As we watch our cities grow, we watch properties get smaller and smaller while homes, condos, and apartments seem to get bigger. Despite this, there is a real desire by consumers to have livable outdoor spaces. The designers are responding to this demand by incorporating large usable balconies and rooftop patios. The challenge now for the homeowner or contractor is how to transform that balcony or rooftop to a beautiful maintenance-free living space. Thanks to pedestal deck systems, this is not only possible but relatively simple.
When you think of most balconies, they are either a concrete slab or wood-framed with plywood and a waterproof membrane and both are sloped for drainage. Rooftops can be of similar construction with an appropriate waterproof membrane, with possible drains or mechanical systems installed. In either of these cases, pedestal deck systems allow you to create virtually whatever living space you desire, without having to connect through any waterproofing membranes. They allow you to easily adjust for any pitch or slope and work around any obstacles.
A pedestal deck system is composed of adjustable supports, that level and uniformly space pavers or tiles for proper water drainage and airflow. The various pedestal deck systems available on the market are extremely versatile and strong, allowing for support from as little as 1/8 of an inch to 3 inches and coming with various accessories to make any installation possible.
As there are many pedestal deck systems out there, we will look at two of the best ones available on the market today to better explain these systems and the concepts around them.
Bison Innovative Products are manufactured in the USA and have two main pedestal lines. The Level is more of a basic pedestal line that can hold up to 750 lbs per pedestal, while the Versdjust can hold up to 1250 lbs per pedestal and comes with a base leveling system that allows you to adjust up to 8 degrees without shimming. In addition, Bison Innovative Products manufactures exotic wood tiles, porcelain pavers and very modern, stylish site furnishings that are specifically designed to work with their pedestal system.
Eterno Ivica pedestal systems are manufactured in Italy; they support similar weights to the Bison pedestal line and have 3 lines of pedestals depending on your needs and tolerances. Their top line, the SE model, has a leveling system that will adjust up to 5 degrees.
Deck pedestal systems can be placed and positioned to support framing joists, the Bison Joist Topper is perfect for making this connection quick and easy. This method of using the deck pedestal systems is a similar concept to building a deck. The pedestals are the footings supporting the framing, and on that framing, you can install, wood planks, composite decking, Silca System with stone, porcelain pavers and even artificial turf. With the increasing popularity of porcelain tiles, especially ones that mimic wood planking, this method of installation would be a more preferred option. By using the framing and Silca System to support the porcelain planking, you will not require as many pedestal units.
The other method of installing deck pedestal systems is have them support specific manufactured and engineered wood tiles, stone or porcelain pavers. For most of these types of flooring options, the greatest recommended span between pedestals is 24 inches. So, you are laying the pedestals down in a 2-foot by 2-foot grid, even when working with larger tiles, like 24” by 48.” Some exceptions may apply, that is why it is always best to check with the manufacturer of the product to see what they recommend and will warranty it against.
Since deck pedestal systems are in essence raised floating floors, running any electrical, lighting or gas lines for a fire feature are simple to install. Another great benefit of this system is you can easily lift up the floor tiles to access any of these mechanical items to service them or do any repairs to the roof or balcony if needed.
As Canadians, we love spending time outdoors, so if you have a flat rooftop or balcony you want to transform into a beautiful, livable space consider using one of the many deck pedestal systems on the market.