The UK’s Best Composite Decking Tiles & Squares
By Thomas O'Rourke - 2nd January, 2019
Composite decking tiles are a cost-effective and durable alternative to the traditional wood decking. Praised by DIYers for their installation ease and competing with wooden decks for their aesthetic look and feel, this solution should appeal to any homeowners who want to renovate their outdoor space on a budget.
Squares come in a wide range of colours, and some even have integrated LED lights. There are dozens of models available that you can use either to make a traditional deck – or to play with styles and colours to create unique compositions.
To help you find the right tiles, we asked our experts to test and rate the most popular products in the UK. Check out our top picks below to find the best composite deck squares for your backyard.
In this guide - check out our favourite deck square options...
And The Rest...
A high percentage of wood particles and a sleek design deliver the feel of true wood decking.
A selection of colours and accessories provides versatility at an attractive price point.
A wide selection of colours and styles allows customers to create endless compositions.
Whether you want to create new decking from scratch or renovate a worn-out area, these interlocking decking squares by Click Deck could be your best bet. They come in a set of eighteen and each tile measures 30×30 centimetres: enough to cover an area of 1.5 square metres.
The resistance of the wood and plastic composite material guarantees durability, and the product is suitable to use in all high-traffic areas.
Each tile consists of four composite slats applied to a hard-plastic base, for a total height of two centimetres. The gap between the slats let the water drain away in seconds while the non-slip surface makes these squares ideal to use near a hot tub or pool.
The greatest feature of these tiles is, however, the installation ease. A jigsaw design and tool-free installation allows even the least experienced DIYer to create their own installation. The tiles click in place and create a solid foundation without fasteners or adhesives, which means you can also dismantle the decking with the same ease.
This characteristic makes these tiles ideal for temporary events such as an outdoor wedding, party or exhibition.
SORARA composite decking could be a great choice if you’re on a tighter budget but still want to revamp your garden area. You’ll have to settle for the only available colour, but the overall quality of the materials and installation ease counterbalance this slight drawback.
As for the colour itself, it’s hard not to like it. We’re talking a contemporary slate grey – a shade that blends well in most landscapes.
The decking squares themselves are fantastic. Their snap-on design makes it possible to lay them on any flat surface, including old decking, an unsightly patio, or even on grass.
These squares also provide efficient drainage thanks to their four-slat design configuration. Each tile measures 30x30x2.5 centimetres and they come in a box of six, sufficient to cover an area of about a half square metre.
Easy to clean and resistant to mould, moss, and algae, these composite decking tiles are ideal to use in most areas.
Casa Pura proposes Royal, a collection of luxury composite tiles; more expensive than other similar products but still more convenient than real wood. The high-quality composition of this material comprises 70% wood particles and only 30% recycled plastic, giving a stronger impression of real wood.
At the same time, the quality of the finish is also amazing. These tiles are sleek and elegant. They come in three colours to use separately or mix and match, and each of them is 100% waterproof and UV resistant.
The odourless material is perfect for outdoor and indoor use, is environmentally friendly, and needs no maintenance except for occasional cleaning.
Stronger than real wood but also stronger than other ordinary composite tiles, Royal squares are great to leave outdoors during winter without worrying about swelling or decay. The material doesn’t rot and won’t splinter in harsh weather although the surface can become very slippery if ice forms.
Aside from this, Casa Pura tiles are the ideal choice if you want to achieve a high-end luxury look.
Affordable and versatile, Clik Tiles represent a popular composite decking solution. They come in a box of six and are available in multiple colours, including a contemporary grey and an unconventional fake grass design.
But what adds value to these units is the number of accessories available. You can match the tiles with a selection of internal and external corners and edge pieces to create complete compositions on any flat surface.
The patented four-way click system is designed specifically for DIY laying and allows the setting of each tile in any direction or orientation. The installation requires no tools and the tiles require zero maintenance even if left outdoors in harsh weather.
Another feature we like is the environmentally friendly composite produced from recycled materials, including wood particles and plastic.
Ideal to use in all areas, the squares are guaranteed not to wrap, split, or rot, and have a heavy resistance to UV rays and mould.
Ultranatura composite decking tiles offer one of the most versatile solutions, saving you the hassle of finding and installing separate decking lights.
Available in an astonishing array of colours and styles, these tiles can easily meet all needs.
Perhaps the most popular style is the wood-imitating WPC variant with integrated solar lights. These tiles measure 30×30 centimetres and come in a pack of six, sufficient for covering an area of 0.5m².
Other styles include fake turf and unconventional options including slate and granite finishes. All units have the same size and are interchangeable, allowing you to mix and match them to your liking.
Like most composite decking tiles, Ultranatura are easy to install with no tools, while the robust material resists weather and outdoor elements; won’t rot and won’t splinter.
How To Install Decking Squares
Decking tiles are developed specifically for DIY installation. Laying these squares requires no tools and minimal skill, although some woodworking tools may be required to cut the tiles to fit in your space, if necessary.
Most tiles can be installed on any flat surface, including concrete or paved surfaces, an old deck, or directly on ground.
We’ve asked our experts to share some installation tips on hard or semi-hard surfaces, to help you in your home renovation.
Tools and materials
- Interlocking deck tiles
- Tape measure
- Edging and corners
- Tracing paper
- Jigsaw or mitre saw
- Weed barrier
- Pressure washer
Laying composite decking tiles on hard surfaces
Step 1 – Calculate your material needs
The first step in laying decking squares is figuring out how many units you need. Most have a standard size of 30×30 centimetres, which means you’ll need eleven tiles to cover one square metre.
With this in mind, measure the length and width of your area and calculate your needs multiplying the two numbers together.
For example, an area of 2×3 metres equals six square metres – meaning you’ll need 66 tiles to cover the whole surface.
Step 2 – Clean and prepare the surface
Debris, such as small stones, but also moss, algae, or mould can compromise the stability of your structure. It is therefore best practice to clean the area before installing your new tiles.
If there is only large debris to get rid of, a broom should suffice. Otherwise, we recommend using a pressure washer or patio cleaner to remove all dirt and dust from your surface. During this stage you must also inspect the surface and make sure it is even.
Most tiles won’t interlock when laid on uneven surfaces, so you must be sure to fix any issues before starting.
Step 3 – Lay the squares
All deck tiles are easy to install, but some interlock when placed in a specific position, while others interlock regardless of their position or orientation. In the former case, we recommend placing all squares in position before installing them, as this will speed up the process.
If you want to create a colour pattern or design using different styles of tiles, arrange them in position during this stage.
Start from a corner and interlock the first two units. Continue with the next tile to form a row along the length of the perimeter. Repeat this process until you have covered the entire length, making sure each unit has clicked into place.
Repeat with the next rows until you have covered the entire perimeter. If necessary, use a jigsaw or mitre saw to cut the last tiles to dimension and guarantee a perfect fit.
Step 4 – Fix the decking
This step is optional, but we suggest fixing the structure to the ground if you want to use the surface on a permanent basis.
Because the tiles stay fixed in position, fastening the corners is usually sufficient. Use the drill to make holes and fasten the corners to the concrete with long masonry screws.
Step 5 – Install corners and edges
For a neat finish, install corner pieces and edges along the perimeter. Alternatively, you can use pebbles or gravel to create a transition area between the deck and the house or lawn.
That’s it! You can now enjoy your brand-new outdoor surface!
Installing decking tiles on soil
While the installation process is very similar, laying deck tiles on soil require a few extra steps.
That being said, you will need to lay a weed barrier under the surface to prevent grass and weeds from growing between the tiles. This is a straightforward process; just lay the barrier on the ground, making sure it covers the entire area under the deck.
If you want to lay the tiles around flowerbeds or trees, you might have to cut some of them to guarantee a perfect fit.
To do this, use tracing paper and a pencil to draw out the shape you need to cut, then cut the tiles using a mitre saw. Once you’ve done this, follow the steps above to install your squares, skipping the surface preparation (provided your surface is even).