People tend to choose plastic decking, such as vinyl flooring, to build their deck flooring. Vinyl is a great alternative to brick or hardwood because of its waterproof properties, effectively avoiding damage from water and mold growth.
It’s best to install vinyl on the outdoor deck floor in the temperature-controlled patio. This floor can contract or expand in extreme temperatures, leading to damage.
Before choosing a vinyl floor for the deck, consulting with the manufacturer’s instructions is recommended.
Choosing the Type of Vinyl that Can Be Used on the Deck
vinyl backing is a popular method for the flooring to improve its waterproof properties. Some of the vinyl decking backings below can be the best alternatives for outdoor deck flooring.
1. Smooth-Backed Vinyl Decking
This kind of backing will not require much preparation during its installation. There is no burn off the fabric layer as well. Architects and engineers recommend smooth-backed vinyl enough because of its strength and durability. However, it needs more budget than another backing because of its specific manufacturing requirements.
2. Fuzzy-Backed Vinyl Decking
Fuzzy-backed vinyl is also known as random polyester and unwoven material. During the installation, the fuzzy fabric reduces distortion and stretching. Besides, its fabric holds the adhesive as well. This backing is the least expensive with a wide availability on the market.
3. Scrim-Backed Vinyl Decking
This woven-back vinyl decking is the perfect decking solution compared to the other two types above. Besides it is more resistant than fuzzy-backed vinyl, scrim-backed vinyl also can hold glue better than smooth-backed vinyl. This vinyl backing is more forgiving for installation since the scrim can be removed easily.
Pros and Cons of Vinyl Flooring on Deck
Outdoor vinyl flooring, including its durability and waterproof properties, may benefit all homeowners. At the same time, vinyl brings some disadvantages for all homeowners.
Vinyl Flooring Pros
- More durable compared to the wood deck flooring.
- Stain and scratch-resistant for a safer and more durable deck floor.
- Easy to clean or doesn’t need special treatment for maintenance.
- Comes in sheets or planks, which will ease the installation on the deck.
- Waterproof and weather-resistant. It helps the deck floor avoid many problems because of water and humidity.
Vinyl Flooring Cons
- It must be installed in covered outdoor patios since extreme temperatures will easily damage it.
- Doesn’t support the heavy weight, so it needs another material to support the deck.
- Possibility to contain VOCs chemical that is harmful to human health.
- Not ideal in high-traffic areas in the house that have more foot traffic or activity.
- Unlike tropical wood, vinyl flooring is damaged by the sun, especially in the joints, despite being an insulating or fireproof material and easy to clean.
How to Install Outdoor Vinyl Flooring on a Deck
Installing vinyl material for a deck requires a professional to install it properly. With their skills, the professional will not only help you to put the vinyl on the deck floor, but they also can help you to prepare the deck to maximize the vinyl functions.
In this case, there are seven steps people should take to install vinyl material on their patio.
- Prepare the deck by removing the old boards and re-sheet with the new ones.
- Smoothing the surface of the deck floor before vinyl installation.
- Drip edges are required to allow the water to drip freely to the ground.
- Level the deck surface with cement floor leveling.
- Apply adhesive to plywood to help the vinyl can be applied well on the deck floor.
- Roll out the vinyl on the deck floor.
- Welding the seams to ensure the seal and get waterproof outdoor vinyl flooring
Other Flooring Option over Deck
Vinyl is not the only material for outdoor deck flooring. Some materials are available, and can be other alternatives for deck flooring depending on the needs.
1. Poured Concrete
There are poured Concrete for the patio for an affordable and durable option. Unlike pavers that come with small pieces, this material comes with long slabs. Some advantages of this deck flooring material are fire, water, corrosion resistance, low maintenance, no VOCs chemical, slip-resistant, stain-resistant, and easy to clean.
2. Brick Pavers
Brick pavers are a traditional choice for the outdoor deck with their rustic design. Even though this material is not as popular as Concrete, brick pavers are the best choice to compliment a rustic brick fireplace. It is also more affordable, durable, slip-resistant, and low maintenance; unfortunately, there are only limited design choices, and it isn’t easy to replace or repair.
3. Concrete Pavers
Concrete patio pavers are a modern style with ultra-durable properties as a deck flooring option. This material comes in many styles and sizes that homeowners can customize. Concrete pavers installation is easy compared to other flooring materials. It also doesn’t require high maintenance. However, it needs additional pavers for repair.
What are the best floors alternatives on a decked terrace?
If you have a covered terrace, this can be a good choice. If you live in the city, however, you can save money using artificial grass, natural stone, stoneware, and clay.
Wood is one of your finest possibilities if you reside in an environment with little humidity.
Now, let’s say you decide to use tile or pottery. In that case, you should remember that they are more suited to patios or interior terraces, giving them a touch of style and reducing their exposure to things that can hurt them. Drastically.
As for stoneware, the best place for it is on closed terraces or small balconies, just like vinyl flooring (both in urban centers and outside them).
Vinyl flooring can be used on outdoor decks, terraces, and balconies, but with a few exceptions, it is not the most durable option.
What are the best deck floors? You can’t talk about “better floors for terraces.” The most suggested will depend on a lot of things.