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Installing Decking on a Balcony

Aidan Bell Nov 02, 2018
Installation Popular Technical

Building your composite deck from scratch might seem a quite demanding task to execute, but with this easy-to-follow installation guide you will soon be enjoying your great outdoors worry-free.


Step 1: Preparation of the Deck

  • Recommended tools:
        • Power mitre or circular saw (40 tooth blade preferably)
        • Hand Drill 3mm and countersink drill bits (can use all-in-one smart bit)
        • Impact driver (Use T15 secure drill bit supplied in all Hyperion hidden fastening packs, use low torque setting)
        • Jig Saw
        • Spirit level
        • Smart bit
        • Carpentry Square
        • Screws
        • Tape measure
        • Safety Glasses and relevant Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)

    • The height of the decking will be determined by the depth of your balcony. Your deck should be neither lower than the tip of your balcony, nor exceeding it. Accordingly, the depth of your terrace will determine the type of pedestals and substructure that needs to be fitted underneath the deck. Should you have any questions, give us a ring at (0) 208 088 4888.

    • It is recommended that you add approx. 5% to the total material required for a wastage factor. It is unlikely you will use the board lengths perfectly on your balcony.

    • If you are attaching the boards on your balcony at an angle (diagonal to joists), you will likely generate more scrap from cutting; in that case, it is recommended that you add 15% extra material.

    • We recommend that the correct-sized pilot holes are pre-drilled before screwing into all composite products to avoid splitting. The length of the hole must be at least the same length of the screw.

    • Ensure that:

      1. you leave a min. 20mm gap when your deck abuts walls or other fixed objects.
      2. decking boards do not overhang joists by more than 20mm.
      3. there is a deck slope of min. 5mm per meter towards a drainage area.
      4. the deck is not laid directly onto any surfaces, and that you leave at least 50mm beneath the deck for air circulation.
      5. you measure twice, cut once!


      Step 2: Building the Deck Sub-structure

    • Recommended Materials:
          •  Recycled plastic supports (pedestals) whose height is adjustable
          •  Rubber pedestal mats 
          •  Recycled Plastic Joists (Manticore Plastic Lumber)

    • Lay the pads onto the balcony surface.

    • Place the pedestals on the top of the mats.
      Placement of pedestals.


    • Lay the joists on top of the pedestals. Ensure that:

      1. the distance between the joists is no more than 300mm apart for the Pioneer range, and 400mm apart for the Frontier range.
      2. you have doubled up joists for butt joints across the deck.
      3. each joist must be supported in a minimum of 3 places. Specifically, joists need to be supported to the following maximum spans:
        - 50 x 50   mm profile at max. 500   mm intervals
        - 50 x 100 mm profile at max. 750   mm intervals
        - 50 x 150 mm profile at max. 1500 mm intervals.
      4. the joists do not overhang a support by more than 50mm.
      5. the deck boards run perpendicular to the joists.

      Deck and joist installation in a perpendicular way.

    • Screw down the joist cradles to the plastic lumber (make sure to leave an expansion gap of 6mm between the joists).

      Screwing of the joist cradles to the plastic lumber.

    • Adjust the height of the pedestals accordingly, making sure that each of them supports the joist.This can be most easily achieved by setting out each end, and then extending the pedestal until it is touching the joist. The joist shouldn't bounce over a pedestal at all.

      Step 3: Laying the Deck

    • Recommended Materials:
          •  Starter Fasteners
          •  Hidden Fasteners

    • Screw down the starter fasteners into the outside edge of the outer joist.
      Screwing of the starter fasteners into the outside edge of the outer joist.


    • Slide the first decking board towards the clips and secure. Decking boards should be gapped min. 3mm side to side. This is dictated by the size of the clip that you use, and doesn't need to be measured.
      Attachment of the first decking board onto the clips.


    • Tilt up the decking board slightly & screw down the fastener. Insert one hidden fastener at each joist.  The hidden fasteners shown leave a 6mm gap between the decking boards.
      Screwing of the hidden fastener on each of the joists.


    • Install the second row of decking boards.  In any row where butt joints are required, make sure to leave an 8mm expansion gap. Failure to leave a gap can result in undue strain on the decking boards as they try to expand, and potentially eventually splitting. Always use one fastener per decking board at butt joints. 
      Installation of the second row of decking boards; in this case, butt joints.


    • Screw down the second hidden fastener, in order to secure the second row of decking boards.
      Screwing down of the second hidden fastener, in order to secure the second row of decking boards.


    • Return to tighten up the first row of decking boards.
      Tightening up of the first row of decking boards.


    • Repeat for the rest of the decking boards, up to the last two boards.
      Installing decking on a balcony.


    • Attach the hidden starter fasteners securely to the end joist for the last decking board, and then place the penultimate board.
      Attachment of the hidden starter fasteners to the end joist for the last decking board.


    • Slide the fastener between the last and the second to last decking board over the joist, and screw down.
      Placement of the fastener between the last and the second to last decking board over the joist.


      Step 4: Finishing the Deck

    • Recommended Materials:
          •  Fascia Board
          •  Corner Trims

    • Screw the fascia board to the joists, in order to hide the grooved decking edge.

    • Add any corner trims (provided only for the Pioneer range).

      And that’s it. More detailed guidelines could be found here, and you could also watch the EnviroBuild decking tutorial video here.

      We hope that you’ll enjoy your deck!