Best decking joist tape to protect

Best decking joist tape to protect

Using “Decking Tape” to protect your joists

Decking Tape has been for years and it’s here to stay. It is a sensible option that ensures maximum protection for your timber joists. It doesn’t matter which structural grading you use or the treatment class of the timber.  By correctly applying joist tape you will guarantee to extend the service life of your substructure by years.

It is easy to apply, especially when there is two of you on the tools. Simply roll out the same length as your Beam or Joist, cut to length. You then need to remove the backing paper and apply the tape to the upper surface of the structure… What could be simpler? It applies much better when the timber is dry and proves difficult to apply in the rain.

How much does Decking joist tape cost?

The price does depend upon which tape you buy and the volume of your purchase. There are dedicated joist tapes and those that are similar that work pretty well but are not warranted as use for decking tape.

Trex Protect® joist and bearer tape   50mm x 20m £30.30 inc vat   Warranted for 20 years

Walther Strong Deck Tape®                65mm x 20m £31.19 inc vat   Warranted for 25 years

Composite Prime HD Deck Tape        63mm x 20m £34.99 inc vat   No mention of warranty

You really do get what you pay for… The Decking Network does recommend using the proper materials for the job. If your Joists are warranted UC4 and your decking is warranted for 25 years you may as well use a tape that matches the same performance expectation. Always use the best decking joist tape.

“Let’s say your decking platform is 30 sqm and you’ve used 4.5 linear metres per sq. m you would need 135 metres of tape… call it £2.00 per linear metre and you’ve only added £270 onto the project. 30 sq. m of good composite is in the region of £280 plus vat per sq. m, so in this example, £8400 plus vat without tape and £8670 plus vat with is a no brainer.”

 Quality of decking joist tape

The dedicated brands seem to have refined their offering. They provide decent warranties and the tape is actually easy to use. These fit for purpose tapes perform very well even before you fit the decking. it is common practice to walk on the joists whilst working so the tape has to accommodate this. There would be no use if the tape ripped or caused a working hazard. These specialist tapes manage to support being walked on.

Editor’s Note: I have used similar rubber tape, much thinner and designed for sealing passive house panels. It works very well but you can’t walk on it… it rips easily with it being so thin. I won’t be using this one again.

trex protect decking joist tape

Convincing the consumer

You’ve managed to get yourself in front of the client, you’ve managed to sell them a deck… simply show them the tape, tell them it is essential to make the deck frame last for at least as long as the deck and they are bonkers not to us it. You could show them the HDPE joist price or the example above.

It makes no practical sense not to use Joist Decking Tape. The APL decking guide specification recommends the use of Joist decking tape… (Association of Professional Landscapers)

Professional Decking Installer Jason Shridan, Urban Alfresco “We at Urban Alfresco use decking joist tape because it adds that extra protection to our timber frame. More importantly, it gives the customer even more piece of mind knowing that their deck has been built to the highest possible standard. Further to that, customers often like the fact that its black hides the joists nicely and gives a more aesthetically pleasing finish. Our favourite decking joist tape is Walter Strong.”

Walther Strong Decking Joist Tape

What happens if you don’t use decking tape.

If you don’t use decking joist tape there are several places where your decking frame rots first.

  1. Where the timber connects to another piece of timber
  2. Where the screws penetrate into the decking frame

When you position a joist over a beam or to abut a joist into a beam the timber touches. This is where you will notice the rotting of the timber.  If you place joist tape in these positions it prevents the ingress of water. If there is no ingress of water the decking frame/structure will last so much longer.

Where the decking is fitted to the upper surface of the joist; you will have approximately 42 screws per sq. m fitted into the joist. This is 42 small zones where rot will set in first. Joist decking tape prevents this by self-sealing after the screw has been inserted.

The future for Decking Joist Tape

The UK is famous for its race to the bottom, one person has a great product, well branded and proven. Then every man and his dog gets their own equivalent cheaper and cheaper and eventually the price will stabilise and only the few will remain. How long this will take is anyone’s guess.

The best advice is to stick with the Brand leaders and rest assured of the huge warranties they come with… Happy Taping!

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