DIY Outdoor Patio Decking with Ikea Platta
I have been preparing for Spring with regular weekend visits to home depot and have been mapping out what to do with my outdoor space at home. I recently moved into a new townhouse which includes a ‘yard’ for me to toil in for the first time since I moved out of my parents house. I say yard, but its more of a patio with room for a vegetable garden and planter boxes for herbs. A number of years ago my friend Tyler had installed some inexpensive wood decking that I liked and after researching online, I discovered that Ikea had an outdoor decking product called ‘Platta‘ that was one half to a third of the cost of other products found at specialty stores that I also visited.
The quality of the Ikea product seems comparable but lacks some of the trim options of other products but I found that you can get a very similar look for far less cost. Platta is a seasonal product that appears in Ikea stores in the Spring and around the second week of March here in Vancouver at the Coquitlam Ikea. You can check the inventory online through the Ikea website as the Platta product is in high demand and at my location, they featured the display near the checkout.
The Platta tiles are one square foot and easily snap together. I simply measured out my patio square footage and estimated that I needed about 140 square feet of decking to cover it. I bought 16 bundles of 9 tiles for $29.99 each which works out to $3.33 a square foot. My cost for the material was $537 and change I was ready to install.
Installation was relatively easy and I am a beginner handyman. It took me 4-5 hours total to complete from start to finish and required minimal tools or previous knowledge of flooring and decking. I prepped the patio area by sweeping away as much of the debris as possible. The tiles snap together like lego and the only tricky part is when you need to cut the tiles to make them fit. I saw of some sort is recommended and I used a skillsaw (and safety goggles) but I found that the handiest tool was a set of cutting pliers that allowed me to clip the plastic base of the tiles easily to make the sizes I needed. I also used a phillips screw driver to remove individual slats to fill in a few odd shaped gaps.
One thing to note, the wood in the product contains tannic acid which, after a time, can leak out and discolor the sub-floor. In my case, I installed my decking over brick that I can pressure wash and sand if needed at a later date. Also, it appears that the wood will need to be re-stained or glazed once a year to maintain the look.
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