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Installing Outdoor Tile Over a Wood Deck - Options

Flexible tile over wood deck surfaces makes a lot of sense.




By Julia Nass

Are you seeing signs that your hardwood deck is over the hill? Maybe it's losing the vibrant color it used to have, or perhaps spots are appearing in unfortunate places. Maybe your deck is just completely worn down in general. It can be difficult to see that wood lose its former beauty and glory. Luckily, you might not have to let go of it just yet. There are easy ways to restore the youthful splendor your deck once possessed without it costing an arm and a leg.

Virtually any do-it-yourself deck flooring can be installed over hardwood. By installing surfaces, you can give your old wood deck a complete makeover. Not only that, but you can actually protect your deck from further damage. Before you move forward with installing outdoor tile over a wood deck, however, you need to consider a few things to make certain your deck is up for the job.

Before installing outdoor tile over wood deck, assess the current condition.



It's imperative to make sure your deck and the foundation are still structurally sound. There is a large difference between wood that just looks unattractive and wood that actually needs to be replaced. If your deck is just discolored, stained or looks worn down, installing outdoor tile over wood deck area can be a great way to cover that up and start fresh.

However, if the wood is rotting or decaying, your deck may be unsafe. Given just the right environment, decay fungi can grow on wood and eat away at it. This fungi will actually deplete the strength of the wood. Further, once wood starts rotting, it can become susceptible to termites, which will also eat away at the wood. Thoroughly check all parts of your deck in order to make sure any damage is merely surface level.

Structural Deck Warning Signs



There are a few signs that your wooden deck is structurally at risk. Look out for places your deck is sagging or the wood is softer, spongier or more brittle than surrounding wood. Further, if nails or screws are not holding in the wood, it may be rotting. Finally, be aware of cracks happening in places the wood is discolored.

If deeper damage is localized, you may be able to repair it or replace single beams. However, if the damage seems to be widespread, you may have to consider replacing it entirely.

Consider Your Deck's Environment



It's also important to know your environment before choosing how to proceed with installing outdoor tile over wood decks. Once you understand your environment, you can plan a deck floor that will stand up to that environment and help - not hurt - the wood already in place.

When it comes to working with wood, it is particularly important to consider moisture levels. Installing outdoor tile over wood deck can potentially create a situation where moisture gets trapped beneath the wood deck tiles. With enough moisture, wood becomes vulnerable to decay and rotting.

Obviously, you don't want to set yourself up for even more damage by creating space for fungi to flourish. Thus, if you live in a place with high humidity and a wet climate, you should consider installing raised tiles that will allow enough air flow between the tile and the hardwood. You can also choose waterproof and watertight materials for added protection.

Existing Deck Surface Factors



Moisture and decay aside, there are just a few more things to check off your list before deciding if installing outdoor tile over wood deck materials is right for you. Wooden deck tiles are most easily installed over hard, flat surfaces. If you do have surface irregularities, choose a deck tile that will adhere to those irregularities.

Make sure your deck is clean of dirt, grime and other objects before installing wood decking tiles. This will make installation easier and will keep all new materials in the best condition. If you wash your deck with water, make sure the wood is dry before installation.

Finally - installing the outdoor tile over the wood deck



If your deck is good to go, then now's the time to start exploring the wonderful world of deck tiles. Greatmats offers the best tiles for outdoor deck tiles systems to fulfill any and all designs while meeting quality standards. You can choose tile themes, textures, materials, and styles to fulfill any vision you might have for your new and improved deck surface.

Some of the most popular deck tile materials include wood, plastic, foam and rubber. Each of these materials come in a variety of styles, from wood-grain to slate and every color in between.

Although there exists a wide variety of options for installing outdoor tile over wood deck, every Greatmats' tile has a few things in common: quality, durability and ease of installation. Each outdoor deck tile is created to remain long-lasting even with the challenges outdoor flooring faces: furniture, foot-traffic, weather and fluctuating temperatures. If you need assistance navigating all your options, Greatmats' customer service is here to help you land your perfect deck flooring match.

For more on this topic please review our Deck Tiles and Outdoor Deck Flooring product page.