Nowadays, decking is becoming more popular for adding comfort and value to a home. It can also transform a dull outdoor space into a beautiful living area. But building decking in your backyard may not be as easy as you think. One of the many decisions you have to make is to choose the best decking material for your project. For many homeowners, composite decking offers superior durability and value. But another concern is the substructure. Can you attach composite decking to wooden joists?

Can You Use Wooden Joists for Composite Decking?

Composite decking are similar to wooden decks. As such, they too can be fixed on the same foundations and frames of wood decks. And that includes wooden joists. A frame made out of wood materials can hold a composite deck pretty well. 

The question is, what type of wood should you use for your composite deck’s frame. Many builders and experts recommend using pressure-treated lumber. These are wood materials that underwent various chemical treatment and preservation to protect them from rot and insects. For this reason, they are some of the most used deck framing materials. The Most common types of pressure-treated wood used for framing are Redwood and Cedar.

However, you have to remember that not all pressure-treated wood materials are the same. They have various degrees of treatment depending on their intended use. When choosing joists for a composite deck, they have to have superior durability and resistance from moisture, rotting, and insects for maximum structural integrity. If unsure, it’s best to ask your supplier whether you can use particular pressure-treated lumber for deck frames. 

How to Install a Wooden Joists

Can You Attach Composite Decking to Wooden Joists?

When you decide to use lumber or wood-plastic for your deck frame, there are various ways you can do it. Different builders will use varying styles according to what they think is best for the situation. It will also depend on the foundation where you will build the deck. 

When building a standard deck, you will need to plan the area. Then, you have to install the ledger board to your exterior walls. It serves as a guide when installing the rest. Next, install the rim joists, the outer frame of the deck. Then, install the support posts according to the deck plan and attach the support beam. With the outer joists and the beams complete, fit the inner joists using the recommended fasteners. 

Many homeowners also choose to build ground-level floating decks. For this instance, you will need to clear the area and de-weed. Next, you will need to dig and remove a few millimetres of soil. After doing so, you need to cover the area with landscaping fabric and gravel. Install the support posts, the beams, and the joists. If you want a low-level deck, slightly lifted off the ground, you will have to use small posts. You can also elevate the deck frame by using concrete blocks. 

Another way to install the wood frame is by setting it on top of an existing patio, whether it’s concrete or wood decking. However, you will first have to make sure that the patio floor is of good quality. If not, it can affect the structural integrity, durability, and the lifespan of your composite decking. 

Other Choices for Joists

While most homeowners and builders use timber frames for their composite decks, there are other deck frame options that you can choose. Depending on your situation, these framing options may be better than traditional wooden frames. 

For instance, many people prefer using composite joists for composite decks. Composites for frames offers the same durability and moisture resistance as the decking floor. It’s resistant to insects, rotting, warping, and moisture damage. And since it doesn’t use any chemicals for treatment, it is safer for the environment. And to top it all, it also looks like real wood, making it ideal for elevated decks with exposed frames. 

Quite rarely, many people also use metals for deck framing. They are more common in commercial and public establishments than in residential homes. With high safety standards, metal deck framing offers superior structural integrity and stability for composite decking. However, in most cases, they are often significantly more expensive than wood or composites. In some cases, they are also harder to install. Some common metals used in framing are stainless steel and aluminium.

Where to Get WoodenJoists?

Upon deciding on the material of the frame you’ll be using, you’ll have to buy them. Fortunately, they are easy to find. If you choose to use wood joists, you can get them at most lumber stores. Make sure to get pressure-treated wood of the right class for durability and rot and moisture resistance. If you plan to use composite wood instead, you can usually find them sold by manufacturers that sell composite decking boards. Composite lumber is longer-lasting and has a higher resistance to moisture and rotting. 


You can attach composite decking to wooden joist. Before you do that, you should ensure that you use treated wooden joists for the project so that your decking will last longer.

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