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Decking Buying Guides

A stylish and practical addition to any garden, decking is easy to install and great to look at. The decking products on sale at Sheds.co.uk use pressure treated wood, and make for a solid and long lasting base that will play a large part in helping you to make the most of your garden for many years.

Our Decking Buying Guide is designed to help answer any questions. The guide includes information on the following:

  • What do customers need to consider before they purchase any decking?
    • Size of garden
    • Type of decking; Boards vs Tiles vs Decking kits
    • Decking material types e.g. Composite vs Wood etc.
    • When/when not to use a deck bearer.
    • What accessories are needed as well as boards? E.g. joists, screws, clips, cover stripes etc.
  • Decking hints and tips.
  • Advice on calculating how much decking/joists etc. needed for a project.

What do customers need to consider before they purchase any decking?

1. Size of Garden

Firstly work out your square metre coverage by multiplying Width x Depth of the size of the decking area you require.

For example: If the space for your decking has a width of 6m and your depth is 2m.

  • What do customers need to consider before they purchase any decking?

Then find the closest square metre (sqm) to what you require. From this you can then find out how many boards you need to purchase: 50 boards of W120mm x L2.4m (allowing for cuts).

2. Type of decking; Boards vs Tiles vs Decking kits

Deck Boards

We have a selection of thickness of deck boards to suite your project and budget. We recommend that the thickness of deck board used should increase with the size of your deck. In the case of our Patio Deckboard 2.4m, 28mm thickness deck boards, they are thicker than our value deck boards. Despite being more expensive you due to their thickness they will last longer. Deck boards are often the most desirable type of decking as they are less prone to sagging, warping, twisting or cupping.

Deck Tiles

Our feature their own integral framework and are able to be laid directly onto grass and concrete. The free floating panels are also compatible with a sub frame or even over deck bearers. These lightweight deck tiles are quick and easy to install and are perfect for roof gardens. This system is ideal for beginners who want a good looking effortless option. We offer two options of Deck Tiles, Patio Deck Tiles which come in sizes 60x60cm and 90x90cm and our Ridged Deck Tile which are 50x50cm.

Deck Kits

Our all in one deck kits have everything you need to create additional outdoor space yourself with pre-cut components and easy to follow step by step instructions. Transform your garden with this instant patio deck kit. The benefits of deck kits are that they can be laid directly onto an existing patio, creating a new look for your garden. They also come supplied with full fixings and instructions, for a step-by-step guide.

3. Decking material types e.g. Composite vs Wood etc.

At Sheds.co.uk we offer wooden deck boards, deck tiles and deck kits. The timber that we use for all our deck kits and decking components are pressure treated, which means that they have a 15 year guarantee against rot and fungal decay. What does this mean for the decking? Our decking products are pressure treated with preservative helping the environment by reducing the amount of chemicals used annually. Our wooden decking can be stained or varnished to protect the decking from the effects of the weather, which can after time cause warping and timber splitting. The preservative and dye is pressure impregnated within the wood at the manufacture stage and will not be affected by further painting or colouring.

We would recommend once or twice a year, that you give your deck a thorough clean with a stiff brush or use a pressure spray in order to keep your decking well preserved for longer. While wood is the most popular type of decking, other materials are available. Our entire product range, including our decking range is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Every product carries the FSC logo, ensuring that our timber comes from properly managed forests and controlled sources.

4. When/when not to use a deck bearer

Deck Boards

You can install garden decking either onto a hard porous standing or directly on to the ground. If installing on to the ground, make sure the area is flat and you have placed a weed membrane underneath. You can either use a deck bearer kit or build a base yourself, remembering to pre-cut all bearer planks using the dimensions of the decking boards as a guide. For a small deck you can use our easy deck bearer, our pre-notched easy deck bearer (2.4m), with their slot together construction enables you to build a quick and easy base frame for your deck board. However, for a larger deck we recommend you build a robust frame using our structural deck joists. When building your own base, create an external/ deck sub frame and then strengthen with our sturdy timber deck joists in between the area, our deck joists are suitable for constructing a base for a ground level or a raised deck.

When using our deck bearer ensures that you follow the below steps:

  • Position two bearers at the outer edge of your decking area.
  • Attach two side joists along the two other sides of the decking area.
  • Fix the remaining joists – using a spirit level to ensure the structure is square

Deck Tiles

As previously stated our decking tiles are able to be laid directly onto grass and concrete. However, the deck tiles are also compatible with a sub frame or can be fitted over deck bearers.

When using our deck bearer ensures that you follow the below steps:

  • Position two bearers at the outer edge of your decking area.
  • Attach two side joists along the two other sides of the decking area.
  • Fix the remaining joists – using a spirit level to ensure the structure is square

5. What accessories are needed as well as boards? E.g. joists, screws, clips, cover stripes etc.

All decks involve some basic construction techniques to ensure that the finished project will provide many years of service. Our deck boards and deck tiles do not come with fixings and fittings, however our deck kits do come with a fixing pack provided with easy to follow step-by-step instructions.

Accessories that you may need as well as the decking itself would be:

  • Decking Joists: which we supply.
  • Easy Deck Bearer: which we supply.
  • Fixings: weather resistant screws and galvanised nails and bolts, or specialised decking fixings should be used for your decking projects: these will help to prevent rust from discolouring your deck.
    • With galvanized screws you will need to drill pilot holes, however if you use specialised decking screws this will not be necessary.
  • End coat preservative: on all saw cuts and drill holes.
  • Household tools: for example: a screwdriver, hammer, saw, drill, tape measure and spirit level.

Decking Hints & Tips

Deck Care and Maintenance

  • We recommend that when you carry out treatment on your decking once a year for the first two to three years of decking installation and then just once every other year. Before treating the timber we suggest that you sand off any old, flaking stain or dirt from the dry surface and apply an annual coat of good quality wood preservative. This will enrich and revitalise the surface of the wood. Such preservatives also contain anti- fungicides that will help prevent rot, mould and lichens.

Follow these four simple steps when caring for your decking:

  1. Remove all surface dirt, algae and grit. Before you start, use either a pressure washer or a stiff brush to clean off the debris.
  2. Deep clean. Specialist ‘decking cleaners’ are now available to help you remove all grease and dirt, and prevent the re-growth of algae and fungus. Remove any soapy residues by washing thoroughly with clean water – again, with a pressure washer if you have one.
  3. Apply stain or preservative. When the decking is dry, a deck stain or preservative can be applied. If you have a hardwood deck you should also consider an annual treatment of revitalising decking oil.
  4. Seal and protect. Finally, you need to seal the wood with a decking protector. This is a clear, water-repellent coat that contains waxes to help prevent moisture damage, a preservative to keep the surface free from decay, and an algaecide to prevent mould growth.

Ensuring your decking is laid correctly

  • Space deck boards evenly: spacing deck boards 3-5mm apart will allow for natural movement of the timber as it takes on, or loses moisture, the gaps will also allow for drainage.
  • Decking and drainage levels: the decking level needs to be worked out prior to construction; this is because the decking will need to be slightly sloped in one direction (with a slope of about 1cm) for drainage purposes.

Measurements and waste

  • Decking measurements: be sure to measure your deck out carefully. You can use a variety of methods to ensure you have the correct amount of material for your area – using string and pegs of chalk spray.
  • Discarding any off-cuts: remember do not burn decking off-cuts, due to the timber treatment these fumes can be harmful to the environment, instead take any off-cuts to the tip.

Advice on calculating how much decking/joists etc. needed for a project

  1. Scale plan of garden decking area
    • Calculate the area of your garden where you want the decking to be.
    • It can be beneficial to part out the area in your garden.
  2. Calculate the area of your deck in square metres
    • You can work out the square coverage by multiplying Width x Depth of the size of decking area you require, be it deck boards or deck tiles.
  3. Find the closest square metre (sqm) to what you require
    • You can then work out how many boards you will need to cover the area.
    • Remember to allow for cuts.

Sheds.co.uk Decking Calculator

All of our decking board and tile product pages feature a handy calculator to help you work out how many boards/tiles your require to complete your decking area. The calculator will even work out how many joists you require to manufacture the base to build the decking on to.

Please note: these calculations are only given as an estimate and may not consider your decking design/pattern and a waste allowance of 10% is also included within the calculation.