Updating the surfaces of your outdoor space is quick and easy with deck tiles. This type of decking is designed with interlocking edges, which keep the tiles in place with little effort on your part. Not only that, but once installed, deck tiles are durable, beautiful and easy to maintain. As you start planning your new deck space, learn how to install the tiles properly and where you can use them. Here’s a guide on how to lay wood or composite deck tiles.
Deck tile installation tips
Deck tiles are easy to install in locations that already have a substructure in place, such as an existing deck or a flat concrete patio. Most often, this decking material consists of wood or composite slats fixed to a lattice plastic base that interlocks with other pieces. That means no nails for you (unless you want to attach a trim that doesn’t interlock). Most tiles come in a uniform 1-square-foot shape. Knowing their size is important when planning how many tiles you need to complete your project.
“A good rule of thumb is to order 10% more tiles than your measurements say you need.”
Step 1: Ordering tiles
Before you order your tiles, get an estimate of how many you’ll need. Measure your surface, writing down the number of square feet the area has in total. Because most deck tiles are 1 square foot, you’ll know quickly about how many you need. Of course, ordering a few extra is always a good idea, as you may need to cut tiles to fit around oddly shaped areas. Additionally, having a surplus on hand allows you to replace tiles if they become damaged. In fact, a good rule of thumb is to order 10 percent more tiles than your measurements say you need.
Additionally, consider whether you want a border for your deck. If so, include it in your coverage calculations.
Step 2: Check calculations
Once your deck tile has arrived, lay down a row to ensure your measurements are correct. Place one tile on the space you’re covering, then interlock the next until you’ve spanned the width of your surface. If you notice you have a gap around the edges, be prepared to cut some of your tiles if you want complete coverage.
Step 3: Install deck tiles
With all your measurements confirmed, you can start installing your deck. Pick a corner in which to lay your first tile. You may have to shift the tiles around to find which edges insert into others – each tile has rings and pins that you put together to interlock the tiles. You’ll find these pieces on the edges of each tile, coming out of the plastic base.
Because you need only lay the tiles together and ensure they lock, installation takes mere minutes. You can move furniture from the unfinished area to the newly laid spot without worrying amount messing up your work.
Step 4: Custom cut
If you run into an area that has an odd shape, it’s time to cut tiles to fit around it. Fill in your tiles as close as possible, then cut cardboard into 1-square-foot pieces to act as template for your tiles. Draw on your cardboard where you’ll have to cut the tiles to fit into the space. You can even cut the cardboard square and lay it in place to make sure the template is the right shape. Next, mark your actual tiles.
Before you cut according to the lines you copied onto your tiles, you need to make sure there aren’t any screws on your cut line. If there are, you may need to move some screws to a different fastening point. See how many screws attach each slat to the base, and ensure the same amount is in place after you cut.
Use a jigsaw and all the necessary safety equipment to cut along your marks. Make sure you leave the tile’s correct edges intact so you can interlock your cut pieces to the ones already in place. Use a palm sander or a Dremel tool to sand along the edge of your cut to create a smooth, beveled finish. Put the cut tiles in place and you’re done.
On what surfaces can you install deck tiles?
Now that you know how to install your deck tiles, you may wonder where they can go. Here’s a look at the various surfaces deck tiles can help you refinish:
As the name implies, deck tiles are ideal surfaces for your deck. They can be installed over an existing deck, giving the space an updated look that will age gracefully.
Ground-level outdoor surfaces, such as patios, also benefit from deck tiles. The range of wood, composite and stone deck tiles means your patio can have whatever aesthetic you desire.
Make your balcony barefoot friendly and beautiful with the addition of deck tiles. They fit well in small spaces, which is perfect for balconies.
Many deck tile types resist moisture and are nonslip, which is perfect for pool decks. For instance, rubber deck tiles will ensure your family is safe while they enjoy your pool.
Deck tiles use nonpermanent installation, so everyone from homeowners to renters can use them. With easy installation and tons of style, you’ll have a great new exterior surface in no time.
Are you looking for a DIY-friendly decking material?
Click here to browse our online selection of convenient interlocking deck tiles. Update your patio in a snap.