Laying decking on the wooden terrace

Laying decking on the wooden terrace

The terrace is the highlight of many gardens. It can be set up relatively quickly and with a little skill by a home improvement. After the completed project, the whole family can take advantage of the high utility value of the terrace for many years.

Wooden terraces are very popular. After all, wood is a natural material which, thanks to its easy handling, can even be processed by a non-specialist. Furthermore, it is relatively inexpensive and fits well in the garden due to its appearance. However, the care is more intense, as a terrace is exposed to wind and weather 365 days a year and must be protected accordingly.

In terms of material, hardwood and softwood have proved. Bangkirai's domestic Douglas fir is also popular.

  • Bangkirai : The tropical wood of dark color is extremely resistant due to its drought. Supplier of the tropical wood is the tree Yellow Balau, which can be found in Asian countries such as Burma, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Thailand.
  • Douglas fir : The Douglas fir, which is native to North America, has been in use for decades Europe grown. In its color, the Douglas fir is similar to the larch wood. It is therefore pale yellow to reddish-brown. Resin leaks can not be ruled out as it contains resin.
  • Bongossi : The wood originating from Africa is ideally suited for structurally heavily loaded construction projects.
  • Ipê : A South American wood that is well suited for outdoor use is. Because of its red, yellow and olive brown color, the wood is also called Brazilian walnut.
  • Cumarú : Offers a broad color spectrum from red to yellow-brown. Its shrinkage and swelling dimensions are slightly higher than those of Ipê.
  • Itaúba : This yellow to coffee brown wood sometimes has punctate discolorations that can give the terrace a beautiful design. Unfortunately, it tends to crack on its surface. Its swelling and shrinkage behavior is low.
  • Massaranduba : A homogeneous wood whose color is pale to deep red. It is extremely hard, heavy and has a high elasticity. Unfortunately, surface and end grain cracks are not uncommon.

Wood resistance classes

All wood species are classified in resistance classes according to DIN EN 350-2. In the highest resistance class only tropical woods are to be found. Resistance class 2 includes not only these, but also two types of wood found in Germany: the robinia and oak.

Timbers of durability class 1 are ideally suited as construction timbers for terraces. In particular, the South American varieties such as Ipê and Cumarú are available at affordable sums. This does not mean that native woods such as Douglas fir, oak, robinia or larch are unsuitable for terraced construction - but they have their limitations. Douglas fir and larch are relatively soft woods, oak is heavy and expensive. Robinia would be a good candidate as it is heavier, harder and more resistant than oak. Due to the small round wood dimensions, however, large-scale buildings are difficult. Color defects, branches and small rotisseries must be taken into account for this type of wood.

Barefoot flooring

When choosing the right decking, some manufacturers mislead the term barefootboard. Wooden planks are not inviting to take off their socks and walk barefoot on them. In the end, a splinter could get stuck in your feet and cloud your stay on the terrace.

Also problematic are grooved or -rimmed plank surfaces, which are called anti-slip profile. With wet wood, danger of slipping can never be ruled out - the profile can not change that either. Much more, this surface has a drawback: water can stand longer here, which increases the profile of the surface. Due to the slower drying process, moss can settle more easily.

When buying and installing planks, the points mentioned should be taken into account.

Environmental Protection

The destruction of forests and the resulting environmental impact is currently a popular topic for the media. In particular, the rainforests are increasingly being cut down due to strong population growth. Not surprisingly, after all, the world population is expected to rise from its current level of 7.32 billion to as much as 10.5 billion in 2050. These people need houses, furniture and even terraces - preferably made of wood.

However, the tropical forest destruction is not necessarily due to improper use of wood. According to the Federal Research Center for Forestry and the Wood Industry, this only accounts for ten percent. So-called hikers are the big problem with 60 percent. Only 30 percent are involved in agricultural and industrial projects.

Although tropical woods are generally superior to domestic woods, there is always evidence of a flight to alternative materials. However, many of them do not grow in comparison to wood, but they still pollute the environment in their production. Consumers who want to think about the environment should therefore buy wood bearing one or more labels. A detailed list of quality seals can be found here.

Wood Protection

Wood is a material that can not last long without its form and color. Although tropical wood is fundamentally more resistant, it can not be impregnated without it.

By the way, boiler pressure impregnation is common for native wood species. In the relatively old preservation process, a wood preservative is pressed into the wood fibers at a pressure of around ten bar in a steel cylinder. Pine wood is particularly suitable for this measure.

In addition to impregnation, the wood needs protection against fungal attack. Then it should be oiled or varnished.


An oiled wooden terrace needs regular care to give it its usual shine for many years to come. It is enough to wash them off with clean water. Furthermore, the terrace should be treated colorless about twice a year - once before and once after the winter. Already gray wooden terraces must first be grayed out before the treatment described above.


The correct construction of a terrace is directly connected to the substructure. It is the supporting member that ensures that the terrace can easily withstand any load. Basically, one differentiates between the following options:

  • Natural substrate made of ballast : In this variant, it must be ensured that the substrate is a stable surface that remains stable even in winter. This is achieved by giving the water a chance to drain from the surface and seep into it. As a result, it can not freeze and raise the ground in frosty weather.
  • Natural concrete substrate : There is no difference between building a natural concrete and gravel surface. The substrate must be excavated. Alternatively, you can also work with point foundations.
  • Solid Substrate or Paving : Building on a solid, load-bearing surface is easier and faster. In this case, it is not necessary to create a stable base.

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