18 Jan Should I Use Aluminium Decking In 2022?
2022 is already upon us and you’ll be starting to think about your projects over the next year.
When you’re looking at balcony flooring, it’s fair to say that over the past couple of years, finding the perfect flooring materials has been more difficult. With fire safety regulations and tighter building legislation, you are now working with a reduced menu of materials to choose from.
Despite this, you can be assured that there are plenty of options available.
In this blog, we’re exploring aluminium decking as a Class-A rated material and looking at whether it is appropriate to use on your 2022 projects. We’ll also look at some of the other alternatives to aluminium decking and why you should consider more than just metal decking.
That way, as the new year rolls around, you’ll know exactly what materials you’ll want to specify on your future projects and have all the correct information to hand.
Are Class-A Materials Still Important?
The simple answer is yes. Materials that aren’t rated Class A should not be used on specified attachments on residential buildings that exceed 18m. In fact, most people are now applying this to balconies from the first floor upwards regardless of building height as good practice.
Following the Grenfell tragedy and subsequent Hackitt Review, these regulations have ensured a safer approach to the construction of tall buildings and their attachments.
In using these materials, you’re ensuring that your project is conforming to the latest UK fire regulations and that your customers and those in the environment are safe, protecting your legacy.
Features of Aluminium Decking
When you need balcony decking that is Class-A rated, you can understand why aluminium is an obvious choice.
However, because untreated aluminium has extremely low slip resistance, it must be treated in some way to conform to health and safety around slip resistance.
Aesthetically it would be unusual to choose untreated metal for balcony flooring, and so aluminium decking is typically powder-coated to create different colour and texture options. Fortunately, it is this powder coating that provides much-needed slip resistance. It can have a negative impact on fire rating though, as the paint can produce smoke emissions and even flaming droplets during BS EN 13501 tests.
With this in mind, when specifying aluminium, you have to consider things such as slip resistance and ensure that your chosen supplier has attained A2 s1 d0 fire rating as a minimum.
Alternatives To Aluminium Decking
Although 2022 looks set to be the year when technology and new manufacturing techniques can really take aluminium decking to the next level, there are other options to consider.
For an entirely different aesthetic, material composites are becoming more and more popular, with products such as ZERODECK offering a more timber-style aesthetic.
As well as this, for a more ‘natural’ flooring, 20mm porcelain is popular for use on balcony floors. Not only is this a stylish and Class A fire-rated solution, but it has a high slip resistance rating and will never fade, stain or corrode.
To Sum It Up
As has been discussed, aluminium decking does in theory provide a balcony flooring solution that ticks all the safety requirements you need to consider.
With sub-frames such as AR DECK providing A fire ratings, in choosing aluminium you can easily have ‘the full package’ for your balcony flooring project, but there are other materials to consider, too.
If you’d like to discuss this in more detail or speak to a member of our team, feel free to reach out today.
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