04 Aug The Best Fire Rated Decking
Fire rated decking is essential for the safety of your outdoor flooring projects.
British Building Regulations make it a necessity on high-rise residential buildings above 18 metres (11 metres in Scotland, and from December 1st, England too), however many specifiers are making the conscious effort to select class a fire rated decking on all projects, regardless of height or building purpose.
If you’re not specifying fire rated class A decking on all of your balcony flooring projects, you’re behind the curve and potentially missing out on projects.
So, what are the options? There are an increasing number of products and systems that are suited to your projects, but which is the best?
Let’s look at the best fire rated decking available for your project.
Composite Decking: Fire Rated Decking That Looks Like Timber
Timber is one of the most desirable materials for projects regardless of size or scale.
However, it can’t be used on these projects requiring maximum fire safety for obvious reasons.
This is where composite decking can come in, giving you flooring that resembles timber, but without any of the threat of combustibility.
ZERODECK is one such product that can tick both of these boxes. Class A fire rated, available in a variety of colours and now certified by part of an NHBC Accepts system, providing designers and specifiers with one of the best fire rated decking options available.
Fire Rated Metal & Aluminium Decking
Untreated, metal can be a fire rated decking option for your project.
For this reason, it is one of the first decking options that spring to mind for architects and specifiers alike.
The issue is that metal decking on its own isn’t enough to meet the Building Regulations. It needs to be coated to become slip-resistant and suitable for use on external installations. Once metal is coated, it has lost its intrinsic non-combustibility and so must undergo testing under the standard BS EN 13501-1 to be given a Euroclass rating. In order for it to be safe to use it must be rated A2s1d0 or higher.
Are Porcelain Tiles Fire Rated?
All eyes are on 2050 and the aim for Net Carbon Zero. In line with the COP26 agreement, the aim is going to be to make sure your materials are not only fire rated, but produced sustainably, too.
While natural stone might seem like an obvious solution, it’s not ideal for balcony flooring projects as it is particularly weighty and can be difficult to install. This is why when it comes to more sustainable options porcelain decking shouldn’t be overlooked.
Even though more commonly found indoors, it’s natural slip and stain resistance makes it ideal for use outside.
In fact, 20mm thick fire-rated tiles are manufactured specifically for external use. This means there’s plenty of choice surrounding your more natural flooring options.
Fire Rated Decking Systems
Decking on its own isn’t enough. It relies on pedestals, spacers, and ease of installation.
When you’re sourcing suppliers for your next external project, you need to consider the system as a whole. Class A fire rated decking materials aren’t enough, and you need to consider the entire system.
There’s very little point in opting for fire rated decking or non-combustible flooring material, to then combine it with accessories with a lower fire rating.
Fire rated pedestals, fire rated sub frames and fire rated spacers and shims are equally as important as the fire rated decking itself.
In fact, building regulations state that all materials used in an external wall or specified attachments need to be non-combustible and comply with the latest legislation.
Only through doing this can you be guaranteed to find the best possible fire rated decking system available to you and your next project.