Pedestal systems have opened a world of possibilities when it comes to redefining your outdoor living space, making it easy to design a rooftop deck or rooftop garden. Utilizing pedestal systems on a rooftop also lends several advantages including easy access to the roof and its waterproofing system for repairs or maintenance.  The most widely used solution for amenity roof applications, pedestal systems provide an easy way to solve the issue of uneven roofs and are easy to install and maintain.

Whichever brand of pedestal system you choose, the job just got easier. Here’s a rundown on how to use pedestal systems for a rooftop.

Basic Components of Rooftop Decking Systems

Pedestals come in three types – fixed height, adjustable and stackable. Each has its purpose depending on the situation at hand. Most find adjustable pedestals the most useful thanks to their flexibility. To calculate the number of pedestals you’ll need, count the number of tiles along the length and width of the area. Add one to each of these numbers. Finally, multiply these numbers together to get the minimum number of pedestals you will require. For example: If your finished design is 5 tiles long x 5 tiles wide, you’ll need 36 pedestals.

Underpinnings – Should your existing structure not have a drainage system in place already, you’ll need to install a waterproof membrane and perhaps add insulation to go underneath your new rooftop deck. You’ll also need to devise a method of drainage so that water cannot pool on the roof under the new deck. Pedestal systems are inherently permeable, allowing water to quickly drain from the deck surface into the cavity below. By building a slight slope into your underpinnings, water will easily be diverted towards your drain, and adjustable pedestals will help to level the deck floor over this slope.

Surface Covering – Whatever you have chosen as a surface covering will sit above, anchored to the pedestals, typically via a built-in tab system. Tiles made of porcelain, natural stone, concrete or wood will work perfectly and are available in a variety of aesthetics.

Next Steps

You’ll add your pedestals on top of the insulation layer. It should be noted that pedestals are resistant to the freeze & thaw cycles common in Canada, and support significant loads, making them ideal for long-lasting results. Accommodating slopes of up to 5% and available for a wide range of heights, pedestals are the most versatile tool available for this job.

You’ll want to calibrate your laser level to match the desired height of your deck less the height of your tile or other surface covering. From there, ensure each pedestal is adjusted to this height from its current position. Each individual pedestal will need to be adjusted to match both slope and height which will vary on uneven surfaces. If you are dealing with a slope, click here for a tutorial on how to use pedestals on a sloped environment. Some brands of pedestals are self-levelling, making this task even easier and come with built-in spacer tabs to ensure a perfect layout.

Because there is no penetration involved, there’s no need to fasten the pedestal into the surface below. Wide bases keep the pedestals stable so that nothing is screwed into the roof, preserving its integrity.

As you construct your raised outdoor surface, begin in the middle with full-size tiles, working your way out to the edges. Once your first row is in place and square, the rest of the job is easy. Simply position your pedestal where you want it, position the tile in the tabs, verify that it is level and adjust as necessary. Then move on to the next pedestal and tile. That’s it. It couldn’t be any easier to install a rooftop deck, or patio when you choose a pedestal system for the task.