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Common Mistakes To Avoid When Installing Composite Decking

Friday, February 23, 2024

When you are remodeling your yard, composite decking is a great way to make your yard fun for the whole family. Outdoor decks are great for people who want the versatility of a patio but don’t have a flat yard. It’s also a great idea for people who want to divide their yard into different sizes.

In the modern world, many people choose composite decking materials for their patio decking. However, if you want to assemble it yourself, read below to learn about common mistakes you should avoid when installing composite decking.

What is Composite Decking?

Composite decking material is a very popular material for deck trim. This is because it can last for a long time and does not require much maintenance. It is an environmentally friendly material made from a confluence of recycled plastic and wood fibers.

The wood fibers and plastic particles are bonded together by an adhesive to create a strong and dense material. This composite decking material is better than wood alone in many ways.

If you want to enjoy a long-lasting deck in an environmentally friendly way, composite decking boards are a good choice. Moreover, using this decking material can protect the environment better and reduce the waste of resources. Therefore, in many ways, composite decking is the best alternative to traditional wood decking.


Why Choose Composite Decking?

Any outdoor project requires an investment, so you need to make sure that the design and materials you choose are good value for money. Composite decking material not only lasts much longer than wood decking, but it also has many benefits that wood decking doesn’t have. This is why many people choose composite decking over wood.


Wood decking has a beautiful natural finish that can give you a natural look. If you want to change the color of the deck, you need to stain it. Whereas composite decking boards have a wide range of colors and finishes. Therefore, you don’t have to change any of its colors, just choose the color you need before laying composite decking boards.

COOWIN can not only provide you with composite decking in many different colors and surfaces. But also provide you with customized service to produce the decking surface and color you need.


Deckboard surfaces made from composite materials will not break or crack. This is great for people who want a durable deck that is safe to walk on even on bare feet.

COOWIN composite wood decking comes with a 15-year warranty. If you install composite decking correctly and maintain it properly, it can last up to 25-30 years.


Low Maintenance

A great deal of care and maintenance is necessary to keep your wood decking in good condition. Sun, wind, rain, and frost can all damage the wood. Therefore you usually need to spend a lot of time sealing it up.

Replacing parts that have been damaged or cracked over time, as well as protecting the wood from pests, can be time-consuming and costly.

Composite decking, on the other hand, does not have these problems, and the only maintenance you need to do is sweep and clean it every so often.

Less Slippery

When it rains, wooden decks become slippery. COOWIN composite decking does a good job of preventing people from slipping. Therefore, it is a good choice for elderly people who want to walk on a safe surface or families with children who like to run around.

Easy Installation

When buying composite decking boards, you can choose between metal or composite joists. they are both easy to install. You can then place the frame on a concrete block, plastic post, or the included adjustable base.

Place the t-clips into the frame and then secure the starter clips to the edges of the frame so that you can easily secure the deck boards in place.

Later in this guide, you will see the most common mistakes people make when installing composite decking. You can read this information in detail to make sure you don’t make these mistakes.



Composite wood decking is more expensive than standard wood decking, but they are well worth the money. This is because they are sturdy and durable and can last for a long time without breaking.

Typically, traditional wood decking lasts 10 to 15 years. Composite decking, on the other hand, lasts twice as long and requires less maintenance.

You should also consider the cost and maintenance time of your wood deck. Stains, sealers, cleaning products, and replacing worn boards all add to the cost.

Mistakes to Avoid When Installing Composite Decking

As a reputable manufacturer of composite decking, we’re going to show you some of the most common mistakes people make when installing composite decking boards.

For people who have never worked with composite decking material before, it is normal to think that installing composite decking is the same as installing wood decking. However, because it is not made of wood, composite decking boards do not expand and contract thermally at the same rate as wood. This difference needs to be taken into account when building so that you don’t end up with an unsightly deck that needs to be repaired.

To avoid problems, you should do some planning and preparation before you start installing composite decking. If you don’t, you could end up with problems such as buckling, water buildup, or the deck falling apart.

So, how do you ensure that your composite decking is safe? After all, if you don’t follow the manufacturer’s instructions, your warranty could be voided. Here are some common mistakes people make when installing composite decking.


Not Enough Space Between Decking Boards

Since the composite decking material is partly made of plastic, it will expand and contract much more than regular wood decking. Therefore, we recommend that you maintain proper spacing when laying composite decking boards.

As a general rule, adjacent composite decking boards are usually left with an 8mm space. This will provide a large enough space for the boards to expand without rubbing against each other and causing the boards to warp or buckle.

Insufficient Air Circulation Underneath the Decking Boards

The semi-organic nature of the composite decking material means that it will absorb small amounts of moisture. When decking is exposed to moisture for an extended period of time without time to dry, it can rot.

There should be at least 35mm of space between the underside of the composite decking and the base (which can be concrete, slate, or grass). This will allow sufficient air circulation to allow the composite joists and composite decking boards to drain and dry out adequately.


Installation of Existing Substandard Wood Framing

There are sub-frames and sub-frames for deck framing. If the old sub-frame has been damaged, then it can seriously affect the life of the new composite decking. Therefore, you need to scrutinize the old framing and repair and replace the damaged parts in a timely manner.

Composite decking is different from wood decking in that it requires more support. You will need to add joists to the existing subframe, replace them with new wood joists, or build a new subframe out of composite material. If the deck is located in a high water table or flooded area, it is best to use composite joist extensions. This is because composite decking material has excellent waterproofing. mold and mildew-resistant properties.

Installation on Wider Joist Centers

The distance between each joist on a wood decking is usually about 500 mm. It may be reasonable and feasible to reuse the old wooden subframe. However, this is not a good idea because composite decking requires more support than wood decking. Here’s why. Because composite decking doesn’t bend as easily as wood decking.

Decking made of wood usually bends a little bit, due to the nature of the wood itself. This is because composite wood decking contains a plastic component. So they are more flexible and stronger, and they need more support. Therefore, the spacing between the joists used to support composite decking boards should be 250 to 350 mm to allow space for this.


Accessories for the Use of Wooden Decks

It’s easy to believe you know what’s best, especially if you’ve done it before. But trust us, composite decking materials are not the same as timber, so what works for timber does not necessarily work for composite decking.

COOWIN creates, manufactures, and sells its own composite products. We offer accessories for installing composite decking or composite cladding. Using these accessories will not only make your composite decking more secure, but also more aesthetically pleasing.

Securing Composite Decking Boards with Screws

Using screws may seem more secure, but you will regret it in the long run. This is because the screw holes will crack as the deck expands and contracts. Therefore, it is best to use matching composite decking clips.

These clips for securing composite decking have been carefully designed to work perfectly with our composite decking. It allows the decking to expand and contract without impeding movement.


Not Handling the Ends of Cut Wood Joists

The wood used to build the subframe for the decking should be treated properly. Top, bottom, sides, and ends. Then we often see a simple mistake like this. It’s easier to paint the joists while they’re still on the posts because you can paint both the top and the bottom at the same time without having to wait for them to dry first. This is why the ends are often missed. This means that the part against the wall or fence is harder to paint and may be missed.

Not Installing Double Joists Where Two Boards Meet

When laying a deck, you need a strong foundation. If the deck is longer than 3.6 meters, you should install double joists where the deck planks meet. To ensure that the boards don’t break or slip, all joints must have extra support. When installing composite decking boards, allow for an appropriate expansion gap depending on the temperature of the installation site.

Failure to Provide Adequate Drainage Slopes

Any worker with a level would expect the deck to be level at all times. However, if this is done, the water will stay in place for a long time and the deck will not drain properly. If you want good drainage, you should allow for a 1% (1:100) drop.

In real life, this means that for every meter of deck length, it should be sloped 10 mm in the direction away from the house. This difference is so small as to be unnoticeable, but it is enough to allow water to drain easily and prevent the deck surface from becoming slippery and rotting.


Choosing a Product Not Suited to the Environment

There are several different types of COOWIN composite decking boards. Each product works in a different way. These composite decking are available as hollow and solid, as well as capped composite decking, which has even better resistance.

If you are installing the composite decking in a low-traffic area, then you can use the hollow composite decking which is easy to transport. solid composite decking is more suitable if you are installing the decking in a high-traffic area, for commercial use, or for tasks that require you to carry a lot of weight. Capped composite decking has even better water, mold, and UV resistance. Therefore it is more suitable for pools, the beach, or other wet environments.

Not Letting Composite Decking Adapt to the Environment

Before installing composite decking boards, it is a good idea to leave them for two weeks in the area where they will be installed. Since humidity and temperature levels vary around the world, two weeks of sitting time will allow the composite decking boards to acclimatize to their new environment. This will help to avoid expansion and contraction problems associated with temperature changes in the deck.


Shallow Deck Foundations

Laying the foundation for the deck is an important part of the process. An outdoor deck will last a long time if it has a strong base.

It is important to have a solid, level area to lay the deck on. If you choose to use concrete as a base, make sure there is a drainage system in place so that water does not pool. To avoid cold weather damage to them, concrete deck footings must be below the frost line.

Fascia Installation Errors

A common mistake people make when installing fascia boards is to stretch them over the ends of the deck boards. If installed incorrectly, dirt and water can get trapped in the gap between the fascia and the deck board, which often causes the fascia to buckle or pull away from the outer edge joists.

When installing deck boards (including perimeter boards used for picture frames), they should not extend more than 2 inches beyond the outside edge joists and 1 inch horizontally. Allow 1/8 inch of space between the top of the fascia board and the bottom of the deck board for each connection.

At the top, center, and bottom of the fascia, place three fasteners evenly spaced across the width of the fascia. For upright boards, use two screws at each end and one screw every 12 inches or so along the length of the board. Fasteners should be no closer than 5/8″ from the edge or ends of the boards, with 1/8″ clearance at butt joints and next to the fasteners.



In conclusion, installing composite decking using the right approach can ensure a successful and long-lasting outdoor living space. Homeowners can minimize possible problems by avoiding the common mistakes mentioned in this article.

Additionally, following the manufacturer’s guidelines and doing proper preparation is conducive to a better deck installation. Taking the time to learn proper installation procedures and seeking professional advice when necessary can save time and money in the long run. Ultimately, by avoiding these common mistakes, homeowners can get composite decking that is beautiful, durable, and low-maintenance.

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