Carpeting for our Redwood deck

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  #1  
Old 07-07-03, 10:40 AM
BKahuna
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Carpeting for our Redwood deck

We have a nice, but worn, redwood deck. The previous owners of the house did little to maintain the deck and the planks are badly worn by the sun. They are still sturdy, but the surface is rough and has many, many splinters. My kids, who spend much of every summer day running around on the deck, are constantly getting pieces of the deck pulled from their little feet.

The deck is built onto the roof of the first floor of our house. There is about a 10 inch air gap between the deck and the roof. The planks have about a 1/4 inch gap between the runs.

I'm considering laying down some sort of indoor/outdoor carpet but am concerned about the prospect of woodrot. I would like to find something that is extremely porous as the kids will spill food and drink out there and we need the ability to just hose it down. During the summer, the sun is so hot there won't be a problem with the carpet holding moisture to the wood. We live in the SF Bay Area and it rains on-and-off all winter. The deck in on the North side of the house and gets very little direct sunlight in the winter.

I believe if the carpet is a wide enough weave and very porous (water should just flow through it) and with the air gap below the deck and between the planks there may not be much problem with moisture. I may also be insane. Does anyone have any experience with this type of carpet application on a redwood deck?

Where might I find a suitable carpet? I probably don't want to glue it down in such a way as to make it impossible to pull back up. Given theat, what is the best way to install the carpet so that the seams won't start to come up? Is there a better solution for controlling the splinters and reducing the UV wear?

Thanks,

Bruce
 
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  #2  
Old 07-07-03, 06:23 PM
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Bruce,

Your comments seem to have answers already. Hard to suggest anything that would be acceptable to you.

Wood decks are a maintenance item...period. They wear out, so does carpeting. Wood decks will fade...so does carpeting. Wood decks will splinter...if good wood is used and sealed regularily..this would be minimal. Wood can stain but if sealed it will not be anything like stained carpeting.

Contact a good Marine supplier and consider Marine carpeting. This will last longer but you may not like it if the gaps in the wood show through under the carpeting after it stretches and since you don't want it glued...take your pick. This might be the best choice as indoor/outdoor carpeting would not be. This comes in wide widths and staple edges to deck. This may not look nice but what choice do you have.

Having said that and after reading your post..you are going to object to something...guaranteed. If all this seems questionable, tear out the existing deck, redo it with a GOOD composite or vinyl decking and be done with it. Your list of what you don't like and don't want is so rigid that it is not worth suggesting anything that would be acceptable to most.

The only thing you need to decide is how much are you willing to spend?

If others have ideas..let's hear them.
 
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Old 07-07-03, 11:37 PM
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Doug laid it out for you. A wood deck requires maintenance -- PERIOD. Carpet, over a wood deck that has a 1/4" gap (or pretty much ANY gap) between the boards -- that's not gonna work! That gap will simply destroy the carpet.

Replace the deck with either a composite or a vinyl deck. Those are the only two that will meet your requirements.

(Scroll back through the posts in this forum -- I'm not a big fan of vinyl decks, but there are several composites that will do just fine for you!)
 
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Old 07-08-03, 09:50 AM
BKahuna
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Well, thanks for the advice. I hadn't thought about the problem with the gap and the carpet. I'd actually thought the gap might give me an advantage as far as drainage.

I don't object to pulling up all the planks and replacing them with something more durable. I'd rather not have to rebuild all of the railings, however. I wonder what the deck would look like with a composite floor and faded, and now sealed, railings?

I probably need to pull up a plank or two and see what condition the joists are in. That will determine the true breadth of the job.

Anyway, thanks for your very frank responses.

BK
 
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Old 07-08-03, 10:01 PM
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I do a lot of composite decks and then use redwood components for the railings. I use the same composite as the deck for the top cap on the railing. It works well and, at least in my opinion, looks good. And the customers are happy -- the price of a totally composite railing is usually out of their budget!!
 
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Old 07-09-03, 09:34 AM
BKahuna
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Composite for the Rail Cap is a good idea. All the horizontal surfaces of the deck are pretty sunworn. It would also serve to tie the railing in with the different color of the deck surface. Thanks -

I spoke with a friend about the carpet issue and he suggested that if I was hell-bent on putting down carpet, I might consider tacking down plywood sheething over the entire deck surface. I could then properly glue the carpet to the plywood. If I found that I had some drainage problems, I could drill a few drainage holes. This way if ever I decided I no longer wanted the carpet, I could pull up the carpet and plywood and my original surface would still remain. Albeit with a few more nail holes.

Incidentally, he just finished replacing his old pressure treated deck with composite and highly recommended that as a more permanent solution. He agreed that having a railing in a contrasting color would be fine and even suggested that I could stain the composite if necessary to more closely match.

Final question - if I pull up the redwood planks, I expect to find the joists in good condition. They're fairly UV protected and have good airflow from above and below. Should I treat them or use roofing felt or some sort of flashing before laying down composite planks?

Thanks to all -

BK
 
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Old 07-09-03, 09:56 AM
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BK,

Sorry for being so frank with answers but I have some questions, if you don't mind....

If you put plywood down over your deck with carpeting attached, drilling holes will not guarantee drainage, will this be a concern and obviously the carpet would not dry out that fast, right? Any concerns for moisture creating mold/mildew below?

Secondly. the adhesive used may not do well. As you mentioned that this was in a sunny location, right? Heat may loosen the adhesion performance. It might give way and then start to pucker, look unsightly, is this acceptable?

The composite idea sounds great but I would not lay any felt below it as this could create pockets for mold growth..no air flow.

If the joists are in GOOD shape, you could place some flashing (drip edge effect on both sides) over the top of them and then apply a sealer caulk under each deck plank to provide a good seal between screws and wood.

In addition, the 5/4 planks are not placed close together so the issue of having to clean the joints would be another issue to contend with if you placed anything like felt or similar below. Tongue and Groove is available as an option.

Composite decks can be stained or painted to achieve a personal color preference, but this nullifies the low-maintenance advantage. Trex, for example, comes in four colors: Natural, which weathers to driftwood gray; Winchester Gray, which weathers to deep gray; Medeira, a reddish-brown that fades slightly; and Woodland Brown, which is colorfast.

The absence of splinters and popped nail heads is appealing, yet composite decking is hardly maintenance-free. It must be cleaned and/or powerwashed routinely.

Hope this helps!
 
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Old 07-10-03, 03:03 PM
BKahuna
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Thanks to everyone.

It seems clear that the correct solution is to replace the worn planking with some form of composite. Most other solutions are temporary and probably sooner-rather-than-later I'll find myself replacing the decking.

I looked into vinyl caps for the existing wood but I'm concerned that's another temporary solution. It seems to me that if moisture gets under the cap it will rot the wood.

Now, to Trex or not to Trex... I've read the volumes of fierce posting and have come to only one conclusion - there is no perfect solution.

Thanks,

BK
 
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Old 07-12-03, 11:29 PM
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BKahuna,

You came to the absolutely one correct conclusion -- THERE IS NO PERFECT SOLUTION!!

Trex, in its 5 colors (Doug forgot to mention Saddle) is an option. Weather Best is another good option. Between those 2, it will come down to which do you prefer the looks of. EITHER is going to require that you keep it clean.

The spacing of your existing joists could be an issue if you decide to go with a composite. Easy enough to cure -- simply add a joist between your existing.
 
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