Decking is a fantastic way to make the most of a space that might otherwise go unused: whether that’s a flat roof, garden sun-trap or another outdoor space.
Sub-frames form a deck’s skeleton so having a strong, durable system is essential if you want your deck to look good.
Traditionally people have installed outdoor decking on a timber sub-frame, which can quite quickly twist and warp, eventually succumbing to rot and needing to be totally replaced.
Designers, installers and homeowners alike are beginning to raise serious questions about the efficiency of this process.
But what is replacing it?
Aluminium: which is more than up to the challenge of replacing timber.
Let me convince you why!
Timber decking sub-frames need to carefully installed, taking into account the irregularities of timber as a natural material. And with the increasingly frequent issue of depth restrictions in decking installations, timber bearer sizes are being reduced to enable the decking surface to be low enough, causing ‘bouncy’ decking surfaces with the additional risk of the timber bearers breaking under stress.
With its vastly superior strength:depth ratio, aluminium substructures can allow a support height as low as 25mm whilst still adhering to the stringent industry loading criteria of 4kN/m² (see RynoDeckSupport DS22 Aluminium Low Height Decking Joist Datasheet.pdf)
Aluminium will not bow between supports/pedestals. And when using a robust, high quality joist (see RynoDeckSupport DS72 72mm high Aluminium Joist.pdf) the decking supports can be spaced over a metre apart.
Pair this with plastic deck supports you have a strong, robust deck sub-frame which is tried, tested and confirmed to withstand weight.
There is a common misconception that aluminium is harder to work with than timber. However, this isn’t true. Provided you have a chop saw with aluminium blade, aluminium decking joist can be cut to size, just as quickly and easily as timber.
Joist connections can be made simply too, using connector brackets.
Variance in the building surface is resolved with little to no effort using adjustable pedestals, which correct sloping ground and roof falls without the need to cut timber posts to size each time.
What’s more, Aluminium is far lighter than timber. Aluminium decking joists will impose far less weight on supporting roof structures than traditional sub-frames.
Fire risk is a particularly large consideration on the balconies and terraces of high-rise buildings. But it doesn't need to be with aluminium: a non-combustible material which won’t burn.
If durability, superior strength, stability and incontestable safety aren’t enough to convince you that aluminium sub-frames are the future of decking support, just look at the rapid growth of Ryno over the last few years.
Join the many already enjoying the benefits of using aluminium decking substructures.