What are Interlocking Deck Tiles?

HandyDeck Articles

Archatrak interlocking deck tiles are squares of precision cut materials (wood, stone, ceramic or composite wood) securely attached to a plastic grid base by either screws or adhesives. The tiles cover an area of one sq. ft. (nominal) except for the Double-C style which covers an area of two sq.ft.

Inbuilt connecting tabs on all four sides of the base enable the tiles to be quickly and easily clipped together over practically any hard surface, creating a continuous “floating” tiled surface. The tiles are not screwed, nailed, or bonded to the surface in any way, so installation requires no special tools, minimal surface preparation, and little effort or time.

The weight of the tiles, the interlocking structure and friction between the plastic base and the surface they are laid on prevents the tiles from moving, except of course in extreme wind conditions such as hurricanes or tornados.

The open mesh base with multiple ‘feet’ enables water to drain away freely under the tiles and provides good air circulation around the tiles, helping to prevent mold or mildew in damp and dark locations. With the SwiftDeck wood deck tile range, it also serves to raise the wood slats off the surface, minimizing cupping or twisting that can sometimes occur if wood is allowed to remain in contact with water for lengthy periods.

Types of Deck Tiles

SwiftDeck wood interlocking decking tiles are manufactured from high durability, hard wearing, dimensionally stable hardwood species. Ipe is the primary wood species we use wood due to its exceptional durability, hardness, freedom from splintering and stability in terms of twisting or warping. Each Colorado and Double-C style tile has four wood slats. Corrosion resistant screws attach the slats to the plastic grid from the underside, providing a smooth, splinter free surface, free from nail or screw heads. The tiles are factory coated with a light decking oil to enhance their appearance and provide some initial waterproofing effect. SwiftDeck tiles are available in either 12″ x 12″ or 24″ x 12″ size.

For most applications however, 3/4″ thick non-interlocking 2′ x 2′ structural porcelain stoneware pavers offer more versatility at a similar price. Although these pavers are primarily designed for installation on adjustable height pedestals in construction of elevated decks and rooftop decks, they can can also be used for on-grade applications including laying over existing concrete surfaces. In this situation, low cost rubber or plastic support pads with inbuilt spacer tabs are placed under each corner of the paver which lifts the pavers off the surface slightly so they will not rock on the surface if there are any slight irregularities.

Archatrak’s structural Ipe tiles are larger format solid wood, non-interlocking pavers designed specifically for use with adjustable height deck supports. Ipe slats are attached to solid wood bearers using stainless steel screws, making the pavers sufficiently strong for mounting on pedestal systems. The pavers can also be laid directly over concrete using low cost fixed height deck supports 1/2″ to 1″ high, to lift the pavers off the concrete and permit good drainage underneath. The standard size of the structural Ipe tiles is 24″ x 24″ but 48″ x 24″ tiles can be supplied on special order. These tiles are primarily used for commercial decks and roof deck applications but can be used for residential decks if so desired.