Decking Installation FAQ
How do I replace a deck board?
Steps to replace a deck board may differ depending on the fastening method used on the rest of the decking. Please refer to full instructions for additional diagrams and information.
Can Fiberon decking be installed over existing joists and framing?
Yes, Fiberon Decking can be installed over an existing substructure if the following conditions are met:
- The existing framework must be free of any damage or decay; i.e., in good, workable condition (consider having the space assessed by a licensed deck inspector)
- The joists must be spaced correctly
- There must be adequate cross ventilation and unobstructed airflow under 50% of the deck. Allow a minimum of 1.5 inches (4 cm) between bottom of joist and the ground. Water must be able to flow away from under the deck. Improve drainage or grade flat areas where standing water may gather, and do not install decking directly to an existing or solid surface.
Can Fiberon products be used for any part of the decking substructure, frame or joists?
Fiberon composite decking has many outstanding qualities; however, it is simply too flexible for use as a structural component of a deck. When installing Fiberon decking, please follow all installation guidelines and local building codes.
How much ventilation is required under a deck?
It is very important that there be adequate and unobstructed air flow under the deck to prevent excessive water absorption. Improve drainage or grade flat areas where standing water may gather. For decks with limited ventilation, six inches of clear ventilation is required.
Can I put Fiberon decking over a concrete patio?
Yes, you can put Fiberon decking over a concrete patio in two ways. One is a sleeper system that allows the joists to be installed directly on a solid sub-structure. For non-sleeper applications, make sure there is adequate ventilation and a minimum of 1.4” (4 cm) between the joists and the ground. Please refer to full instructions for additional diagrams and information.
Can I install Fiberon decking with another manufacturer’s hidden deck fasteners?
Only Fiberon hidden fasteners are recommended for use when installing Fiberon decking. (Note: hidden fasteners will only work with grooved edge boards, not square end boards.) Using another manufacturer’s product will void your warranty and may result in an unsatisfactory installation. Trex Universal Clips, for example, do not hold the boards securely during thermal expansion and contraction caused by temperature swings. Consequently, you could experience significant end-gapping issues. Always read and follow Fiberon decking installation instructions to ensure correct installation and keep your warranty coverage intact.
What is picture-framing on a deck?
“Picture-framing” refers to putting a border around the edge of a deck or porch. On a composite deck or porch, picture frames are constructed using square-edge boards and mitered corners to ensure a clean, finished look.
Among the reasons to consider a picture frame:
- It heightens visual interest. Most contractors will use one color for the deck’s interior and then a contrasting shade for the picture frame. This enhances the custom look of the space and creates a border that really pops.
- It creates a polished look. Framing with a square-edge board will cover the exposed ends of interior boards as well as hide the edge on grooved decking that is used with hidden fastening systems.
- It highlights deck stairs and edges, visually reminding guests to watch their footing. That’s a smart, easy way to enhance safety on your space. One thing to consider: Darker picture frames are easier to see during the day; however, lighter picture frames are often easier to discern in the evening – especially if you don’t have riser lights on stairs.
- Picture-framing is also effective for defining specific zones on your deck, such as the dining area, as well as highlighting special features like a fire pit.
One final tip: Be sure that the width of the picture frame is in correct proportion to the size of the overall deck. If you’re working with a large space, you may want to create a wider, two-board-width picture frame. If the deck is smaller, stick to one board width.
What are fascia and riser boards and how do I install them?Fascia and riser boards are thinner and wider versions of deck boards that serve as a non-structural covering for rim joists, stair risers, and stringers. They are sometimes referred to as “skirts” or “trim” boards.
Because fascia and riser boards are thin, Fiberon recommends installing them using 2.5" #8 or #10 stainless steel or composite screws installed flush to the board surface. We do NOT recommend using Cortex face fasteners because there is simply not enough material available for the screw to be properly seated.
Here are the steps to follow when installing fascia and risers:
- Fascia: Install screws at a maximum 12-inch interval, with three screws across the face at each interval.
- Risers: Install screws at a maximum of 12-inch interval, with two screws across the face at each interval.
- In addition, when installing PVC fascia, apply a zigzag bead of high-quality exterior adhesive to the entire length of the back (the smooth side). Be sure the adhesive is applied within 2 inches of the edges and ends.
- Do not over-tighten screws. Buckling or cracking could result.
- Do not install screws within 1.5 inches of board end or within 1 inch of board side as immediate or eventual cracking could result.
- When installing in temperatures of 50°F (10°C) of higher, install with 1/8 inch (3mm) spacing between the edges and ends.
- For temperatures below 50°F (10°C), install with 3/16 inch (5mm) spacing between edges and ends.
For more information, please refer to our installation instructions.