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  • This 2,500-square-foot deck at Sprout Springs Vineyards offers a scenic view of the Great Smoky Mountains. The plywood deck frame was covered with a cement-based overlay to provide a durable and decorative surface for hosting wedding parties. Because a wine storage cellar is below a large part of the deck, the owners needed a deck system that was completely waterproof.
  • To prevent cracking and delamination, the overlay is reinforced with galvanized metal lath stapled to the plywood boards. For extra protection, the system is coated with a waterproof sealer.
  • An attractive slip-resistant finish was achieved by applying a textured cement topcoat and then staining the surface with mahogany and onyx water-based stains.
  • Another view of the deck, showing how it repels water penetration after a heavy rain.

The Sprout Springs Estates Vineyard, owned by Chuck and Alice Belt, offers panoramic views of the Great Smoky Mountains in Blaine, Tenn., making it a picturesque spot for private weddings. The Belts were looking for a special surface for the large 2,500-square-foot deck they were building to accommodate the many wedding parties they planned to host, and they wanted something that was waterproof, durable, and decorative. After researching several options, they chose Westcoat’s ALX waterproof deck system, which is designed to go right over plywood decking.

“The owners decided on a waterproof system because they had a wine storage cellar below a large part of the deck,” says local Westcoat product distributor Jeff Berkley of Berkley Specialties. “They also chose ALX because it’s a decorative surface and concrete-based, making it more resistant to wear from dancing. Plus, there are no openings for high heels to get caught, as there are between wood deck boards.”

The products used in the ALX system are the same as those in Westocat’s Texture Crete system for decorative concrete overlays. The difference is in how it’s applied. With ALX, a waterproofing membrane goes over the decking first, and then metal lath reinforcing is stapled to the plywood and covered by a coat of Westcoat’s basecoat cement mixed with an acrylic modifier. As with Texture Crete, the ALX deck system can then be customized with different colors and finishes.

Berkley enlisted Chris Blevins of Blevins Hardscapes, Eubank, KY., to install the system at Sprout Springs. To achieve a decorative finish, Blevins used a skip trowel technique to apply a topcoat of texture cement and then colored the surface using water-based stains in mahogany and onyx. For maximum protection, the deck was then sealed with two coats of high-gloss acrylic lacquer. The owners loved the finished surface so much, they decided to have the same system applied to a smaller second-story balcony overlooking their personal vineyard.

In addition to providing a decorative finish, the ALX deck system can withstand severe weather extremes and is resistant to delamination and cracking. “The system is held together with the galvanized metal lath stapled heavily to plywood that has been glued and screwed to joists that meet the L-360 building code for deflection. There is little chance for the system to crack,” says Berkley, adding that the ALX system has been applied to decks as large as 15,000 square feet with no incident of cracking. For the best performance, he recommends resealing the overlay every 2 to 4 years, depending on the degree of weather and traffic exposure.

Materials used: ALX waterproof plywood deck coating system
TC-1 basecoat cement
WP-81 acrylic modifier
TC-2 smooth-texture cement
SC-35 water-based stain
SC-71 high-VOC acrylic lacquer sealer
(All from Westcoat)

Installer Chris Blevins
Blevins Hardscapes LLC, Eubank, KY.

Material supplier Jeff Berkley
Berkley Specialties Inc., Dublin, Va.

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