to rain after bouncing off the deck boards and rotting something. If that’s the case maybe take that deck board and rip it to 1 1/2 and put it in there, or even make a metal flashing that goes on the wall before the deck. Once you get to pulling The deck boards out you may be able to take a sawzall with metal or metal/wood cutting blade and cut the nails/screws between the deck and joist. And then slide it out. May have to put a few 3” screws in the side of the deck board and screw a block on the hoist so you can pry the wood out after cutting the nails.
 

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Keep it simple. Strip the top boards, install new boards. Paint the deck with Behr deckover next spring. Paint it again in 4-5 years.

Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk
 

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Is it a dumb idea? It would be a bodge, at best. Wet tile is slippery and you'd need a way for water and snow melt to drain. I'm not even sure cement board is rated for outdoor use. It's meant to function as a bonding surface, not a water barrier.

If it is zero maintenance you are looking for, check out composite decking (not Trex) from a company like Timber Tech. All hidden fasteners and it looks awesome.

Al
I put composite decking on my deck. 11'x45'. If you go this route you will have to make sure the floor joist's are on 16" centers. There is no way around this. Since you have rotting deck boards I'd replace the floor joists and put them on 16" centers and be done with it. The decking I used is called Veranda from Home Depot. This composite decking is very easy to take care of but it does have a down side if you get snow on it. Although it's very easy to clean the snow off it is very slippery with snow on it. You don't want to go up and down stairs until the snow is cleaned off...all of it. My deck is 11' off the ground with 13 steps and it taught me in a hurry that you don't want to use it with snow or wet stuff on it in cold weather. Riding 13 steps in the cold on your back is not something you want to do. Heck, at my age I don't want to do it on just one step. Would I use composite decking again? In a heart beat, it's better then using wood and all the things that happens to wood. Splinters, nail heads or screw heads come to mind as I like walking around barefoot. First thing I do after a snow fall is clean the deck before anyone else gets on it. And then the stairs. Shovels don't snag on splinters, screw heads or nail heads. Very easy to clean, just make sure you keep your footing.

BTW, composite decking doesn't warp either.
 

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Keep it simple. Strip the top boards, install new boards. Paint the deck with Behr deckover next spring. Paint it again in 4-5 years.

Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk
Simple, yes - but it won’t last in my envorinment. We built our deck new and took care of it every year by power washing and staining - each and every year. And the deck boards still rotted.

For me going with composite means it will out last me and have zero maintenance - we’ll worth the extra cost.

Living in the big woods is beautiful - one would never think we would have such a humidity problem. The amount of moisture given off by all the trees and captured by the canopy is really something.

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Mark - I agree with little green machine - just remove the board under the siding and see how the new one fits. Might need a nice bead of caulk but should be fine.

As I plan to do with mine - I will wait to see what the joists look like after tearing up the old boards. If they need some work or replacement I will just deal with it then.

Levi - I can see the stuff being slippery with snow. With our deck and foot bridge we’ve sprinkled sand on top when we stain when still wet - made a huge difference and is basically invisible. The mildew on the stained boards is slippery with just dew on it. I would search out some type of clear traction adding stuff if there is such a thing.
 

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We just did a rehab on our 24 year old 32'x12' deck. The deck boards were in rough shape w/curling, splinters & some decay. Fortunately, virtually all of the support structure (with the exception of some 6"x6" posts @/below ground level ) was in great shape. We had everything except the support structure stripped off & replaced with Trex Transcend decking. We ended up replacing all the 6x6 posts so the footers could be extended above ground level to prevent a recurrence of the deterioration we found on some of the posts.

They had to add some 4x4 uprights for the new railings that were chosen to match the front porch's style. I told the contractor that when they finished, I didn't want to see any exposed wood & they succeeded in that. We chose to do a hidden fastener install. The decking is secured by screwed down clips that fit into grooves on the side of the deck boards.

The railing is a vinyl with internal aluminum core for rigidity. The 6x6 posts were wrapped with a 4 piece vinyl that ratchets to lock in place. The exterior band was covered with a 1"x12" trim board, as was the exterior portions of the stair stringers.

20180710_newdeck1.jpg

20180710_newdeck2.jpg

20180710_newdeck3.jpg

Materials cost alone was probably more than it would have been to completely rebuild from scratch in the original style, but we really like the results.

This is the old deck, just before rehab

20180417_old_deck_1.jpg
 

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As others have said already....no concrete board please! :munch:

I did a similar project last year to our deck. Started out to just replace the deck boards that were 20+ years old. Ended up having to add joists and a lot of blocking and some new joists due to rusted hangers and as we changed the layout of the deck....mission creep at its finest! :banghead:

I was surprised and disappointed at the COMPLETE rust out of the joist hangers in the midspan and outside edge of one section of the deck. I suppose I got a mismatch of the galvanized hangers tgreatment and the chemicals in the pressure treated wood. The only place they didn't rust was against the house where the eave protects them from most rain. :nunu:

One thing I learned while using the camo hidden fastener system with the new PT 5/4 deck boards. The joists should be no more than 12" apart where boards are perpendicular to the joists and no more than 8" where the deck boards are diagonal to the joists. In areas of the deck where this was not the case the deck boards moved and twisted while drying out and needed beefier fasteners added this spring to hold them in place. Areas where this narrower spacing was in effect due to me adding joists, the same deck boards were fine. :dunno:

If you go PT rather than composite....I am happy with the stain I used after much research....Defy brand transparent stain. The decorating committee picked the driftwood grey color and we like the look. I used a soft long bristle car wash brush on a pole instead of a paint brush and it covered very quickly and the soft, long bristles worked to get stain on the edges between the boards. :good2:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
LOTS of great advice in this thread!! THANKS to all!

The "I've got so much other crap to do around here" part of me is leaning towards just pulling up the rotten boards and replacing them - painting the new boards to match. BUT... the "I really want this deck to look nice" part of me is leaning towards ripping up everything, putting in the necessary framework for composite, and then replacing the deck and rails at the same time. I really hate the railing that's on there now.

Which way it goes will depend on how the frame looks when I remove the rotten boards. If it looks OK, I may just bandaid it with replacing a few boards. Otherwise, look it - it's going to be a full blown project!! :laugh:

And, Sweetie told me yesterday that she just ordered a new umbrella for that deck, so I may end up going full out. After all, we can't have a new $150 umbrella without $3500 worth of new composite decking, right? :laugh:
 

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One thing I learned while using the camo hidden fastener system with the new PT 5/4 deck boards. The joists should be no more than 12" apart where boards are perpendicular to the joists and no more than 8" where the deck boards are diagonal to the joists. In areas of the deck where this was not the case the deck boards moved and twisted while drying out and needed beefier fasteners added this spring to hold them in place. Areas where this narrower spacing was in effect due to me adding joists, the same deck boards were fine. :dunno:

Thank you. I feel I should have suggested that as about 8-10 years ago an older lady had a 5’ x 30’ warf on the water.
She kept up with the wood every year. She just said she was 80 and wasn’t getting out there and stripping it and sealing it again. I have a chicken pen that’s still kicking from the wood haha.
So i ripped it up and installed the composite stuff. 1st & only job. I installed it back on the old 16” center frame that was still there In perfect shape. 10’ later I ripped it up & ran more stringers to keep it on 12” center. It’s just to flimsy. It was great after that! No extra charge. I just didn’t feel right leaving it so flimsy.

So after this thread started I looked up installation from the manufaccterer because I’m hoping to go composite on my 33’ above ground pool that we just got Installed. Hope I can afford it as it’s going to be a huge deck that steps down once or twice to tie into my outdoor kitchen off the back of my house. Should be about 12’x60 to the left of the pool with sitting areas, pergolas, and an extension of my kitchen/picnic area. And then 4’ around the rest of the pool
Anyway. The manufactures still recommend 16” centers on residential. And 12” on commercial.
So because of the install 10 years ago and you mentioning it. I also suggest 12” centers and when I build my deck it will be 12” centers.
 

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LOTS of great advice in this thread!! THANKS to all!

The "I've got so much other crap to do around here" part of me is leaning towards just pulling up the rotten boards and replacing them - painting the new boards to match. BUT... the "I really want this deck to look nice" part of me is leaning towards ripping up everything, putting in the necessary framework for composite, and then replacing the deck and rails at the same time. I really hate the railing that's on there now.

Which way it goes will depend on how the frame looks when I remove the rotten boards. If it looks OK, I may just bandaid it with replacing a few boards. Otherwise, look it - it's going to be a full blown project!! :laugh:

And, Sweetie told me yesterday that she just ordered a new umbrella for that deck, so I may end up going full out. After all, we can't have a new $150 umbrella without $3500 worth of new composite decking, right? :laugh:
I just quickly looked your pictures over again.
You know. If it was me id rip up or crawl under to check the framing and support. If everything is good. Id start at the steps with new composite.
If it is kinda bad and needs repaired I’d rip up 9-10’ of decking at a time since you can get new treated material in 8’ lengths and replace what’s needed in that section. And then lay the new composite that 8-10’. Do it in stages as time permites. You should be able to leave your handrail up since it’s screwed on the outside.
You won’t need all the money at once either.
That way it’s not a HUGE job that under whelms you and it won’t hit the pocket book so hard so fast.
 

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"If" the underside is good (Joists, Ledger, Hangers, etc} I would just put Pressure treated then use a deck preservative or something to that effect. Sooner or later a joist or a few joists will need attention and a Composite top will be screwed down and need to be torn up which is quite expensive in the first place. Now your tearing it up?
 
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