Can I Overlay My Existing Decking or Paving?

Timber Tiles – CATA Romania

Whilst many people automatically assume their only option is to remove everything from the original installation, with factors such as time and expense to consider, exploring alternatives can pay off in a variety of ways.

The decision on whether to overlay an existing deck/paving structure or rip it up and start afresh can be a complex one but it’s always important to explore all options to ensure the best possible solution.

Resurfacing An Existing Deck

Resurfacing an existing structure with decking or paving offers a number of advantages including:

  • Removing the need to dig fresh foundations
  • Creating the chance to implement effective waterproofing solutions
  • Save time and money during installation
  • No creation of waste & no issues with waste disposal

Removing The Risks Associated With Standing Water

By using timber tiles on top of free-standing pedestals which are installed on top of the existing structure, we are able to ensure that the new tiles are kept clear from excess standing water which might make them warp.

This, in turn, will leave space underneath the freshly installed tiles for cables, pipework and outlets and as tiles aren’t fixed to the pedestals, access can be gained simply by lifting a tile.

Natural, Attractive Finish of Timber Decking

By using suspended Wallbarn Timber Paving Tiles, installers combine the natural, attractive finish of timber decking with the speed and ease of laying paving slabs.

Traditionally laying timber decking directly onto these deck surfaces led to additional costs of employing specialist carpenters. Laying timber joists directly onto the waterproofing membrane also risked damage over time. Wallbarn Timber Paving Tiles offer the ideal solution. The weight of the tile will hold the system in place.

Creating A Free-Standing  Suspended System

This suspended system avoids having to fix anything onto the deck and lifts all the timber away from any standing water, avoiding the dangers of a slippery surface.

As everything is free-standing, the tiles can be taken up and replaced without disrupting the whole area, should the deck need to be inspected. Unsightly items such as drainage outlets, cables and pipes can be hidden beneath the tiles and accessed easily.

Something Just A Little Special

Stunning finishes can be achieved. The tiles can be laid in a straight-line pattern or in a “chessboard” style, depending on the client’s wishes. We have a range of different timber available sourced from South America, chosen for their beauty and durability including Ipe and Cumaru.

We can also supply FSC® certified timber as we have FSC® Chain of Custody (please speak to your Wallbarn representative).

Click Here To View Our Range of Hardwood Timber Decking Tiles

How To Install An Instant Green Roof

An image of a green roof on top of a building

Whether retrofitting an existing property or specifying a new build, choosing the right solution is critical to the success of your green roof.

Overcoming Common Challenges

Roll-out ‘blanket’ varies in quality and is easily damaged during transit and installation. They are awkward to move around and up ladders and can cause a terrible mess if carried through homes and onto rooftops.

Inferior modular units lack the depth of substrate and proper drainage to keep plants healthy.

Wallbarn’s painstakingly designed M-Tray® modules overcome all of these challenges, providing a seamless and enduring finish.

Remaining At The Forefront Of The Green Roofing Sector

Wallbarn is at the forefront of developments in the green roofing sector and has always provided products that combine top-quality ingredients with user-friendly, hassle-free maintenance. The purpose of M-Tray® is to enhance rooftop living.

Our Bespoke Design

Our bespoke design allows us to supply the best quality vegetation to site. The fully established, mature sedum or wildflower plants, are contained within easy-to-carry trays which click together to form an almost invisible join.

With dimensions of 500mm x 500mm x 100mm (4 per square metre), the new M-Tray® modular green roofing system has been designed to significantly improve the ease of installation.

Estimating & Installing Has Never Been Easier

Exactly 4 units per m² make estimating and installing much easier. M-Tray® modules are extremely easy to transport and deliver. They can also be used in areas where standard roll-out is not possible.

Modular systems are much more convenient and are faster and future proof compared to roll-out green roof systems.

The Key Advantages of the M-Tray® Modular Green Roofing System

  • Deeper cavities for extra root growth
  • Optimum drainage leading to stronger plant growth
  • More established vegetation at point of installation
  • More efficient transport and packaging
  • Exactly 4 units per m²
  • Easier to carry trays with smooth handles
  • A closer connection between trays ensures more seamless plant growth
  • No sharp edges ensure reduced risk to the membrane
  • Nothing spills out, less mess
  • Made from recycled plastic with a recycled substrate
  • Less packaging means less waste
  • UK designed and manufactured

For more on the M-Tray®  modular green roof from Wallbarn, please click here.

How To Maintain Your Green Roof

always fill borders with stones on a green roof in Hammersmith

Because green roofs are living structures, they will still need some attention throughout their lifespan. Some vegetation types such as sedum (which is used in the M-Tray®) are utilised in part because they require much less maintenance than grass roofs for example.

Providing A Little TLC

Whether you are looking to install a new green roof for your property or maintain your existing one, now is the time for action.

Please Note – Regular attention to soil moisture and feed levels, as well as the removal of weeds, is essential to maintain optimum performance.

Taking A Closer Look At 4 Key Areas of Maintenance

Below we have identified 4 of the key areas that should receive some attention this spring.

1) Removal of undesirable weeds – Windblown seeds and weeds can find their way into all sorts of areas which they are not required. As such, efforts should be made to remove all unrequired vegetation which could prove to be detrimental to the sedum and structure of the green roof. These weeds can be removed simply by hand pulling.

2) Irrigation – It’s essential to check that the irrigation system (if applicable) is still working correctly to ensure the green roof is receiving enough moisture and replace the timer batteries if necessary. If your green roof has any particular rain sheltered areas, the deeper M-Tray® substrate-level will hold more moisture, and therefore give the plants more chance during hotter, drier periods. However, as demonstrated in the extremely hot, dry summer in 2018, all plants including green roofs will require artificial irrigation to prevent the plants dying. Check irrigation pipes for damage from mice and other pests.

3) Fertilisers – Apply a suitable slow-release granular fertiliser at a rate of 50gsm at the start of the spring growing period. All plants require fertilizing in the longer term to ensure sufficient nutrient levels for your green roof. The application of fertiliser should always be kept to a minimum but is required to help maintain the health of certain plant species. Granular fertilizers suitable for sedum are available from many garden centres.

Please Note – Where rainwater is harvested from a green roof, fertiliser should not be applied.

4) Drain Heads and Outlets – It is important to clear all debris from drainage outlets to help ensure the optimum performance. It is essential to ensure that excess water is able to leave the roof, to avoid ponding and overloading of your green roof.

What makes the M-Tray® unique?

Wallbarn is at the forefront of developments in the green roofing sector and has always provided products that combine top-quality ingredients with user-friendly, hassle-free maintenance.

Our M-Tray® has been specifically designed to make sedum roof installation quick and easy – with minimum disruption to the plants and the structure they are going onto – and to provide a seamless, verdant finish – an instant and sustainable green roof.

  • deep cavities for healthy roots
  • optimum drainage means stronger plants
  • established vegetation at the point of installation
  • 100mm deep substrate for the longevity of plant life
  • no sharp edges or mess, less risk to the membrane
  • click-together trays create a seamless connection
  • easy to transport and install

Click Here To Find Out More About The M-Tray® Modular Green Roofing System

What Is An Inverted Roof?

An inverted roof

Typically defined as a type of roof which has the waterproofing layer beneath the insulation rather than above it, inverted roofs require the insulation to be ballasted to prevent wind uplift or floating in rainfall water.

How Does The Process Work?

Very small, irregular or multiple changes in height can be accommodated using the simple but durable twist mechanism on the stem. Once the slab is placed on top of the support, the whole system locks into place.

Inverted roofs can be paved to an even finish extremely quickly and effectively using these supports, cutting down labour time considerably. Edges and end of runs can either be bordered with a line of washed pebbles or by removing the lugs and sliding the support underneath the slab and out of view. Services such as cables or water pipes can be laid underneath the slabs easily, keeping the upper surface uncluttered.

What Are The Benefits Of An Inverted Roof?

Offering a wide variety of benefits, inverted waterproofing systems are an alternative to the warm roof method.

These benefits include:

  • The waterproofing layer is protected
  • The functional life can be considered to be significantly longer
  • Improved environmental performance
  • Thermal shocks are among the most important factors involved in ageing and fatigue for waterproofing membranes which are not the case for inverted roofs.
  • Better stormwater management
  • Flat roofs can be constructed to offer full and easy access for any future work
  • They can withstand surface traffic
  • They remain unaffected by freeze/thaw cycles

AKA  ‘Upside-Down Roof’

Often referred to as an “upside-down” roof, the requirement for increased thickness of the installation board means designers need to be sure that sufficient weight is placed on the boards to prevent movement.

Concrete paving slabs offer a good ballasting solution. To prevent damage to the rigid installation board, the slabs should be suspended onto pedestals.

Wallbarn’s range of pedestals will separate the slab from the deck, create an air gap beneath the slab for effective roof drainage underneath and between the slab and the positioning lugs create uniform straight paving lines drainage.

Offering The Ideal Solution

Offering a durable, cost-effective range of products, our pedestals offer the ideal solution for anyone looking to create a suspended system for their inverted roof which allows easy access to the concealed surface beneath.

More roof and balcony designs incorporate a completely flat upper surface in order to utilise them more effectively as leisure areas. More attractive paving with spirit-level-flat finishes can be achieved using a much larger variety of different stone and slab shapes using our universal supports.

Wallbarn’s range of universal support pedestals/pads ensures that even where contractors build their roofs to a fall to allow good drainage, a completely flat upper level of paving or decking can be achieved.


What Is Environmentally Friendly Decking?

View of a decking installation in a property in Finchapmstead

Decking allows us to do more of our living outdoors, it is therefore little surprise that they are now one of the most popular features of modern-day homes. They can be a great investment but it takes a level of planning to ensure that your deck is as environmentally friendly as possible, whether you are planning to install it yourself or leave it to a professional contractor.

With a definitive shift towards introducing environmentally friendly timber decking systems to the UK market, we are delighted to be able to offer the innovative iDecking range of decking products to our customers.

iDecking is:

  • A complete decking solution made up of a lightweight aluminium substructure and composite or hardwood boards
  • A truly innovative system which allows you to install decking effortlessly

Developed by iDecking Revolution

Developed by iDecking Revolution, the boards are available both with flat or anti-slip grooved surfaces.

Even though its formula is kept as a secret, the iDecking’s primary decking boards are manufactured using the main ingredient of Rice Husk; a by-product in the processing of rice. This husk, when blended together with virgin polymers, makes this an incredibly versatile, strong and durable material.

Looking and feeling completely natural, the boards can be stained or treated for an extra level of protection using any colour available from iDecking. 100% recyclable, the Eco-Friendly composite material Mother Nature herself would have created.

Other important benefits of iDecking?

  • Eco-Friendly – 100% Recyclable
  • Low maintenance
  • Extremely stable and durable
  • Can be treated and/or stained as you like
  • No splinters, barefoot walking is welcome!
  • Weatherproof & Waterproof
  • UV ray resistant
  • Insect and termite-proof
  • B1 Class fire resistant

For more information on our range of iDecking products, please click here.

What Is The Difference Between A Biodiverse Roof And A Brown Roof?

A brown roof under construction

There has been much confusion regarding the difference between biodiverse roofs and brown roofs and we are here to help explain some of the fundamental differences between the two.


  • Biodiverse roofs are where seed or plants are introduced into the substrate at the time of construction.
  • A brown roof is where the substrate surface is left to self-vegetate from windblown and bird lime seed dispersal.

Increasing Popularity

Biodiverse green roofs have become an increasingly popular variety of roof garden finish in recent years as they are seen by many planners as a more natural, rugged urban feature and can offer a greater diversity of species as well as prolonged foraging for insects.

Biodiverse Green Roof

The Concept of the Biodiverse Roof

The concept behind a biodiverse roof is that a plain, low nutrient environment is created at roof level and a small selection of hardy plant species are introduced to give a moderate level of cover and help bind the whole system together.

Once this has been established, tough, hardy plants will be introduced to the area naturally and start to germinate in the substrate, replicating natural wild urban spaces that are found at ground level.

The substrate level is normally up to 150mm, which offers a medium weight build-up, usually no heavier than 120kg per m2.

A brown roof under construction

Minimal Maintenance Required

A significant benefit offered by the installation of biodiverse roofs is the fact that they relatively little maintenance. On top of this, they still offer sound acoustic and temperature insulation properties to the building and will help to attenuate water runoff from the rooftop to a significant degree.

Often objects such as rotting tree stumps, stones and rocks can be introduced onto the area to encourage insects and other wildlife.

Waste material from the construction process, such as crushed aggregate and concrete, can be introduced into the substrate, adding to a sense of recycling elements of the project. 

Wallbarn M-Tray® can be produced as a biodiverse modular roof system by adapting substrate and vegetation type to suit the project requirements.

For more on the Wallbarn M-Tray®, please click here.

Introducing DIY Green Roofs – All You Need To Know

Green Roof Installation

Thanks to the modular nature of the M-Tray®, we are able to provide a viable option for areas which are simply not suitable for other types of green roof installation.

They are even suitable for DIY projects!

Perfectly Suited To DIY Installations

Due to their modular nature, the M-Tray® is particularly well suited to DIY installations on single storey flat roofs, garden storage areas and many other flat areas which can be utilised.

Whether working on a large or small project, it’s easy to work out how many M-Trays® one needs because each module is 500sqmm, meaning four units make a square metre.

Exactly 4 units per m² make estimating and installing much easier. M-Tray® modules are extremely easy to transport and deliver. They can also be used in areas where standard roll-out is not possible.

Transforming A Garden Storage Unit

A recent project involved the transformation of a garden storage unit.

“A residential customer recently installed a garden storage unit and wanted to make it more attractive by giving it a green roof. The M-Tray®, being modular in shape and incredibly easy to install, lent itself perfectly to the job.

The green roof components needed to be walked through the house to access the garden. Traditional roll-out green roof systems, with their bags of aggregate-based substrate and sedum blankets spilling compost and plant matter, are extremely messy to transport and install. The M-Tray® is self-contained within the walls of the plastic tray and comes with fully established, sustainable vegetation.”

From this…

M-Tray Bin Store Install 1



To this…

Transforming An Open Flat Roof

Another recent project involved an extension on a domestic property

Being a wide extension overlooked by two different bedrooms, the owners were not keen on the idea of looking down on a bare rooftop.

The homeowner wanted to save on contractor fees by installing the green roof himself. M-Trays® simply clip together meaning that no specialist roofing or landscaping expertise is required and offered the perfect solution.

M-Tray - Project - Whitstable

How To Increase The Lifespan Of Your Decking

A decking installation in Fulham

One of the primary concerns relating to the installation of a new decking system to any outdoor area relates to the materials downgrading over time resulting in the surface beginning to splinter.

Not only does this look unsightly, a splintered surface will significantly reduce the lifespan of the decking and can also be dangerous.

There can be no doubt that splinters need to be avoided wherever possible and if your decking becomes warped or cracked, there is every chance that it will lead to more splinters over time.

A decking installation in Fulham

A Versatile Decking Solution

The versatility and practicality of any decking system are entirely dependent on the quality and the durability of the materials that are used when constructing the deck, along with the ability to regularly maintain the surface.

Thanks to the iDecking Revolution and the creation of the Duro decking board, a new decking system is available which offers both waterproof and splinter proof qualities. 

Even though its formula is kept as a secret Duro’s main ingredient is Rice Husk; a by-product in the processing of rice. This husk, when blended together with virgin polymers, makes this an incredibly versatile, strong and durable material.

Please Note – The rice husk, which makes up 50% of the Duro, is a complete waste product and would be burnt if it wasn’t used in the manufacture of this material, which causes CO2 and pollutant gases; so using it is a major environmental benefit

Which are the highlights of DURO material?

  • Eco-Friendly – 100% Recyclable
  • Low maintenance
  • Extremely stable and durable
  • Can be treated and/or stained as you like
  • No splinters, barefoot walking is welcome!
  • Weatherproof & Waterproof
  • UV ray resistant
  • Insect and termite-proof
  • B1 Class fire resistant

The Perfect Solution

Our DURO Excellence boards provide the most natural-looking composite decking on the market. See our choice of colours here.

The combination of recycled rice husk and virgin PVC provides the most high end, natural finish and ensures boards are hard-wearing and durable in the long term.

The compound is coloured before extrusion, helping to guarantee colour uniformity and grain consistency all the way through each board. This is in contrast to stained boards.

What Is Anti-Slip Decking?

iDecking Installation

The installation of a decking area can absolutely transform the exterior of any property. However, whilst many people focus solely on the looks of their new decking system, failing to pay attention to the slip-resistant qualities of your new decking can turn a wet floor can really turn into a beautiful but dangerous place.

No-Slip/Anti-Slip Decking

Finding a decking system which is truly anti/no-slip can be a tricky task. Or should we say, used to be a tricky task? Thankfully the iDecking team have invested in creating an innovative decking material whose performance when wet is absolutely exceptional.

As for the look created after installation??? Well, you can judge yourself via the images below.

IMG 3818

Offering the look and feel of real wood, the properties of iDecking ensure that it is one of the highest quality non-slip decking products available.

Naturally resistant to both sweet and seawater, one of its principal components is husks (skin of the rice grain) whose natural characteristics are to make iDecking the best solution in terms of look/anti-slip floor. We’re proud to share with you a short video of the test:

But there’s much more to iDecking than that! This innovative decking hides underneath the most revolutionary installation systems around, where not a single screw is required to fix the boards to the understructure! Let’s have a look.

EasyClick System

EasyClick is the innovative system which allows you to install iDecking Revolution boards simply using your feet. No need to use any nails, screws, drills, spacers or “obsolete” clips. 

The EasyClick system helps ensure a quick, simple and trouble-free installation. EasyClick is essentially comprised of an understructure “rail system” which comes with pre-installed and pre-spaced patented EasyClick nylon clips.

Our patented grooved decking boards are then simply pressed and locked in place. The system can be used both for Wood and for Composites such as DURO and ETHERNO (Carbonised Bamboo).

What are the highlights of iDecking system?

  • Decking installation up to 5 times faster than traditional deck building
  • Boards require Zero screws, nails or other fasteners
  • Drastic reduction of installation errors
  • “Effortless” installation
  • Doesn’t cause water stagnation
  • Increased structural integrity and strength
  • Self-aligning system

For more information, please visit the dedicated area of our website by clicking here.

How To Install A Green Roof

Green Roof Installation

This is your step-by-step guide to unpacking, assembling and installing your M-Tray®  modular green roof system from Wallbarn.

Green Roof Installation

Step 1 – Delivery

The M-Trays® are delivered on pallets to the kerbside. It is the buyer’s responsibility to move the pallets from the kerb to the roof/podium.

Step 2 – Unpack immediately

Unpack the M-Trays® from the pallets immediately upon delivery to prevent the sedum plants being crushed. If left stacked for more than 24hrs sedum will start to decompose and die.

Step 3 – Handballing trays

The trays can be easily transported by hand to where they are being laid.

Step 4 – Prepare your roof

Ensure the roof membrane is properly protected and free from dirt and debris. Roll out the supplied geotextile fabric, ensuring an overlap of 20cm. This will act as a protective layer and a filter for drainage. 

Step 5 – Install metal edging

Once the geotextile is laid, install your aluminium edging (optional). This is placed around the perimeter and loosely laid into position. Do not mechanically fix the edging into the waterproofing membrane.

Step 6 – Start placing the trays

The trays are laid over the geotextile fabric and clicked together. They fit over the base of the edging bar.

Step 7 – Tray orientation

Each module has 2 x clips on the Northside and the Eastside; and 2 x recesses on the Southside and the Westside.

Step 8 – Lay irrigation piping

If an irrigation system has been purchased, install as you lay the modules (see irrigation guide) by laying the pipes in between each tray at the base.

Step 9 – Aligning your trays

Repeat the process across the roof taking care to ensure the rows of M-Tray® are properly aligned.

Step 10 – Clipping trays together

Click each module into position ensuring clips are connected over the recess points.

Step 11 – Adapt the trays

For curves, details and end-of-runs, the M-Tray® modules can be easily adapted using a wood saw. Take care not to dislodge the substrate or vegetation too much.

Step 12 – Press open sides together

The open side(s) must always be pressed up to the side of the neighbouring M-Tray® in order to retain the substrate / growing medium.

Step 13 – Create a hard border

Fire Regulations state that M-Trays® must not be installed right up to buildings, walls, roof lights, hatches, mansafes, vents, drainage outlets, or other protruding objects.

Step 14 – Riverstone pebbles

A riverstone pebble border of at least 200mm width should be installed at these points

(See GRO Code for guidance on building green roofs).

Step 15 – Irrigate once installed

After installing the modules, it is essential that you water them thoroughly until fully saturated.

If an irrigation system has not been installed, water by hand.

Step 16 – Fertilize the vegetation

It is recommended that you scatter slow-release fertilizer by hand across the whole roof at the rate of 25 grammes per m2 (a handful).