Rooftop Terrace PaversOutdoor flooring solutions for rooftop terraces
How To Choose the Perfect Pavers For Your Roof Terrace
If you’re fortunate to be living in a house or apartment with direct access to a flat roof which features great views but is not currently being used, then creating a roof terrace can not only add value to your residence, but can provide an outstanding exterior expansion to your living and entertaining areas. With the addition of a few lounge chairs, a table, some plants and maybe a parasol or two, what better place can you imagine to enjoy sunshine and open air from early spring to the onset of winter!
And best of all, the task of transforming a rooftop space is really not as daunting as you might think. The best place to start is with the terrace flooring as this will be the most critical aspect of your renovation. While concrete pavers are certainly one product you could consider, one of the newer and better products that can be used to create a new terrace floor are lightweight 3/4” thick, structural porcelain terrace pavers. Why? Firstly, modern porcelain pavers come in a tremendous variety of styles and colors including wood look, stone look cement look, rustic and many other options. You name it. And with their superior richness and depth of color, variations in tone and shading, highlights and texture, they look so much better than concrete pavers – there’s really no comparison.
Of course fully exposed roof terrace tiles need to withstand a lot of harsh weather – snow, hail, wind and hot sun, so they need to be very hard wearing, fade resistant and frost resistant and naturally you want them to keep their great looks for many years to come. And that’s where porcelain outdoor terrace tiles are in a league of their own. Because they have practically zero water absorption and are thus totally frost resistant, they easily surpass all the challenges that harsh climates can throw at them and continue to look great, year after year, with exceptionally little maintenance. And of course they are totally fireproof.
But that’s not all. Porcelain terrace tiles are much lighter than bulky concrete pavers, yet are exceptionally strong. That means not only can you more easily transport them to your rooftop, typically by simply loading them in your building’s elevator, but installing them is so much easier and quicker than concrete pavers.
If your rooftop has a slight slope, which will normally be the case to provide for good drainage, that’s no problem at all. In fact you can make your new rooftop terrace floor perfectly level, at very little extra cost. You achieve this quite simply by laying the porcelain terrace pavers on top of pedestal supports. The beauty of using this elevated system is that it doesn’t interfere with any existing waterproofing, it doesn’t require any ‘permanent’ bearers or sleepers or other deck foundations to be installed on the rooftop and it lets water drain away quickly and unimpeded underneath the pavers. These pedestal supports, which are positioned at each corner of the terrace pavers only, can be adjusted up or down by twisting a central screwed column to make perfectly horizontal surface.
Alternatively, if you are happy for your deck to follow the existing slope on the rooftop, instead of adjustable height deck supports, you can use fixed height rubber support pads, which are again placed under each corner of the pavers. One of the other benefits of either the rubber pad system or the adjustable height support system is you won’t have puddles or pools of water remaining on the surface of your roof terrace since any rainwater quickly flows off the surface via the gaps between the pavers and away under the pavers.
If your proposed terrace floor is adjacent to existing living areas, you can also create a seamless transition between the interior and the exterior terrace flooring. With most exterior porcelain pavers, there will be an equivalent color or style available for interior tiles, the only significant difference being that the interior floor tiles will be thinner, will typically display a slightly different surface texture and will be laid with adhesive and grouted.
To see the range of color options available with porcelain terrace pavers, go to our color page here. And for more information about using adjustable height pedestals to create a perfectly level terrace floor, see our adjustable pedestal page here.
Depending on your local fire codes, you may be able to lay a classic wood deck on your rooftop, but this is becoming increasingly difficult in densely populated urban areas. And instead of building a wood rooftop deck using a structure of bearers and deck planks, there’s a much easier way of essential achieving the same end result. And that is to lay structural Ipe wood tiles over adjustable pedestal supports or rubber support pads. Or you could also consider interlocking Ipe wood deck tiles, which have an integral plastic base designed not only to let water drain away underneath, but also to provide quick and easy do-it-yourself installation over any flat rooftop that doesn’t have utility pipes or electrical conduits spanning the surface.
To order free 4″ samples of our porcelain pavers or get more information on building roof terraces with porcelain pavers, Ipe structural tiles and pedestal systems, just give us a call on 866 206 8316 or send us an e-mail.