Should You Install Deck Posts In Concrete Or On Top?

Deck posts are the building blocks on which a deck’s stability depends. So, it is crucial to install these posts in a secure way to help the deck last you for a long time. People have different opinions about installing deck posts, so you might also wonder should you install deck posts in concrete or on top?

Deck posts should be placed on concrete, not in it. Use things like post anchors for this. This stops the wood from touching the ground, avoiding moisture or bugs that could damage it. Plus, posts in concrete are hard to replace and less safe. Following these steps ensures your deck stays robust, long-lasting, and safe.

However, if you really want to put deck posts in concrete, I have got some tips and tricks for you which will enable you to install deck posts in concrete safely. So, check out this intensive guide to learn how you can do so.

Is It Better To Install Deck Posts In Concrete Or On Top?

Most people recommend you avoid putting deck posts in concrete as it might damage the deck post. Concrete absorbs water and starts expanding, resulting in damaging the deck post.

Is it Better to Install Deck Posts in Concrete or On Top?

Due to this reason, deck posts submerged in concrete are not as stable and strong as those placed on top of it. Moreover, in some areas, it is not allowed by the municipality department to put deck posts installed in concrete as these posts might break and cause major incidents.

On the other hand, deck posts installed on top of concrete are easier to replace and are less likely to break because there is little to no expansion/compression from concrete. So, it’s best to place deck posts on top of concrete instead of in it.

Why Should You Avoid Placing Deck Posts In Concrete?

There are many reasons why you should avoid installing deck posts in concrete. The most prominent ones include:

Why Should You Avoid Placing Deck Posts in Concrete?

Replacing Deck Posts Installed In Concrete Can Be Grueling.

Say, even if you have installed a deck post in concrete and are happy with it’s working. But, what will you do if you have to replace the deck post/repair it?

Also Read: Should You Power Wash A Deck?

Removing the deck post from concrete can be extremely hard, as you’ll have to break the concrete anchor surrounding the post to free it from concrete. So, it is best to place decks on top of concrete as removing/replacing the deck post is much simpler and doesn’t damage the concrete base.

The Deck Post Will Start To Deteriorating

As discussed earlier, installing deck posts in concrete will ruin the posts sooner. It is because concrete absorbs the water and starts to expand. This expansion from concrete will exert a lot of pressure on the wooden deck post placed inside.

Moreover, If you are using a wooden deck post, it will also expand as soon as it comes in contact with moisture in soil and concrete. So, expansion of wooden deck post and pressure exerted due to concrete’s expansion will result in the deck post’s breakage.

Placing A Deck Post In Concrete Is Against The Rules

Before you place your deck post in concrete, you need to ask the municipal department in your area whether it is allowed or not to do so.

In many areas, there have been a lot of accidents due to the uplifting/breakage of a deck post placed inside the concrete. To avoid any accident and going against the law, it is recommended not to install a deck post in concrete.

What To Do If I Want To Install A Wooden Post In Concrete?

If you want to place a deck post in concrete, and it is permitted in your area, you can use this method to ensure your deck post’s stability. You have to start with placing the concrete framing at least 6 inches below the frost level (if it snows in your area).

Next, you have to fill the concrete framing with at least 6 inches of gravel. Make sure the poured gravel covers the base. Next, place the deck post on top of the poured gravel. Also, after placing the deck post on gravel, pour more gravel onto the sides of the deck post, ensuring it forms a barrier between the rest of the wooden deck post and concrete framing.

The gravel will keep any moisture from reaching the deck post, resulting in an increased life span.

Other Ways To Install A Deck Post

You can use one of these two methods to set up a deck post safely.

Install The Deck Post On Top Of Concrete And Secure It With Bolts And Braces

The best way to install a deck post is to install the post on top of concrete. You are also required to use at least 4-inch-thick bolts/screws to ensure the post stays in place and doesn’t elevate from the concrete frame.

Secure Deck Post With Bolts and Braces

To further maximize stability, it is recommended you also use metal braces. However, installing braces is not an absolute must, and if you think your deck is strongly adjoined with the framing despite using bracing, you can skip this step.

Also Read: Can Deck Screws Be Used For Framing?

Place A Post Anchor

The second method involves using a post anchor. A post anchor is a metal framing material that elevates the wooden deck and ensures the deck post is not exposed to water. Installing a deck post in a post anchor will lower the risk of wooden post rotting. As a result, the post will last you longer.

How Long Does The Deck Post Last In Concrete?

How long the deck post lasts depends on various factors. Generally, a 6-by-6 deck post will last you for a minimum of 5-10 years. However, the lifespan may lessen if the deck post is exposed to unfavorable conditions.

On the other hand, a 4-by-4 deck post stays in good condition for at least 20-25 years. If you don’t experience a lot of rainfalls or snowfall in your area and the humidity level is also, a 4-by-4 deck post might even last you for up to 50 years.


It’s crucial to secure the deck post in place to ensure the deck post doesn’t collapse. You can use the methods discussed above to securely set up a deck post. Moreover, if you mount the deck post carefully, the deck will last you for an extended time. However, sometimes, the deck’s life might decrease due to unfavorable weather conditions. So, it is essential to examine the deck every few weeks so that you are not too late to spot a problem.

Also Read: Deck VS Porch

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