Wooden slats or gratings: what to choose for your terrace ?


Wood is a very aesthetic material and you have decided to install a wooden terrace in your garden. But how do you choose your wooden deck? Today, you have two options: wooden boards or gratings. Wooden deck boards and gratings are found on many terraces today, but their characteristics are different: price, wood resistance, rendering. To help you make your choice, we will explain the differences between decking and grating. You will then see which materials to choose according to your project: wooden terrace, wooden balcony, covering an already installed terrace.



The gratings are square, pre-assembled slabs (usually 50 x 50 cm) made of several wooden slats. They are either made of natural wood (oak, teak, pine) or composite. Installing wooden terrace tiles is very easy, even when we are not DIY experts. All you have to do is fit the tiles together. Decking is accessible to everyone. Their grid pattern gives a modern and decorative effect. It is possible to choose different patterns for your tiles and alternate them to give a checkerboard effect to your grating terrace. Gratings are an alternative to wooden boards. We often find wooden terraces with gratings at the seaside where their checkered appearance gives a "holiday look".  

Terrace boards (or wooden slats) are rectangular planks. They can be grooved to give a non-slip or smooth side which will be more slippery in wet conditions. They are made of natural or composite wood. They are installed on a structure like joists. Installing decking boards is quite difficult if you are not a do-it-yourselfer.



Wooden boards are more suitable for large terraces. Their dimensions are longer than those of gratings, which means that you can avoid joints and overlaps. Due to their size, grating tiles are generally found on smaller surfaces (small wooden terraces or wooden balconies). However, you can find large format gratings for larger surfaces. The characteristics of gratings are changing. These wooden terrace tiles are ideal for flat floors or for covering an already installed terrace.

wooden plank or terrace grating




You may be wondering: how do you choose your deck boards and gratings? In general, you will be advised to choose gratings for a small surface area and deck boards for a larger surface area. As today there are gratings in different sizes, even large gratings, the criteria change. You must first look at the render you wish to obtain and then see which format will allow you to have it and not choose a format and then buy one of the renderings available in that format. Gratings or planks, to choose the finish of your wooden deck, you have different criteria to look at :

  • The desired effect: Natural wood will be more authentic and warm, while composite wood will be more "modern". If you opt for natural wood, you will have a wider choice in the category of deck boards: exotic wood deck boards, composite boards...

  • The desired price: Exotic wood species such as Itauba and Ipe will be more expensive but will give a more opulent effect. European type wood species, or otherwise known as local woods, such as Douglas fir or pine, will be less expensive but with very comparable aesthetic qualities. From an environmental point of view, these local wood species have a greater place in our regions than imported exotic woods that have travelled around the world.

  • The maintenance of the wood required: composite wood requires little maintenance. If you don't have a lot of time to spend on it, composite tiles are a good option. A wood cleaner or black soap is sufficient. We recommend Liquid Black Soap SN800 or the Wood Cleaner N100. If a renovation is necessary after a few years of exposure, then a composite wood renovator will help to restore a beautiful appearance. If you choose a natural wood species, exotic woods are generally stronger and structurally more durable and require a little less maintenance than local woods. Although the latter, if well maintained, will withstand the elements and retain their natural appearance for a long time.


Once you have laid your terrace, you will probably be wondering how to maintain a wooden terrace. Whatever your choice (wooden boards or gratings for terrace), it is necessary to maintain a wooden terrace. In order to protect your deck boards and gratings against UV rays or humidity, regular use of a terrace saturator (every one to two years on average) is recommended. We recommend the Terrace Wood Saturator ST600 for European woods (local woods) or the Exotic Wood Saturator SBE600 for exotic woods. To find out more about how to apply a deck saturator, you can consult our guide How to maintain a wooden deck?  If your wooden deck has not been maintained, you will notice a change in colour from dull to grey. In this case, you can renovate the wooden deck boards (or gratings) and lighten the wood with the application of a wood degreaser. We recommend the Degreaser DG105.



Liquid Black Soap SN800

Liquid Black Soap SN800

Wood Cleaner N100

Wood Cleaner N100

Terrace Wood Saturator ST600

Terrace Wood Saturator ST600

Exotic Wood Saturator SBE600

Exotic Wood Saturator SBE600

Degreaser DG105

Wood Degreaser DG105