How to build your own bamboo decking? In this guide we show you how you can make a professional decking in 6 steps. With our automatic calculation tool you can easily calculate the required materials and quickly start laying decking.
Good preparation is half the battle. So think carefully about how you want to lay your decking and make a sketch of your decking to make it easier to calculate the materials you will need. On the sketches, also draw the laying pattern, the foundation, support beams and any sawing losses.
How big do you want to make your decking terrace? For a terrace with a dining table, 4 chairs and a sun bed, you should consider a terrace of 4 x 5 m (20 m²). Also indicate in which direction you want to install the decking boards (lengthwise or widthwise). For aesthetic reasons decking boards are often laid parallel to the house so that there is no slope. For an optimal lifetime of your decking boards we recommend to always provide a slope of 1-2% (1 cm per meter).
Where will you build the terrace? If you want to lay the decking on a flat surface such as a roof terrace or balcony, you can use rubber tiles as a base (first have a calculation made whether your roof or balcony is suitable to carry the weight of the decking!). If you want to build a decking in the garden or on the waterfront, it is important to create a stable substructure / foundation on which the decking boards can be fixed. Think for example of hardwood foundation posts or adjustable floor bearers.
What tools and materials do you need? The tools and materials needed to build a decking depend on the surface. You will always need the following: guy rope, measuring tape, pencil, long spirit level, crosscut saw, cordless drill, floor boards, support beams and decking clips. Depending on which substructure you are going to build, you will also need the following tools and materials: shovel, rake, drill, auger, pile hammer, Stanley knife, ratchet, root canvas, rubber tiles, concrete tiles, adjustable floor supports, stakes and carriage bolts.
Bamboo Import floor boards have a standard dimension of 140 x 1850 mm. This means that you need 4 boards per m². Please take into account not only the width dimension (140 mm) of the floor boards but also the spacing between the boards (6 mm).
The distance between the support beams may not exceed 50 cm (centre to centre). 1 deck board is thus supported by 4 support beams. To calculate the exact number of support beams and picket posts, we provide an example below:
Suppose you want to lay a terrace with a length of 500 cm and a width of 400 cm. To calculate the number of support beams, divide the length of the decking by the beam spacing. In this example this is 500 cm / 50 cm = 10 + 1 end beam makes 11. Then multiply this 11 by the width of your deck in metres, 11 x 4 = 44 metres. So for the total deck you need 44 running metres of joists.
If you are going to use picket fences as a foundation, you can calculate the required number in the following way: Divide the length of the deck in cm by 50 cm, and the width by 50 cm. For a terrace of 500 by 400 cm, you will therefore need 500 / 50 = 10 picket stakes for the length, and 400 / 50 = 8 picket stakes for the width. So for the whole terrace you will need 10 x 8 = 80 picket stakes.
Please note! The foundation is the base of your terrace, don't skimp on it and always adhere to the recommended span distance.
Determine where you want to make the decking and stretch out the rope so that you know where the beams have to come. It can be easy to mark out the contours of the decking with small stakes. Keep in mind that the support beams will lie at right angles under the floor boards.
Even out the subsoil with a shovel and a rake and ensure that there is a good permeable soil structure under the decking boards. For example, you can make a substrate with layers of sand and gravel about 10 cm thick.
We recommend that you raise the decking by at least 10 cm from the ground in order to provide a good ventilation area under the decking and to ensure that it dries out quickly after a rainstorm. If the decking is more than 50 cm high, it is not necessary to level the ground.
Once the foundation for your bamboo decking is ready, you can continue with the laying out of the lines. Mark the location of the picket stakes, floor supports or tiles on the ground. Please note that the picket poles should be spaced at a maximum of 50 cm widthwise and 50 cm lengthwise from the floor boards. The dimensions are always centre to centre.
Step 2: Placing the picket poles
* You can skip this step if you are using tiles or adjustable floor supports.
After aligning and marking the terrace, it is time to place the stakes. Use a 7 cm drill bit to make holes for the 6 x 6 hardwood foundation posts and drive the posts into the ground.
Place the stakes about 80 centimetres deep in the ground, to prevent the stakes from rising during severe frost.
When positioning the picket posts, bear in mind that the support beams are mounted with M8 carriage bolts LONG of the post rows and not ON the post heads.
Step 3: Placing the root canvas
In order to prevent weeds from growing between the floor boards, anti-root sheeting is practically indispensable. If you do not use stakes, you can lay the root protection directly on the levelled ground.
If you have made a foundation with picket poles, place the root canvas over the poles and cut a cross on each pole with a Stanley knife. Then you can easily slide the root canvas over the stakes.
Make sure that there is always an overlap of approximately 20 cm when installing the root sheet. If necessary, you can staple it all together with a tacker.
Step 4: Placing beams
Now that the root canvas is in place, you can install the support beams. Use support beams with a minimum size of 40 x 60 mm. We advise Azobe hardwood beams of 45 x 70 mm and preferably in the upright position, so with the 70 mm side up. This gives less deflection than when they are mounted horizontally.
The support beams can be attached in various ways, but always avoid direct contact with the ground. For example, use rubber/concrete tiles approximately 40-50 mm thick, or height-adjustable floor bearers to support the joists. If you are going to fix the support beams on concrete tiles, it is best to use connection angles or hammer bolts to secure them.
When attaching to picket posts, the support beams should be attached to the side of the picket post and not to the posts. Mounting the support beams on the sides gives them more strength. M8 x 120 mm carriage bolts should preferably be used for this. The ends of the hardwood support beams may not lie directly against each other, keep approx. 5-8 mm space between them to allow for movement.
Important! In order to ensure proper drainage, it is necessary to ensure that there is a slope of approximately 1 cm per running metre in the lengthwise direction of the decking boards so that no rainwater remains on the boards.
Step 5: Laying the floor boards
Fixing our bamboo flooring boards is very easy. Instead of screwing through the decking boards, our bamboo decking boards are equipped with a recess so that the special decking clips engage in the boards. This way you can blindly fix the decking boards (screws are out of sight) which is of course much nicer. Furthermore, when using the mounting clips you immediately have the right distance between the boards and the material can 'work' when the weather changes.
Due to the good stability of the Bamboo Import decking boards and the shape of the tongue and groove on the ends, there is no need to leave a gap between the boards on the ends. The ends (tongue and groove) do need to be impregnated with oil or wax to prevent water from penetrating.
If you use several lengths of floor board for your terrace, it is advisable to stagger the seams. You can, for example, lay your terrace in a half-stone bond or in a random bond pattern. This gives a very nice look and also provides extra stability. Sawn decking components should always be laid on at least 3 support beams. The ends of the boards should be laid as far as possible on the joists. If a random connection pattern is desired, the distance between the support beams should be maximum 300 mm (centre to centre).
Installing bamboo decking with decking clips.
Decide which side of the board will be used as the top (ribbed or smooth side).
Start by laying the first floor board in a corner of the terrace. Leave a space of at least 2 cm between the board and any walls or obstacles. This ensures good ventilation.
Place the end clip in the groove of the decking board.
Drill the hole for the screw. Always pre-drill hardwood beams with a drill bit diameter 3.2 or 3.5 mm and 8-11 cm length.
Screw the screw into the end clip and support beam without fixing.
Now place the next bamboo decking board and use the standard intermediate clips.
Screw the screw into the intermediate clip and beams. Always screw perpendicular to the beam. Always use the battery drill with a low speed and low torque. Do some tests to tune the torque before starting the complete installation. If necessary, use green soap on the screws for smoother tightening.
Once you are satisfied with the result, you can tighten the screws completely.
Installing bamboo floor boards with screws:
Drill the hole for the screw left and right 20 mm from the sides.
Use stainless steel screws approx. 5.5 x 50 mm.
Step 6: Finishing the decking
You can easily saw off the decking planks that are sticking out. Depending on the length and design of your decking, you can use this sawn-off piece for laying the next course. If the beams are too long, you can saw them off as a very last step and finish off the sides with a standing or edge board.
The sawn-off end edges should be impregnated with oil or wax to prevent the penetration of water.
Now that the entire decking has been installed and neatly finished, it is wise to sweep the bamboo deck to remove any dust or sawdust.
To prevent discolouration of the decking, it is advisable to oil the bamboo decking twice a year. The best time for the first maintenance is 3-4 months after installation. Our Bamboo Shield oil ensures that the decking retains its beautiful colour. Colour differences can also be prevented by regularly moving and/or storing your terrace furniture during the winter.
That's it! Your bamboo decking is now ready to use. If you still have questions about our products or their installation and maintenance, do not hesitate to contact us today.
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