old deck

9 Different Ways to Cover Up Your Old Deck

In Exterior Wood, Tips by Jamie

What should you do if your old deck is in bad shape and you don’t have the money to replace it? Don’t worry – there are plenty of ways to cover up your old deck and resurface it, so you don’t have to pay for a full replacement. This article will tell you everything you need to know about covering up your deck and making it look as good as new.

Can You Cover an Existing Deck?

Yes, you can cover an existing deck. Depending on the condition of the deck and what you want to cover it with, there are several ways to go about it. Covering your old deck can breathe new life into it and make it look brand new, without having to go to the trouble of dismantling it and replacing the entire thing. It’s a great way to save time and money while also overhauling your yard.

When Should You Cover Your Deck?

Covering your deck is a good option when there is a lot of aesthetic damage to the wood but the overall structure is still sound. For example, if the deck has faded over the years due to sun damage or if the wood has cracks and scratches in it, you can cover it to make it look fresher.

When NOT to Cover Your Deck?

There are certain situations when you shouldn’t cover the deck and you need to replace it or carry out other repairs first. If the wood itself is rotting, the structure is not sound, and covering it will only cause more problems. In fact, it could even be dangerous if you are walking around on a deck that is about to collapse. Similarly, if there is a lot of mold growing on the deck, you can’t just cover it and hope it goes away. You need to use a specialist deck cleaning product with fungicides in it first. If you can get rid of all of the mold and the wood is not rotten, you can then safely cover it.

Before covering your deck, always give it a thorough inspection. As long as the damage is only superficial surface damage and the actual wood is still solid, you can cover your deck. But if it is rotting or covered in mold, simply covering it is not enough.

9 Ways to Cover Up Your Old Deck

1. Wooden Design Interlocking Deck Tiles

PANDAHOME 22 PCS Wood Plastic Composite Patio Deck Tiles, 12”x12” Interlocking Deck Tiles, Water Resistant for Indoor & Outdoor, 22 sq. ft - Mocha 3D (22, Mocha)

If your deck is looking a bit worse for wear, you can give it a quick and easy makeover with some wooden design interlocking deck tiles. These tiles are easy to install and come in a variety of different wood designs, so you can find one that will match the style of your existing deck. These are a simple way to give the decking a brand new surface, and they are very easy to maintain too.

Check out these PANDAHOME plastic composite decking tiles if you’re looking for a quick deck covering solution. The wood-plastic composite is resistant to moisture and rotting, so you won’t have to replace the surface for a long time to come. They’re also much cheaper compared with having a whole new deck installed.

2. Composite Decking

install composite over old deck

If you want to completely cover your old deck, composite decking is a good option. Composite decking is made of a mix of wood and plastic, so it is very weather-resistant. It also doesn’t require any staining or sealing, which makes it low-maintenance. As long as the original frame of your decking is in good condition, you can just lay the composite boards straight on top.

RELATED: 7 Best Composite Decking Brands

3. New Deck Boards

install new wooden deck boards

In some cases, you may find that certain areas of the deck are worse than others. The best thing to do here is to add new deck boards where they are needed. You can then stain them to make sure that they match the rest of the deck. You can also lay them on top of the existing deck, just like you would with composite decking.

When purchasing new deck boards, look for wood that has been pressure treated. This type of wood is designed to withstand the elements and will last much longer than untreated wood due to the chemical treatments that it undergoes.

4. Deck Rite Floor Covering

If you’re not too keen on the idea of replacing your deck or adding new boards, you could always cover it with a Deck Rite floor covering. This is a PVC membrane that is designed to be laid over old decks, so you can keep the same frame and just add a new surface. The Deck Rite covering is waterproof and will protect the original deck frame underneath too.

The covering is made from two layers of vinyl with a thick polyester layer in between. This makes it waterproof and also gives you a good surface for walking on at the same time. The covering is fixed to the wooden decking using an adhesive, and then heat is applied to fuse the seams between rolls so you get an even finish throughout.

The great thing about using Deck Rite is that it’s low maintenance too. If you hate having to stain and seal your wooden decking on a regular basis, you’ll love having this low-maintenance covering instead.

It is highly recommended that you call in a professional to install this covering for you. There are plenty of certified technicians that have been trained in the installation process by Deck Rite, and they will ensure that you get a good finish that protects your decking for years to come.

If you are living in Canada, there is a different range of Deck Rite products you can use. Find more information about this here.

5. Artificial Turf Interlocking Tiles Artificial Grass Turf Tiles 1x1 ft, Fake Grass 1.5 in Pile Height Interlocking self-draining Mat for Outdoor Balcony Patio Garden Dog Potty-Pads or Indoor Flooring Decor(8 Pack)

Why not give your decking a grass-effect instead? Artificial turf interlocking tiles are a great way to do this, and they are also very easy to install. They are made of artificial turf and plastic, so they are weather-resistant and low-maintenance.

If you’re looking for a good way to change the layout of your garden, without having to dismantle your decking and plant a lawn, these artificial turf interlocking tiles are perfect. They’re not just designed for decking either, they can be used on a wide range of surfaces around the yard.

RELATED: 5 Best Artificial Grass Options for Your Backyard

6. Power Wash, Stain, and Seal

Sun Joe SPX3000 2030 Max PSI 1.76 GPM 14.5-Amp Electric High Pressure Washer, Cleans Cars/Fences/Patios

If you want to give your decking a new lease of life without having to add any new covering, a power wash is the best way to go. This will clean all of the dirt and grime off of the surface and allow you to see what state the decking is really in. Once you’ve done this, you can then stain and seal the decking to protect it from the elements. When power washing, make sure that you keep the pressure at 1,200 psi or below to avoid damaging the wood.

Staining and sealing your decking is a great way to make it look new again, and it will also help to protect it from fading in the sun or becoming damaged by rain. There is a wide range of stains and sealants to choose from, but you should always look for products with UV protection to prevent fading.

Stains and sealants with a fungicide and mildewcide are also good as they stop mold and mildew growth. Polyurethane is a good sealant to use as it is long-lasting and durable, and will keep your decking looking good for years to come. You can also get combination products that have a stain and sealant in one, which saves time.

RELATED: Why is My Deck Fuzzy After Power Washing? (How to Fix it)

7. Deck Paint

Staining the deck is a great way to retain the natural wood effect, but you could also paint it too. Painting the deck gives it a good protective layer and will also brighten up the space.

KILZ Low-Lustre Enamel Porch & Patio Latex Floor Paint, Interior/Exterior, Silver Gray, 1 Gallon

When painting your deck, always use a primer first as this will help to seal the surface and stop the paint from peeling. You should then use a good-quality deck paint like this one. Using cheap paint or not picking a specific exterior paint is a mistake because it will peel away in no time and you will have to reapply.

If your deck is particularly damaged and weathered, you need a paint that gives a thicker application, like the KILZ Over Armor Textured Wood/Concrete Coating This will cover cracks and scratches in the wood and create a smooth finish, as well as give you a nice color. Thinner paints will sink into the cracks instead of filling them and the wood will still look very weathered, even though you have painted it.

These are both great paint options but you don’t need to limit yourself to just these two. There are plenty of excellent exterior wood paints on the market, just make sure that you are following the application guidelines properly.

8. Big Floors DuraGrid Outdoor Interlocking Plastic Deck Tile Big Floors DT40BEIG DuraGrid Outdoor Modular Interlocking Multi-Use Plastic Deck Tile, 40 Pack, Beige

The Big Floors DuraGrid Plastic Deck Tiles are another excellent option if you want a quick, low-maintenance deck covering. They click together easily and sit on the top of your existing deck. They are designed to drain water very well and they are slip-resistant too, so they’re safe and work well for pool areas.

If you want something with a more traditional wood aesthetic, these aren’t ideal and you should go for some composite tiles instead. But if you are not concerned about authentic wood effects, plastic tiles are one of the most cost-effective ways to cover your deck.

9. Pavers

pavers for wood cover deck

Covering your deck with pavers is feasible, but only in certain situations. Bear in mind that they weigh a lot, and if you do it on a raised deck, it can be dangerous because it won’t hold the weight. Large decks are not suitable either because the number of pavers you need will be too heavy.

However, on a small area, it can look good. Just make sure that you choose lightweight pavers and check the condition of the wood first to ensure that it is structurally sound.

If you want to use pavers on your decking, you can fix them to the wood using a heavy-duty construction adhesive. Apply a small amount to the paver and the wood, then gently tap it with a hammer once it is in place. Use a rubber mallet rather than a metal hammer to avoid cracking the pavers. You may need a cutting tool to cut them to size before installing them. 

RELATED: How to Install Concrete Pavers Over Dirt: Detailed Guide With Photos

Other Ways to Upgrade Your Deck?

Covering the deck is not the only way to improve it. Here are some other great ways to upgrade your deck.

New Deck Railings

If your deck railing is old and damaged, it’s a good idea to replace it. Not only will this make your deck look nicer, but it will also be safer. There are lots of different types of deck railings available including metal, wood, and PVC. You can even get railings that are designed to look like traditional balusters. Learn at what height you require a deck railing here. 

Buy New Outdoor Furniture

Outdoor furniture is a brilliant way to add more utility to your deck and make it look fresh. Consider investing in some key pieces including:

A few simple pieces of furniture can make all of the difference to your deck area. Check out this list for more information about the different types of outdoor chairs available.

 Add an Outdoor TV Area

If you love spending time outdoors, why not add an outdoor TV area to your deck? This will allow you to watch your favorite shows and movies while enjoying the fresh air. You can get outdoor TVs that are weatherproof and some even have built-in speakers. It’s also important to consider glare and pick a TV that is specifically designed to reduce glare from the sun when used outside. This great article will help you find the perfect TV for an outdoor viewing area.

Once you have the right TV, you just need to add some seating and maybe even a fire pit to create the perfect atmosphere for evening screenings.

How to Protect Your Deck Area to Last a Long Time?

Protecting your deck area can help you increase its lifespan. It’s particularly important to prevent damage from rain and sun exposure, which is why a cover of some kind is a good idea. You could build a pergola or put up an awning. Roof extensions are excellent for covering areas that are right next to the house too.

However, a louvered roof system is the best modern option. It provides shade and UV protection, while also allowing air to circulate. You have the option of angling the roof panels so sunlight can come in when you want it to, but you have protection against the elements when the deck is not being used. This simple system, created using slats, is the best way to protect your decking. Our extensive guide will help you pick the right louvered roof system if you don’t know where to start.

Final Thoughts

Your deck is a great place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. By making a few simple upgrades, you can make it even better. Covering the deck is a cost-effective way to bring it back to life, as long as the underlying structure is still solid.

About the Author

Jamie

Jamie is the founder of The Backyard Pros. When he was 15 years old he started working at a garden centre helping people buy plants, gardening products, and lawn care products. He has real estate experience and he is a home owner. Jamie loves backyard projects, refinishing furniture, and enjoys sharing his knowledge online.