I would like to rebuild our front decking and want some tips on how best to go about it.
The front decking we have is fairly old and worn and was laid floor tiles. Unsure how they screwed the deck boards in to the tiles, but appears that is what they did! We have taken a few quotes from various builders who recommended removing the tiles completely and then screeding.
1 - Is it best to remove the old tiles completely and screed?
2 - How easy is it to screed? Will be my first time doing it.
3 - If I screed, what do I need to think about, what issues might I face based on what you can see in my pics of the decking?
4 - If I don't screed and lay on the tiles, how should I fix them down?
5 - What should I do about the step? Cover with long timber? That crack concerns me.
Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community @mrpatel. It's wonderful to have you join us, and many thanks for your question about laying decking.
It's typically not advisable to lay decking directly over a solid substrate. There needs to be airflow under the deck structure to prevent the decking boards' warping and decay. Even decks built with a minimum of 90mm of space under the decking boards are considered extremely low-level and will see the early onset of decay. I'm quite surprised to hear that you've been able to find any builders that would even entertain the idea. I can't imagine any of those would warranty the work.
Your images show that the decking boards have been glued directly to the tiles. I can't see any benefit to removing the tiles and screeding the area unless the tiles themselves were uneven, causing the boards to be uneven. I suspect the boards are distorted due to the excessive moisture captured under them.
I can't offer much assistance regarding the best approach, as laying boards on a solid substrate is not something you see every day. Though, an issue you'll face when you pull the boards up is that the glue will be stuck to the surface of the tiles, and you'd need to scrape that off. If these boards have lasted a reasonable amount of time, then, by all means, complete the work as it was initially done; it's just not an acceptable building practice. But, if it works, it works.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
Thanks for your insightful advice.
I reckon the best approach therefore is going to be to completely remove the tiles, keen to not have them warp and decay due to moisture onset.
Are you able to offer advice on what steps I should take, so I can prep the area for laying the decking so that I can get airflow under the decking structure?
Is this something I could get to grips with having never done it before?
Hi Ash (@mrpatel),
There's not enough room between the top of the concrete slab and the door threshold to create a conventional deck within this space. I'd say that's why they've resorted to gluing decking boards directly to the tiles.
You might have just about enough room to lay 90 x 45mm H3-treated Pine on its 90mm face and have the decking on top. You'd lay the Pine every 450mm across the area and Dynabolt it through the tiles and into the concrete slab. I'd advise painting the underside of the timber with a bitumen-based paint. You'd then screw the decking into it. Depending on the height you have to work with, the decking might end up flush with the threshold of the door.
That would give you 45mm of clearance under the decking boards. The same goes for the steps, you don't want the decking boards sitting directly on the concrete and you could use the 90 x 45mm timber here too.
Thanks Mitchell! Great advice and I could probably pull this off with my limited diy experience:)
Couple more question (for now!). Thoughts on laying the decking lengthways as opposed to how they currently are?
Also can you recommend a medium budget decking board that serves for high traffic areas?
There are no particularly complex steps in this project, and I have no doubt you'll be able to complete the work yourself, Ash (@mrpatel).
Decking can be laid in either direction. You just need to lay the joist timber perpendicular to the way you want the decking.
Merbau decking is typically the most budget-friendly hardwood product and is well-suited to high-traffic areas. There is the option of treated Pine decking, but given the restraints of this decking project, I'd recommend you stick with hardwood.
Please let me know if you have further questions.
Few more questions:
1 - I know I'm not floating my joists, but rather using dynabolts to secure them to the tile floor, however, do you think I need to add a timber frame across the wall like below?
2 - What type of Dynabolts will I need?
3 - Looking at guides on dynabolts, I think I need to drill through the tiles first before securing in? Is that correct?
4 - If yes to 3, I think I will then need to get a diamond tiip drill bit to drill through the tiles?
5 - Will the diamond tip drill bit also drill through the concrete without breaking it?
Hi Ash (@mrpatel)
Mitch will be back on the site tomorrow to assist you. Please let us know if you questions are urgent and we can tag other members to see if they can help.
The timber frame is not a necessity. Unlike the picture, your joists will be on their side, and the frame only really serves to stabilise upright joists.
I'd suggest using Ramset 10 x 100mm Countersunk DynaBolt Plus Masonry Anchor, as you'll be bolting through the face of the joist and tile and then into the concrete.
You will need to drill through the tiles first as you'll watch the Dynabolt to expand in the concrete. This Kango 10 x 120mm Multi-Max Multi Material Drill Bit will get you through the tile and concrete. You'll need to test whether using it in hammer mode cracks the tiles. If it does, run it in standard mode for the tiles and then switch to hammer mode for the concrete.
Please let me know if you have further questions.
So I have pulled the decking out and exposed the tiles. They were all very stuck down, so a lot of residue on the tiles, but also a fair few tiles got pulled out in the process. By the looks of it too, it is fair uneven. Bunch of photos attached.
I am wondering if it is now best to completely remove the tiles, going to be an uneven surface to lay the joists I think? I could probably get hold of a jackhammer to remove them. I will need some advice on what to do next though to prep the concrete.