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Frequently asked questions

We are often asked general usage questions about our decking tiles, how to build a deck with them, where they can be used and how well they will last under severe conditions. So we've put together a list of questions and corresponding answers below which we hope will be useful for you.

If you have any other questions,  please send us an email and we will respond as soon as possible.

If you click on any of the links below, it will bring you to the answer to your specific question or just scroll through the entire list of questions and answers.

General questions

Q. Where can the tiles be used?
A. Practically any solid, even surface e.g. courtyards, balconies, patios, porches, roof tops, hot tub surrounds, pool surrounds, garden paths, boat decks, garages, gazebos, sun rooms, basements, campgrounds…..anywhere you would like a beautiful wood deck or floor.

Q: If the tiles are not glued or fixed to the floor, then what’s to stop them from moving?
A. The tiles have inbuilt tabs on all sides which lock securely to the adjacent tiles so they cannot move once laid.

Q: Is the wood on the tiles affected by snow or extremely cold conditions?
A. The wood is unaffected by snow although you may notice some minor cupping of the wood slats just after the snow has melted and the wood surface is still wet. This cupping will disappear once the snow completely melts and the wood surface dries.

Q. What affect will extremely cold conditions have on the plastic base?
A. Our plastic base uses a polymer with a mixture of mainly polyethylene but with some polypropylene added for extra stiffness.  Whilst polypropylene tends to become more brittle at lower temperatures, polyethylene has much better low temperature characteristics.

Q. What about installation in extremely hot locations?
The polyethylene base can withstand temperatures up to 60 degrees C without any problem.

Q. Are the tiles affected by water or heavy rainfall in any way?
A. Due to the gaps between the slats of wood or between the ceramic tiles on our EzyTile range and the specially designed mesh base, any water drains away quickly and freely. No water remains trapped or in extended contact with the wood.

Q. Will the wood tiles warp in hot, humid conditions?
A. The small gaps left between the slats of wood allow the wood to naturally expand and contract as needed. Under some conditions, a slight cupping of the wood slats may occur after heavy rainfall, but this will disappear as the surface dries.

Q. Can the wood slats come loose?
A. No. Each wood slat is secured to the plastic base by at least two corrosion resistant screws.

Q. What is the cost difference between installing this product versus a traditional deck?
A. Since you can install the tiles yourself, the difference in installation cost is huge. Also, if you compare the material cost of building a hardwood deck the traditional way, the materials cost would be far higher. Typically you can expect that a deck tile installation will be less than half the cost of building a conventional hardwood deck. Decking tiles also offer more possibilities in terms of design and can easily be taken up and reinstalled in another location as required. If you are installing the tiles over an existing concrete patio, then consider the massive savings in time, cost and the backbreaking work of digging up and re-laying the concrete pad.

Q. How long is the warranty?
A. SwiftDeck tiles are guaranteed against faulty workmanship for a period of ten years from the date of purchase. ResiDeck and EzyTile tiles are guaranteed for 5 years from date of purchase. This does not cover natural imperfections or variations in timber, misuse or failure to maintain the timber, or being laid on a surface that is not well drained.

Q. How long will the deck last?
A. Although the warranty period extends for 5 or 10 years from the date of purchase, the wood used on the SwiftDeck tiles has a rated durability in excess of 15 years under normal exterior conditions.

Q. How fire resistant are the tiles?
A. Since the wood or composite wood tiles are attached to a plastic base, you need to take the same care as you would with a conventional wood deck, against fire. The tiles can however be used around barbeque areas provided normal precautions are observed against hot coals or burning embers falling on the tiles.

Q. Can a car be driven over the tiles?
A. Whilst the plastic bases would support a car being driven over the tiles, we do not recommend their use for vehicular traffic.

Where can the tiles be used?

Q. Can you only install the tiles over concrete?
A. Whilst covering drab concrete surfaces is an ideal use for the tiles, they can equally well be laid over ceramic tiles, pavers, existing wood decks, and other hard surfaces.

Q. Can the tiles be laid directly on bare earth?
A. We normally recommend tiles are laid on well compacted gravel rather than bare earth. If you wish to lay the tiles directly on bare ground or grass, we recommend covering the area to be laid with weed control mat before laying the tiles. In all cases, the ground should be firm, level and with a slight slope for drainage.

Q. Can I lay the tiles on a conventional deck sub frame resting on the wood bearers?
A. The tiles are not designed to be laid on bearers. They must be laid on a solid surface.

Q. Can I use the tiles indoors?
A. Certainly. However you should take care that if any crumbs or other food particles fall in the gaps between the wood slats, they are vacuumed away promptly.

Q. Can the tiles be laid over an existing weathered wood deck?
A. Provided the surface and supporting framework are structurally sound and the surface is even, the tiles are an ideal and cost effective way to bring an existing deck back to its former glory.

Q. Can the tiles be laid directly on rooftops covered with a rubber or bituminous membrane without damaging or puncturing the membrane?
A. The pressure on the tile base is normally distributed in such a way that no damage will occur. However if you wish to take additional precautions, then we suggest laying down a suitable geotextile mat before the tiles are laid.

Q. Can the tiles be laid on a sloping roof deck?
A. If the slope is not so great that you can actually walk on it, then the tiles could satisfactorily be laid.  Some slope is ideal as it allows water to drain freely away.


Q: Are the tiles glued or secured to the floor in any way?
A. No. Installation of the tiles requires no adhesives, nails, screws or any other fixing devices.

Q. How long does it normally take to install a deck or patio?
A. Most decks can be installed in one to two hours, depending on the size and complexity. Decks with curved edges or fitting around pipes etc may take longer due to the extra tile cutting required.

Q What tools are required?
A. The only tools required are a tape measure, carpenter's square, hand saw, jig saw (if there are any curved areas) screwdriver, utility knife and sandpaper (for smoothing any cut edges).

Q. What level of skill is required to install the tiles?
A.. If you played with Lego ® as a child, then you will find laying the tiles just as easy. The tiles lock securely and precisely in place with just a gentle push. Alignment of the tiles is automatic so you just extend the deck in whichever direction you want without any alignment problems. You only need to be able to use a handsaw or jigsaw if it is necessary to cut any tiles to fit around pipes or to fit a final row of tiles against a retaining wall or the outside deck edge.

Q. Is any kind of underlayment or special surface preparation required?
A. No. Only if the tiles are installed directly on the ground, then a weed control film should be laid first.

Q: What do I do about corners or curved areas?
A. You can just simply cut the tile with a handsaw or jigsaw. You may however need to insert additional screws via the existing screw holes in the plastic A. base to ensure that each wood slat is still secured with a least two screws.

Q. How do I hide the plastic tabs on the outside edge of the tile?
A. Matching edge reducer pieces and corner reducer pieces are available that simply snap into place on the outer edge of a row of tiles.

Q. Can I use the tiles for steps or stairs?
A. We don’t recommend using the tiles for steps or stairs unless they are screwed securely to the base of the stairway. Additionally end capping should be fixed to the edge of the tile to hide the plastic base. However we normally recommend using solid wood to construct a stairway or alternatively plain or tiled concrete

Q. How level does the surface beneath the tiles have to be?
A. The wood tiles can "bridge" about 3/8 in. of vertical mismatch in a concrete sub-surface as long as any such cracking does not lie directly below the join between adjacent tiles. Excessive unevenness in a concrete surface will need to be repaired with a patching compound or resurfaced prior to installation. The ceramic tiles however need to be laid on smooth surface which will not allow them to "rock".

Q. How soon can I use the deck after installation?
A. You can use your new deck immediately.


Q. Will the wood grow mold and mildew?
A. In normal conditions, the gaps between the wood slats and the special mesh base ensure good airflow and quick drying which inhibits mold and mildew growth on the decking. If installed in exterior areas which remain damp and out of direct sunlight, then some growth of mold or mildew may occur as with conventional wood decking

Q. How should I clean the tiles?
A. Light debris or dirt that may collect between the wood slats can be removed with a stiff broom, leaf blower, vacuum cleaner, or you can use garden hose or pressure washer.

Q. Does the sun affect the wood?
A. Any hardwood deck will eventually fade and turn grey if not treated with a suitable preservative oil at regular intervals. Although the wood tiles are pre-finished with a preservative oil containing some UV absorbing properties, the oil will not provide a permanent protection against natural fading or greying of the timber. To assist in preserving the original wood colour as long as possible, we recommended that a good quality decking oil be applied every 6 to 12 months depending on the prevailing climatic conditions.

Q: Can I remove the tiles once they are laid?
A. You can easily take up any or all of the tiles and re-install them in a new location as required