There are a few little things that people tend to forget about self-made wooden terraces. Careful assembly is extremely important so that the new terrace lasts as long as possible. But no worry! With these six best practice tips you have everything under control when building a wooden terrace.
Tip 1: Buy patio wood from specialist retailers
Inexpensive decking boards from the hardware store have exactly one advantage: They cost less. Quality and specialist advice, however, often leave a lot to be desired in hardware stores.
A timber dealer is very familiar with decking . He knows exactly which type of wood is suitable for you, helps with planning and delivers the material to your home. Overall, the specialist trade offers the better price-performance ratio .
Tip 2: Build a suitable foundation
In most cases, the wooden terrace in the garden is built on the ground. Before construction, the subsurface must be leveled and reinforced with gravel or chippings. Create a slope of about 2% away from the house so that rainwater can drain under and on the wooden deck.
Then lay out pavement slabs (concrete slabs) on the sub-floor. They serve as a support surface for the substructure beams and protect the wood from waterlogging. Lay out the panels at even intervals on the prepared surface and align them with the spirit level.
Tip 3: Don’t forget weed control
In front of the concrete slabs, you should lay out a weed fleece – also known as a root fleece or mulch fleece. This prevents weeds from proliferating below the wooden terrace and growing out through the floorboards. You can find out which other materials you need for the construction of your wooden terrace here .
Tip 4: Optimal constructive wood protection
Constructive wood protection begins below the substructure . Because water quickly collects on the pavement slabs, the substructure should not lie directly on it. The same applies to the substructure and boards. If wood lies on wood, moisture dries more slowly in these areas. With special spacers , you can create a ventilation gap between the panels and the timber as well as between the timber and floorboards.
Tip : If you attach your terrace deck invisibly with a decking holder, the holder already ensures the necessary distance between the substructure and the deck.
Tip 5: Distance between the substructure beams
The necessary distance between the construction timbers laid in parallel depends on the thickness of the decking. The distance must not be too large so that the boards are kept in shape over the long term.
General recommendation for distances (from beam center to beam center):
20 – 24 mm board thickness: 40 cm
25 – 28 mm board thickness: 50 cm
Tip 6: Use suitable screws
The correct fastening system is very important for the stability of the construction. Special terrace screws meet the following necessary requirements.
- Stainless steel
- Countersunk lens head
- Torx drive
- Milling thread and friction property
Why do decking boards turn gray?
Wood turns gray on the surface because the wood pigment lignin is destroyed by UV radiation and washed out by rainwater. Over time, a silver-gray patina forms on the wood surface. This natural process can only be delayed, but not completely prevented. (Incidentally, the graying has no influence on the quality and durability of the wood.)
Types of wood gray at different rates
Depending on the type of wood, your terrace will gray faster or slower. Hardwoods generally develop patina more slowly than softwoods such as Douglas fir or larch. WPC decking boards also turn gray due to their wood content, but much more slowly than real wood boards. The degree to which a WPC board turns gray depends on the amount of wood it contains.
Delay graying – this is how it works
You can retain the original color of your decking for longer by cleaning your deck regularly and maintaining it with a special decking oil. The oil should contain color pigments that match the type of wood. These act like sun protection and reflect or absorb the sun’s rays.
Important: Softwoods also need protection against fungal attack.
If, despite care, it happens and the terrace is too gray for your taste, you can treat it with a special wood graying agent . This refreshes the original wood color.
WPC boards only fade to a small extent and much later. This effect cannot be delayed, because a protective oil would damage the wood-plastic connection rather than do something good. WPC is very resistant and therefore generally does not need any protection against the effects of the weather.
Tip for protection against graying
In the long run, smooth and invisibly fastened decking boards are the best choice if the terrace should look like new for as long as possible. With this combination, the surface can be sanded off without any problems and the graying can be completely removed.