Outdoor living is a crucial part of Australian leisure culture. As a nation, there are few things we love more than spending time in the great outdoors, and this is reflected in the outdoor living spaces that are important, central parts of countless homes around the country. From well-tended backyards to decks, pools, and patios, outdoor living spaces have become a major component of Australian residential design and are sure to remain popular for years to come. In particular, the backyard deck has emerged as one of the nation’s favourite outdoor living spaces. Providing the ultimate outdoor experience and a smooth, stylish transition between indoor and outdoor spaces, the backyard deck is a versatile addition that can elevate any home and backyard.

Now, thanks to new technologies and innovative materials, building a deck in your backyard is quicker and easier than ever. Read on to learn how to build a stylish, functional deck over an existing tiled or concrete patio or balcony and completely transform your outdoor space.

1. Build from the bottom up

The first step to building a patio deck over an existing tiled or concrete surface is laying down a sleeper joist system. Any deck that sits atop an existing patio or balcony is a “floating deck” that rests above a substructure of sleeper joists. The joists raise the deck slightly above the existing surface, providing a cavity for air circulation and water drainage and protecting composite deck boards from damage caused by excessive moisture or water pooling. The cavity also provides easy access for retrieving rubbish and other items from beneath a deck.

When specifying sleepers, always choose a durable, moisture-resistant material that will resist water damage and rot. This is particularly important if harsh weather conditions are expected at the installation site.

2. Make a plan

Before installation begins, prepare the patio or balcony. First, make sure that the existing surface drains well and is not susceptible to pooling; if you identify any drainage issues at this point, these must be resolved prior to installing the sleeper system. Once you are satisfied that the existing surface is clean and dry, start planning out the substructure. Mark out the sleeper locations before you start drilling, spacing the joists at no greater than the recommended maximum joist spacing. Joists can be fixed directly into tiles or concrete provided that concrete screws will not penetrate a water membrane. Such holes should be predrilled using concrete screws.  If a water membrane is present, a concrete adhesive can be used. Alternatively, a plastic pedestal subsystem can be effective to hold the joists with the pedestals glued to the surface

3. Install your composite decking

Affix sleepers directly to the concrete, ensuring that the screws penetrate the concrete or tiles by at least one inch. In environments that are prone to rain or where exposure to moisture is expected, flashing tape can be used to provide extra moisture protection for the top of the sleepers. Once the sleeper system is complete, install the composite decking above it using the same installation method as a traditional deck.

4. The Decker solution

Combining outstanding weather resistance with a versatile contemporary aesthetic, Decker composite decking is the ideal solution for a stylish, durable, low maintenance patio deck. A cost-effective, sustainable alternative to natural timber decking, Decker composite decking is made from 60% wood waste fibre, 30% recycled HDPE plastic, and 10% additives for colour, bonding, and UV protection. This composition makes Decker composite decking immune to rotting, splitting, or warping, and allows the natural beauty of timber to shine through.

With adequate ventilation, Decker composite decking requires a minimum ground clearance of only 50mm, much less than natural timber.

Specifically designed to withstand the harsh Australian climate with ease, Decker composite decks are built to last, making them a worthwhile long term investment in stunning, high quality outdoor living spaces for you and your family.

Learn more about Decker’s extensive range of stylish, low maintenance composite decking at https://decker.com.au/our-range/decking/.