21 Dec Metal Decking Alternatives For 2022
Metal decking might seem like an obvious choice when it comes to specifying for fire safety on an upcoming balcony flooring project, but it’s not always that simple.
Like any material, there are pros and cons to using it, which are important to consider during the early stage of the project.
As we move into 2022, it’s important to look at the alternatives to metal decking and how these options compare, while also making balconies look more aesthetically pleasing.
In this blog, we’ll be discussing the merits of metal decking and what other flooring options to consider are, so that you know exactly what to think about for your upcoming projects.
Is Metal Decking Class A Rated?
Because untreated metal decking can withstand fire for an extended period of time, it can be given the rating Class A. When it comes to aluminium, because it is naturally non-combustible it can be given an A1 rating without testing.
What this means is that metal decking won’t burn and won’t contribute as fuel to a fire, making it safe to use on high rise buildings and specified attachments as required by the Euroclass system.
However, metal decking will require some form of powder coating to prevent weather damage and aid slip resistance, and of course to give to some character. This may impact the overall fire rating, but it is possible to achieve an A2 fire rating with the right type of powder coating.
Speak to an expert at Alfresco to find out more or check out our AR-DECK ranges.
The Pros of Metal Decking
As we’ve discussed, most metal decking is class A-rated, making those products safe to be used on your balcony flooring projects.
As well as its fire resistance, one of the key benefits of using metal decking is its lifespan. Depending on the metal used and how it is treated, it can be anywhere upward of 30 years, without corroding, staining, or getting damaged from the elements.
Metal decking can also be a sensible environmental choice, too, with the vast majority of metals being recycled and used as construction materials. Due to its ability to be recycled time and time again without compromising quality, reusing current amounts in circulation can conserve precious fossil fuels.
As you can see, there are pros to using metal decking, however, there are some downfalls too.
The Cons Of Metal Decking
Metal decking will never have the same feel underfoot as say natural stone or timber decking, and for the same reason, there will always be a difference acoustically. There’s not really any way around this.
On top of this, metal decking isn’t naturally slip resistant, with additional treatments and coatings often required. As previously mentioned, these treatments can have an impact on the combustibility levels of the material, lowering the rating of the product.
Visually, aluminium decking is about to get a lot more exciting as technology has improved to deliver on both slip resistance and aesthetics – watch this space!
So what alternatives are there?
Metal Decking Alternatives
While there are many different materials, there are two that will be popular throughout 2022 and will be seen more frequently on all balcony floorings projects.
Composite balcony decking such as ZERODECK is one of those options. Something that resembles timber but boasts all the advantages of Class A fire rating and slip resistance will be a hugely popular choice for those 2022 projects.
As well as that, if you’re looking at something that ticks all the boxes while also providing quick and easy installation porcelain is another option for you.
Despite often being considered an internal flooring option, 20mm porcelain is manufactured specifically for use outdoors and is incredibly strong.
With a natural A1 fire rating and scratch-resistant surface, the rectified nature of porcelain tiles means installation can be efficient and so is a great option for balcony flooring.
Although it might seem like metal decking is an obvious choice for your balcony flooring projects in 2022, there is a lot to consider.
We’ve weighed up the pros and cons, the likes of slip resistance and how additional treatment might affect levels of combustibility as well as other factors.
This led us to discussing the metal decking alternatives – composite balcony decking and porcelain in particular.
2022 is set to be the year that material composites and porcelain become key materials used in balcony flooring projects.
If you’d like to discuss these materials and other metal decking alternatives, then speak to our expert team today.