How to Install Decking Tiles
Installing deck tiles can completely change the look of a garden. They can make a concrete patio seem far more inviting, or they can open up a space of bare ground. The beauty of deck tiles is their ease of use. Depending on the area to be covered, you might not need any tools at all. Even where tools are necessary, they are basic items you probably already own.
Step 1 - Calculate Your Material Needs
Calculate how many deck tiles you’ll need for your project. Most deck tiles are 12 inches by 12 inches, or 1 square foot. All you need to do is calculate the square footage of the area (length multiplied by width) to know how many tiles you’ll need.
You can mix and match designs, if you wish, to create interesting effects. Look at what’s available and make your decisions carefully. You may use the tiles on any flat surface. However, if you’re using them on bare earth, you should install a weed barrier first and ensure the ground is completely level.
When installing over concrete, sweep the area clean first. If there are small cracks of less than 3/8 inch, you can lay the tiles directly on top as long as the sides of the crack are even. If the surfaces are uneven, you’ll need to repair them first.
Step 2 - Lay the Tile
To lay the deck tile, start from one corner and work outward. The tiles will lock together. The wood is on a plastic base which houses the clips. A small gap left between the assembled tiles will help with drainage. The gap also helps if the tiles expand or contract due to the heat or cold.
If you’re making a design involving several different designs of deck tile, make a grid plan first and follow it as a guide. Keep clipping the tiles together until you have covered the entire area. You don't need to fix the deck tiles to the surface beneath.
Step 3 - Cut the Deck Tiles
If you need to cut the deck tiles to fit around an obstruction, use a jigsaw. Mark out the area to size, cut it off and use sandpaper to smooth the rough edges. You can now lay the tile as you would normally.
Step 4 - Hide Tabs on Outside Deck Tiles
The tiles at the edge of the area will display the plastic tabs used for interlocking. To hide these, you can buy reducer pieces that match the tiles. These lock into place and form a pleasant edge to the area. You can also buy corner reducing pieces.
Step 5 - Protect the Tiles
To protect the tiles after installation, use a coat of decking oil on the wood. Renew this every 12 months (or more often if the tiles are exposed to extreme weather). With deck tiles, you can use your new deck area as soon as you’ve finished the installation.