A flat roof gives you a great opportunity to turn the rooftop into a livable space that offers a view of the city and a range of amenities. Whether you’re creating a rooftop deck for your own home or for a property you own or manage, this space can increase the value of the home or property, as well as improve the quality of living by giving residents or tenants access to nature and beautiful views and additional space to relax or entertain.
To create a rooftop deck over a flat roof, it’s important to take the different materials and systems into account and determine the best fit for your space and your needs.
Three main flat roof deck installation systems allow for the creation of a flat roof deck:
Pedestal installation systems are typically used with concrete pavers, porcelain pavers, and interlocking wood tiles. This system uses adjustable pedestals to raise the deck surface off the roof deck. This provides the opportunity to create a perfectly level deck, though it’s important to ensure water can still drain from the surface. Pedestals should be placed at the four corners of each paver and, in some cases, in the center of the paver, too.
While pedestal installation systems are able to create a level deck over a flat roof, pedestal systems require placing and adjusting each pedestal individually. The concrete pavers that are typically used with this system are heavy and depending on their size, may require more than one person to move and place each paver.
A sleeper system consists of a wood frame that is laid on the rooftop, but not actually attached to it. Roof decking is then attached to the top of the wood frame. In order to create the slight slope needed to allow water to drain from the deck’s surface, the joists can be tapered. Posts and railings are typically attached to the sleeper system rather than the roof deck itself.
Grid installation systems use an installation grid that allows for placement of the pavers without the need to position individual pedestals or construct a wood frame. To install pavers with a grid system, you simply lay the grid directly over the roof membrane, and then place the pavers on the grid in the desired pattern. This system will follow the slope of the roof, so it is best used on surfaces with minimal slope. The deck will follow the slope of the roof, and water will be able to drain from the surface.
Flat Roof Decking Materials
Choosing a flat roof decking material comes down to the individual needs and goals of the project as well as weighing the pros and cons of each option.
Concrete pavers are often used to create a deck over a flat roof. They are an affordable option, so they are a good choice for projects for a tight budget or need to spend more on other aspects of the project. Concrete pavers come in a range of colors to compliment the roof deck design, but they are heavy and add a significant dead load to the structure. This may result in the need for additional structural support.
This type of flat roof decking is installed using a pedestal system that can be complicated and require multiple people or a skilled construction team to install. It is durable, but concrete does have a tendency to crack which can lead to an unsightly roof deck appearance as well as being a trip hazard.
Porcelain pavers are best suited for luxury projects, due to their cost. They present a beautiful aesthetic and can mimic the look of wood tiles or planks, concrete, or stone. This high-end material is durable and resists stains and cracks.
As with concrete pavers, porcelain pavers use a pedestal system for installation which can add time and cost to the project.
Wood tiles, or interlocking wood deck tiles, lock together to create a beautiful and natural space. Some systems are installed using pedestals while others lock together and lay directly on the flat roof surface. When tiles lay on the surface, this system is quick and easy to install, but in most cases it is a temporary design solution best suited for renters or others who want to create a place to relax or entertain that isn’t as permanent as other systems.
Composite pavers are a lightweight rooftop deck solution that is easy to install using a grid installation system. Aspire Pavers come in a variety of colors that allow you to create a space that is tailored to your design needs. You can also mix colors to create beautiful patterns for an added design touch.
Made from 95% post-consumer recycled rubber and plastics, composite pavers help to divert waste from landfills and they are recyclable at the end of their lifespan. You can also recycle scraps from installation. Composite pavers require very little maintenance other than periodic cleaning or removal of debris. These pavers are typically more expensive than concrete pavers, but you can make up some of the cost with easy installation and eliminating paver maintenance.
Aspire Pavers: An All-in-One Rooftop Deck Solution
It is the easiest flat roof decking system to install. Rather than managing a complicated pedestal installation process, Aspire Pavers use a patented grid system that allows for installation in less than 40% of the time it takes to install concrete pavers, and they are 1/3 the weight of traditional concrete pavers, so there may not be the need for structural reinforcement before constructing the flat roof deck.
Contact the experts at Aspire today to discuss our superior all-in-one alternative to concrete, porcelain, and wood deck tiles!