If you want your composite decking to last long, you should take your time to install it, following best practices. One way to follow best practices when installing your plastic wood decking is to give it a solid base. The base of your composite decking determines how well it will last. A solid base will hold down pressure when you do your outdoor activity on your decking. But a weak base will collapse over time after you have installed your plastic wood decking. This write-up addresses the question, does composite decking need a base? It also looks into the various kinds of plastic wood decking bases. 

What is a Composite Decking Base?

The base of your decking is the foundation or what holds your decking in place. A composite decking base is the footing of the decking. This base lifts it from the ground and keep the decking standing. There are several kinds of plastic wood decking base or foundation. Most decking installers use posts as the base of their decking. Posts are useful for wood-plastic composite decking that is raised above the ground. Most composite deckings are flush and close to the ground. 

A flush composite decking does not require posts as the base. Instead, flush decking requires precast concrete or a sleeper system. Note that how you build the base or footing of your decking determines how well it will last. If you build a solid base for your plastic wood decking, it will withstand heavyweight when you carry out your outdoor activities on the decking. That is why most plastic wood decking that has a weak base will collapse because of heavy weight. 

How to Install the Different Decking Base

Since composite decking can have different bases, then installing the base will be done differently. If you desire to construct an elevated decking, your decking base will be high above the ground. But if your decking is flush, the base will not be high. Let’s start with building an elevated decking base. 

Elevated Decking Base Using Posts

Building an elevated composite decking using posts as the base is not a tedious task for homeowners installing a decking. To build an elevated decking with posts, you have to prepare the patio’s location. Then you must measure where you will install your plastic wood decking. After that, you should mark where you will put the posts that will serve as the base of your decking. Ensure that your decking posts are strategically placed so that they will support your composite decking. 

Then you should dig holes where you have marked and ensure that the holes are deep so that the posts will sink well in them. Next, you should put the posts inside the holes and ensure that you use a spirit level to make them straight. After that, you should cover all the holes you have put in the posts with cement. You should let the posts dry before you start installing the remaining substructure of your decking. 

Using Precast Cement as Your Base

Composite decking base

Precast cement is good for flush decking because it is close to the ground. Using precast cement is similar to using posts. You have to prepare where you will build your flush or ground-level decking. After that, you should mark where you will fix the precast cement or concrete. You will need to prepare a little cement to put in between your precast concrete and the ground. After securing the precast concrete to the ground, you can start adding the joists of your plastic wood decking. 

Using Sleeper System as Your Decking Base

Sleeper system is different from posts because they are for decking that is installed on a concrete surface. If you have old concrete in your garden, or you have a rooftop decking, a sleeper system is what you should use as the base of the decking. There are different materials you can use as your sleeper system. You can use treated wood by placing them in between your decking joists and the concrete ground. Treated wood will not last long, so you should use rubber or iron as the sleeper system of your plastic wood decking. 


Does Composite decking need a base? Yes, plastic wood decking needs a base if it must last longer. The base of your decking serves as the foundation that holds the decking. Decking with a solid base will last longer than one with a weak base. 

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