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How to Install Wood or Composite Deck Tiles

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Updating the surfaces of your outdoor space is quick and easy with deck tiles. This type of decking is designed with interlocking edges, which keep the tiles in place with little effort on your part. Not only that, but once installed, deck tiles are durable, beautiful and easy to maintain. As you start planning your new deck space, learn how to install the tiles properly and where you can use them. Here’s a guide on how to lay wood or composite deck tiles.

Deck tile installation tips

Deck tiles are easy to install in locations that already have a substructure in place, such as an existing deck or a flat concrete patio. Most often, this decking material consists of wood or composite slats fixed to a lattice plastic base that interlocks with other pieces. That means no nails for you (unless you want to attach a trim that doesn’t interlock). Most tiles come in a uniform 1-square-foot shape. Knowing their size is important when planning how many tiles you need to complete your project.

“A good rule of thumb is to order 10% more tiles than your measurements say you need.”

(20) Comments

  1. What underlayment can I use to protect a flat membrane roof. I’m concerned a composite deck tile could damage the membrane over time.

  2. Hello,
    I realize it’s been called out but just to make sure- I’m interrelated in laying these tiles in a large section of my yard. There is no solid foundation as concrete. I’m trying to get around laying concrete. So if I prepped/compacted the dirt layed sand and then the tiles I assume that wouldn’t work?

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Janet,

      Unfortunately you wouldn’t be able to install deck tiles over compacted dirt or sand. It needs a completely solid surface beneath with proper drainage. If it rained and the dirt got soft the tiles will start coming apart. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  3. Can I install composite deck tiles on a balcony with a plywood surface? Would there be a problem of dampness or drainage? (We live in the northern region with a cold winter).

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Pat,

      Plywood is fine IF there is proper drainage beneath. If there will be pooling water under the tiles during the colder months the tiles can get damaged.

  4. can these deck tiles be supported by paver supports in order to raise them off the ground in order to make a raised deck?

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Andrew,

      Thank you for getting in touch! Unfortunately deck tiles will need a completely solid base beneath. They are not strong enough to withstand weight on paver supports. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Kimberely,

      Deck tiles wouldn’t be the best option for under a hot tub. It would be too heavy for the base of the deck tiles and they would crack. I would suggest pavers or if you are able to reinforce the joists you can use a regular composite decking material. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  5. Good morning- 2 things
    1- what would you suggest is the best steps to follow if laying these ground level directly over grass

    2- could and would this work on top of skids/pallets?

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Angela,

      Grass would not be the best surface to install this over. The tiles are interlocking with a click mechanism and the crass could be too soft for the tiles to stay together. You may need to put something weighted on top of the grass for a long time to flatten it all out before putting the deck tiles down. Even so, I still can’t guarantee it will work over grass.

      If you want to install this on top of skids or pallets it should work, but if there are no external walls around the perimeter they can move or slip off. You will also want to ensure the pallets are secured down.

      Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  6. Hi. Wondering about using thee deck tiles in winter, cold and snow. Will they be slippery? Or stand up to winter condition?

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Danita,

      These should hold up fine in Winter. If you get a wood deck tile you will need to seal it. There is still the possibility of them becoming slippery with snow and ice but it won’t be as slippery as a tile or polished stone. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Richard,

      Deck tiles are not meant to be adhered down as the weight of the total floor can usually hold them down. If you live in a very windy area and it is an open patio you can use a small dot of construction adhesive on the corners to keep it down. You just have to ensure water flow is not restricted. Another thing to note is that deck tiles are a temporary deck system, they’re not meant to be permanent so wind will be able to move them. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  7. Dear Sir/Madam,

    I have a Kontiki Composite Interlocking tiles installed by the builder in the roof deck. It looks like the installers did not clean the under area. There are cracking sounds while you walk above the tiles and visible debris and dirt between the each joints. I would appreciate your recommendations how to clean the base ground under the tiles.

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hello Fengyman,

      Thank you for getting in touch! To clean under the tiles you just need to pull them up and thoroughly clean the surface beneath. Then you can install them over top again. I would highly suggest checking the membrane beneath the tiles before reinstalling them to ensure it is not the membrane that is cracking and that it is just the debris. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

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