How to Lay Decking on Concrete

Written by rebecca mecomber
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How to Lay Decking on Concrete
Wood is a lovely product, but will rot quickly if installed over concrete. (Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

While extremely functional and durable, concrete is ugly. Concrete is also very porous. Wood decking placed on top of concrete will soak up moisture from the concrete, causing the wood to warp and rot. In place of wood, use a deck product constructed of synthetic materials, called wood-composite decking. This engineered decking material looks and feels like wood, but needs little maintenance. Better still, wood-composite decking is unaffected by moisture from the concrete, is much less likely to rot and decay, and lasts much longer than natural wood.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Circular saw
  • Composite decking boards
  • Drill
  • Masonry bit
  • Masonry anchors
  • Hammer
  • Nail set

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  1. 1

    Measure the length of the boards for the deck. Use the circular saw and cut the boards to length.

  2. 2

    Lay a few wood-composite decking boards on the concrete in a "dry run" to test placement. Shift the decking where needed. If the boards are placed on a concrete stoop, allow the boards to overlap 1 to 2 inches over the edge of the concrete.

  3. 3

    Attach the first board closest to the building. Use the drill and masonry bit to drill a hole through the top of the decking into the concrete below. Drill a hole twice as deep as the masonry anchor, so the anchor will not bind on concrete sediment when you drive it into the hole.

  4. 4

    Insert the masonry anchor into the first hole. Pound it in with the hammer. Use the nail set to countersink the anchor slightly below the surface of the decking.

  5. 5

    Continue drilling holes and adding masonry anchors approximately every 2 feet. Constantly check the position of your decking boards as you install them. Adjust them if they move out of place.

Tips and warnings

  • Use a 1/2-inch diameter plug cutter to create small plugs from a scrap piece of wood-composite decking. Use these plugs to fill in the countersunk holes in the decking from the masonry anchors. Use a hot glue gun to glue the plugs into the holes. Trim the plugs flush to the decking with a chisel, if necessary.
  • Use PVC vinyl trim boards to trim the edges of the deck, for a finished look. Install these boards to the sides of the concrete the same way you install the decking to the concrete surface.
  • Masonry anchors are permanent. Once you drive them into the concrete, it is impossible to remove them. Be very careful with your placement.
  • Be sure to drill a hole deeper than the anchor itself. Concrete sediment from your drilling may enter the hole; this sediment may block the anchor from fully entering the hole. If you make a mistake, it is impossible to pull out the anchor -- you will have to cut the anchor flush with the surface of the decking.

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