Can I have a barbecue on my composite decking?

family barbecue

When it comes to bringing people together, not much comes close to the classic barbecue. Family, friends, the scent of those succulent meats… it’s the perfect way to spend a summer’s day. With your brand-new composite decking, you now have an ideal location to host your guests, but you may also be wondering whether or not it’s safe to do. If you want to ensure that both your guests and decking remain safe, whilst also hosting an amazing barbecue, here is everything you need to know about barbecuing on composite decking.

Can it hold the weight?

Obviously that depends a lot on exactly how heavy the barbecue is in question, but generally the answer is yes. Most composite decks, if built correctly, are designed to be able to hold a minimum of 50 pounds per square foot, which means the average deck of around 120 square foot should comfortably carry around 6000 pounds. Of course, this will vary between the decking, but in most cases, you should have no problem barbecuing and hosting guests.

In fact, it may ease your mind to know that most decks can actually hold hot tubs, which are obviously significantly heavier than barbecues! If this remains a concern, however, you can also bolster the support system beneath the deck by adding additional posts or filling any empty space with a hardcore aggregate such as stones, pebbles, or gravel.

Will it damage or burn the deck?

Barbecues can, naturally, produce a lot of heat. Happily, composite decking tends to include fire retardants in the inner decking, reducing its flammability significantly. This means that if some ash from the barbecue does land on the deck, it’s unlikely to leave the deck with any severe damage.

In this instance, protecting your deck is actually down to your barbecue rather than the decking itself. Whilst some people prefer the traditional charcoal or wood grill, these are more susceptible to spits and sparks, especially on a windier day. This means a great likelihood of burning debris hitting the deck and causing burns. We’d therefore recommend investing in a gas barbecue instead, as these are far easier to control and remove the risk of burning debris falling onto your composite decking, making them an all-around safer option than charcoal or wood grills.


How else can you increase safety?

With weight and damage concerns covered, we’ll now run through some other ways to further increase safety to ensure your barbecue goes to plan.

Safety gates

If you’re welcoming family over, you may well have kids and pets attending too. Of course, with children and animals, curiosity sometimes gets the better of them and their attention may be drawn towards the barbecue. By installing a safety gate around your grilling station, you can make it a strictly adult-only area, preventing the risks of any accidents.

Grill Mats

A simple but incredibly effective piece of safety equipment, installing a grill mat beneath the barbecue will greatly reduce the chances of ashes, debris or excess grease dripping onto your composite decking and damaging it.

Drip pans

Many barbecues now come with drip pans to boot nowadays, but if yours doesn’t, they’re certainly worth investing in! Cooked meats can be placed in drip pans to prevent any excess fats or grease trickling onto the deck, making the cleaning up process much easier.

So, generally speaking, your composite decking is absolutely fine for hosting a barbecue for your friends and family. Just be sure to follow the safety precautions we have mentioned here, and you’ll be able to show off your brand new garden decking whilst creating a memorable barbecue for everyone in attendance.

In fact, if you’re looking at building your own composite decking project from scratch, you’re in exactly the right place. Here at Savoy Timber we have a huge range of composite decking products available, making us your one-stop shop for decking.

If you fancy browsing our products for yourself, feel free to pay a visit to our DIY stores in Blackpool, Preston or Wigan. We’re dedicated to helping you to shop safely during the ongoing Covid-19 situation, so don’t forget to check our latest Covid-19 service update before you visit!