Revitalize Your Backyard Retreat: Clever Deck Covering Solutions

Is your once-beautiful backyard deck now faded and splintered after years of use and exposure to the elements? Are you looking for budget-friendly ways to restore and protect your deck without undertaking a full replacement? Covering an old deck is an affordable, simple route to revamp your outdoor living space so you can enjoy it again.

From interlocking wood tiles to composite decking, we’ve got you covered on how to rejuvenate your outdoor retreat. Read on to discover clever solutions for refreshing your deck on a budget!

Assess the Condition of Your Current Deck

Before choosing a covering, thoroughly examine your existing deck to identify any issues needing repair. Check for rotten boards or structural damage that should be addressed before installing new materials. Mold, mildew and excessive dirt can also prevent proper adhesion of coverings.

Probe boards with a screwdriver to test for soft spots or wood rot. Inspect the underside of the deck for sagging joists, cracked beams or insufficient support. Determine if only the surface needs refinishing, or if boards and framework require reinforcement.

Clean and Prep the Deck Surface

Power wash the deck with an outdoor cleaner to remove built-up grime, mildew stains or flaking finishes. Let the deck dry completely before moving forward. Replace any rotten, damaged or dangerous boards to establish a smooth surface for covering materials to adhere to.

Fill cracks between boards with exterior-grade wood filler. Sand rough areas to flatten imperfections. The goal is to create a clean, dry and structurally sound foundation before installation.

Choose the Best Covering Method for Your Needs

With the prep work complete, it’s time to select the ideal covering solution for your deck. Consider factors like budget, how much demolition you want to do, and the final appearance you envision.

what can i cover my old deck with

Wood or Composite Deck Tiles

Interlocking deck tiles made of wood, plastic or composite materials are one of the easiest options for covering a deck. Tiles can be installed right over your existing deck boards for quick facelift.


  • Simple peel and stick application
  • No demolition of current deck required
  • Affordable compared to new decking
  • Wide variety of looks and styles
  • Low maintenance


  • May not match exact width of deck
  • Can appear raised if deck is uneven
  • Wood tiles require periodic sealing

Synthetic Deck Coverings

Rolled coverings like DeckRite can adhere directly to your deck surface after cleaning and prep. The thick self-adhering sheet covers flaws while adding grip and protection.


  • Quick and easy application
  • Seamless surface
  • Cost effective
  • 10-15 year durability


  • Limited color/pattern options
  • Surface imperfections may telegraph
  • Can peel up if improperly installed

New Deck Boards or Composite Decking

For a fuller deck restoration, you can replace worn decking with new boards or low-maintenance composite decking . This involves removing old boards and framing as needed.


  • Completely renewed appearance
  • Correct any structural issues
  • Customize deck size/layout


  • More demolition work
  • Higher cost than other covering options
  • More complex installation

Prepare the Surface for Your Chosen Covering

With your preferred covering decided, take steps to prep your deck for installation day. This will ensure the best outcome from your covering project.

For tile or synthetic coverings, use a belt sander to smooth rough areas on deck boards. Fill any remaining cracks and holes with filler. Confirm boards are securely fastened to prevent squeaking.

For new decking, remove old deck boards and damaged framework completely. Replace with pressure-treated lumber and fortify framing as needed. Consult building codes if altering deck height or layout.

Purchase Materials and Plan the Installation

Measure your deck area carefully and calculate how much of your chosen covering you will need to order. Be sure to buy extra tiles or overlapping material to account for mistakes and seam allowances.

Gather all tools and accessories recommended for installation like caulk, construction adhesive and grout. Rent tools you may not own like a power sander or tile cutter.

Decide if this a DIY project or if you want to hire a professional installer. Deck tile installation is beginner friendly but larger jobs like replacing deck boards may require expertise.

Install Your Selected Deck Covering

Once prep work is done, it’s time to install your deck facelift! Follow manufacturer guidelines closely for best results. Here are some general tips for trouble-free application:

  • Work in small, manageable sections
  • Use spacers between tiles or overlap coverings
  • Apply even pressure and smooth seams/edges
  • Immediately fix any mistakes with adhesive or grout

Take your time during installation to get clean, tight seams and uniform spacing. This Creates a professional finished look. Don’t rush the job or take shortcuts.

Composite Decking Installation Tips

For composite decking, allow 1/4″ spacing between boards for drainage. Use hidden fastener systems for a smooth surface. Stagger board end seams for better stability. Apply even pressure when fastening to prevent buckling.

Perform Any Final Touches

Once the main covering is installed, add trim pieces around edges for a polished look. Grout tile seams or caulk around coverings. Touch up any blemishes with adhesive or paint.

Allow newly covered decks at least 24 hours to cure before regular use. Avoid dragging furniture across the surface during this time to prevent damage.

Maintain the Deck Covering

Follow the manufacturer’s care guidelines to keep your deck covering looking like new. Sweep frequently and use recommended cleaners for periodic deep cleaning.

Watch for loose tiles, peeling edges or other signs of damage. Reseal wood tiles every 1-2 years to protect from moisture. Address problems quickly to prevent bigger issues.

Take steps to allow water drainage under tiles and off the deck surface. Install outdoor mats at entryways to reduce grit and dirt exposure.

With smart prep work, quality materials and careful installation, your once-tired deck can now be a beautiful backyard oasis for relaxation and fun. Here are some ideas for making the most of your refreshed space:

  • Decorate with comfortable weatherproof furniture
  • Add string lights and planters for ambiance
  • Install a pergola or retractable awning for shade
  • Build a firepit, hot tub or other focal point

By covering your old deck instead of replacing it, you’ve saved significant time and money transforming your backyard retreat. No demolition mess, no complicated construction project – just a simple makeover breathing new life into a well-loved space.

Follow the tips in this guide and you’ll be hosting backyard barbecues, reading by the firepit and relaxing in your personal oasis in no time. Here’s to many more years of enjoyment from your cleverly covered deck!

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