Differences Between Rooftop Deck Tiles: What Type is Best for Your Project?


A rooftop deck provides a welcome respite from the noise and pace of the city below. It is a desired amenity where tenants or residents can go to relax or gather while enjoying the weather and city views that they can’t get at ground level or possibly from their window. Providing this space can increase a building’s desirability, but choosing the right materials is essential to a successful project.

What to Look for When Choosing Rooftop Deck Tiles

There are a number of things to look for and take into consideration when choosing rooftop decking tiles:

  • Durability - Rooftop decks can see a lot of traffic over their lifespace, not to mention weather that can include snow, ice, wind, rain, and hail as well as constant sun exposure, so choosing a durable material that can stand up to foot traffic and the elements is essential.

  • Sustainability - Choosing a material that helps rather than harms the environment can earn LEED credits as well as protect the environment.

  • Ease of installation - Projects are costly enough without adding high installation costs. Materials that offer easy installation can not only save money on labor, but they can also save time.

  • Comfort - Some rooftop decking materials provide more comfort than others and comfort is essential to a well-used space.

  • Maintenance - You want to be able to enjoy the rooftop deck and not be concerned about constant maintenance.

  • Weight - Ensuring that the structure can support the added dead loads and live loads that come with a rooftop deck is essential to a successful project.

Rooftop Deck Tiles

Interlocking Wood Deck Tiles

Interlocking wood deck tiles are made from hardwood that is able to stand up to the UV exposure that it will have on a rooftop. Wood provides a beautiful natural look but even if it comes prestained and presealed, it will likely need to be restained and resealed over the course of its life. Hardwoods, like ipe and teak, are able to stand up to high foot traffic without showing wear.

This type of rooftop deck material is easy to install and can be repositioned or removed and reinstalled elsewhere. It’s typically not a permanent decking solution, but rather is used for apartments or other spaces where it is a temporary solution.

Concrete Pavers

Concrete is a traditional paver material that is very common on ground level patios and plazas. Known for its durability, concrete can be used on a rooftop deck, but its weight can be a concern. Concrete is very heavy and as a result, the structure may need additional support to hold the dead load of concrete as well as the added live load of people on the rooftop deck.

Concrete is also known to crack and show signs of wear — stains, discoloration, fading, etc — over time. The concrete paver installation process can be complicated and requires the use of adjustable pedestals that are placed at the four corners, and sometimes on each side, of the pavers. While this can result in a completely level surface, the weight of the pavers and the need for laser levels, string guides, and specialty concrete cutting tools, makes installation difficult.

Concrete is rough and very hard, so this type of paver isn’t the most comfortable to walk or stand on. It can also result in skinned knees if someone, often children, were to fall.

Porcelain Pavers

Porcelain pavers can be colored to mimic the look of wood or stone, which gives you the option of choosing a durable and low maintenance material while capturing the look of higher maintenance materials. Porcelain can be slippery when wet, making it difficult to walk on. Porcelain pavers use a pedestal installation system, so not only is it an expensive material, but there are also additional labor and installation costs.

Composite Pavers

A fairly recent addition to rooftop paver materials, composite pavers provide a wide range of benefits over other materials. They are lightweight, weighing about half as much as concrete pavers, so they’re easy to transport and move into position. The grid installation system offered by Aspire Pavers makes installation incredibly easy, and the composite pavers can be cut using a jigsaw or miter saw, and depending on the pattern you choose, cutting may be minimal.

Composite pavers can be more expensive than other options, but their easy installation process can cut down on labor costs. The fact that they don’t need any maintenance over the course of their life further lowers the lifetime cost. They are also durable, and they resist stains, scratches, and cracks.

Aspire Pavers are made with 95% post-consumer recycled materials, which means they help divert materials from landfills, making them a sustainable decking solution.

Aspire Pavers Are the Best Rooftop Deck Material Option

Providing durability, sustainability, an easy installation system, and a beautiful aesthetic, Aspire Pavers will help you create a rooftop deck that will be enjoyed for years to come and provide a desired amenity to tenants and residents.

Contact the experts at Aspire today to discuss the best rooftop deck material for your project.