Outdoor deck carpet installation

Updated February 21, 2017

There are many reasons people install outdoor carpeting on a deck. When the sun is beating down on your deck, the wooden floor can sometimes become too hot to walk on. Carpeting, with its many fibres, can disperse the heat and make it easier on your feet. Some people also prefer the look of outdoor carpeting to a wooden deck floor, and some feel that carpet gives a deck a more finished look. Carpet can also provide a measure of protection for the wood surface.


When you are sizing outdoor carpeting for the deck, it is important to remember the difference between carpeting a room and carpeting a deck. In a room, you can run trim along the walls to hide the edges of the carpet. Since a deck doesn't have walls, that's not an option. In sizing the carpet for your deck, you will need to decide if you want to wrap the carpet over the ends of the deck to hide the carpet edge, or if you will allow the edge of the carpet to be visible along the perimeter of the deck. Consider options such as wood trim that can be put along the edge of an exposed carpet to help make your installation look finished.

Securing the Carpet

Tack strips are used to help secure carpet in a room, but tack strips are not weather-resistant and are not used on decks. The best way to secure outdoor carpet to a deck is with a staple gun using half-inch staples. Go along the perimeter of the carpet, and use a carpet-stretching tool to make the carpet tight as you would when installing carpet in a room. You might want to install a subfloor on the deck surface using quarter-inch plywood before laying the carpet. Without a subfloor you will feel every space between boards through the carpet. Use pressure-treated wood to create your subfloor and galvanised nails to hold it in place.

Steps and Railings

If you are carpeting the deck, you will want to carpet the stairs as well. During rain and inclement weather, outdoor carpet can be safer to walk on than bare wood. Putting carpet on your deck stairs will also protect the wood from ageing. The lower portions of railings and railing posts should not be carpeted.

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About the Author

George N. Root III began writing professionally in 1985. His publishing credits include a weekly column in the "Lockport Union Sun and Journal" along with the "Spectrum," the "Niagara Falls Gazette," "Tonawanda News," "Watertown Daily News" and the "Buffalo News." Root has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the State University of New York, Buffalo.