Tips for Buying Interlocking Wood Tiles for Your Deck


Wood decking tiles, also known as patio pavers, are gradually gaining popularity as an easy way to add a beautiful wood floor over concrete patios. Their primary benefit is that they may be installed directly on top of preexisting concrete without the requirement for demolition or surface repairs. The use of these patio pavers is that you don’t have to be a professional handyman or have a specialized set of power tools to set them up. Like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, they fit perfectly into place.

However, more and more companies are now providing these solutions, making it more challenging to choose wisely. In this post, we’ll review some of the more critical aspects of the tiles that you should consider before settling on the perfect one.

Species of Wood

This is among the most crucial considerations when deciding on a deck tile. Choosing a wood species with the maximum natural endurance is essential, but there is also the matter of aesthetics. The color of different types of wood can range from nearly white to dark chocolate brown to bright orange-red. However, if you’re only concerned with longevity, the Ipe wood native to South America is your best bet. Several other South American and Southeast Asian wood species fall within this category. Instead of listing each species, we recommend visiting an official website like the USDA Forest Service’s to verify the species’ durability and other features. Some species may be hardy regarding climate, but they may still be vulnerable to pest assault from things like termites, which could be a significant issue in your area.

When deciding on a wood species, it’s also essential to consider whether it was harvested sustainably or originates from well-managed forests.

Depth of wood

The standard thickness of wood slats used in commercially available tiles is 5/8 inches (15mm). Tiles can be found with slats of varying thicknesses from various manufacturers. The intended installation site will play a role in determining which product you select. The half-inch thick slats may be enough in scenarios without exposure to extreme weather, such as in basements, covered patios, and similar settings. However, heavier wood is recommended in regions with more significant climatic variance.

Composition of the Plastic Base

The bottoms of plastic tiles can be constructed from various plastics, such as polypropylene, polyethylene, or some other plastic. It’s essential to be aware of the plastic’s brittleness, low-temperature characteristics (if you happen to live in an icy area), and UV stability, even though each manufacturer has their reason for selecting a particular plastic compound. This second element is crucial since plastics used in outdoors can quickly deteriorate without the presence of a UV stabilizer.

The mechanism of interlocking

There are now just two primary varieties of decking tile interlocking mechanisms available. The first variety has female plugs on two sides and male plugs on the other two. Female connectors often have several loops that link with the pins on opposite sides.

The alternative form of locking mechanism, like that found in SwiftDeck tiles from, is symmetrical, allowing any side of any tile to seal with any other tile.
Since you can only begin in one corner of the space to be covered and work your way around from there, the loop and pin design necessitates more planning when laying the tiles. Installing or removing a single tile in a central area usually necessitates working around at least three other tiles. The other issue is that the last row’s edge will have a tile with loops on one side and a tile with pins on the other.

Other tiles that act as one-way connections are available but can only be used in one direction. Once the tiles are clicked into place, they cannot be removed without damaging the game. This is not necessarily a drawback if you have no plans to replace the tiles, but it can be limiting if, for example, you want to sell your house or update the look of your deck.

If the manufacturer offers clip-on transition strips, you’ll need two different kinds: one to connect with the pins and another to communicate with the loops. This is an additional drawback of the circle and pin design. You’ll need two distinct varieties of corner transition pieces if they’re offered as an option.

Different styles are readily available.

Typically, only one deck tile style is available from a given manufacturer, consisting of four parallel wood slats. Five- or six-slat tiles may be available for your floor. Some brands may have more than one style to choose from. The benefit is combining the various designs to create unique centerpieces, borders, and the like.

Accessory add-ons

There will likely be some exposed concrete when covering an existing patio with tiles. So, unless they are cleverly concealed, the plastic base and connecting pins would be visible on the last row of tiles. As a result, several companies make clip-on transition strips that look nice and lessen the risk of damage to the outer row of tiles during transport. Such vendors also typically have transition strips for use in the corners of exterior walls.

These are the primary design and material considerations for a wood decking tile or patio paver. Of course, you also need to consider the tile’s pricing, the warranty, the trial period, the after-sale service, the return policy, and so on.

Malcolm Kay is the CEO of HandyDeck Systems, Inc., a manufacturer, and distributor of do-it-yourself (DIY) exterior home remodeling products like interlocking wood patio pavers. To learn more, check out.

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