4 Essential Steps for Making a Deck Out of Pallets

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Contents

 – Focus on the pallets to use for a 15 m² terrace

 – Step 1: Prepare the base of the pallet deck11

 – Step 2: Cut or dismantle the slats to form the decking

 – Step 3: Screw the slats into the pallet deck base

 – Step 4: Finish your pallet deck

Wooden pallets lend themselves to all sorts of designs and uses. For example, wood pallets can be used cleverly and aesthetically pleasing to make a wooden deck. The raw, weathered wood will give your deck a rustic, natural feel. By selecting the correct type of pallet, you can enjoy relaxing moments on a 100% recycled deck. Be careful to consider the many pallets to be used, and the time it takes to dismantle them.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to build a pallet deck.

Zoom on the pallets to use for a 15 m² terrace

For a 15 m² terrace:

 – To make the base of the deck, you need 15 whole pallets of the same size.

 – Choose storage pallets: they are designed for outdoor use; they are solid and thick. You can find them on construction sites or in DIY stores.

 – For the floor of the terrace, you need about 20 cut pallets that will be screwed to the base.

1. Prepare the pallet deck base

The base of the deck is made from a bed of very thick pallets laid on gravel:

 – Delineate the surface of the deck with stakes driven into the ground.

 – Install a geotextile film on the ground to prevent moisture from rising.

 – Spread a bed of gravel and sand in the area of the deck.

 – Level off with a rake and check the level at several points.

 – Position each pallet edge to edge while checking for levelness with a spirit level at several points on the pallet.

Tip: It is best to use full pallets to form the base.

 – Once all your pallets are on the floor, recheck the levels.

 – Fill in any differences in level with tile or flat brick.

2. Cut or dismantle the slats to form the decking

pallet deck

There are 2 ways to cut the slats that will be used for the floor. 

Method 1: Cut the boards with a jigsaw

Cut the slats on both sides of the pallet rails using a jigsaw.

This is the fastest method, but the slats will not be very long. 

Method 2: Remove the slats from the pallets with a hammer, a brick chisel and a crowbar

 – Insert the brick chisel between the batten and the wooden die (cube).

 – Lever and gently release the batten.

 – Tap the nail tips to make them stand out.

 – Repeat on each pallet.

 – Sort the boards by trimming: length and width. This is to ensure that the deck boards are perfectly aligned.

3. Screw the boards into the base of the pallet deck

The installation of the 1st line of boards must be precise so that the alignment is perfect.

To do this:

 – Carefully choose battens of the same width.

 – Begin installation in the corner of the deck, and position the 1st batten on a corner of the base pallet.

 – Screw it into the cross members of the baseboard at several points.

You can also screw the battens diagonally for an original look.

To do this:

 – Draw a diagonal line on the deck.

 – Screw in the 1st line of battens using this diagonal as a guide.

Important: Use galvanized steel screws designed for outdoor use.

Then:

 – Position the 2nd batten in line with the 1st and screw it in.

 – Proceed in the same way for all the 1st line of slats, checking the alignment regularly.

 – Do the same thing for all the rows of boards, alternating the widths.

 – When all the rows of boards are screwed together, cut off the ends of the protruding boards with a jigsaw.

 – Then, screw edge boards to the sides of the deck for an excellent finish.

4. Finish your pallet decking

Sand the deck

Proceed as follows:

 – Sand the entire deck with an electric sander.

 – Dust with a broom to remove sanding residue.

– Wet mop the deck for effective dusting and allow to dry as long as necessary.   

Treat the wood of the deck

 – Method 1: With linseed oil.

 ◦ Prepare a mixture of linseed oil and turpentine: 4/5 to 1/5.

 ◦ Apply 3 coats and let dry a minimum of 24 hours between each coat.

Good to know: linseed oil tends to darken the wood. To soften the tint, you can dilute a little white pigment in the mixture.

 – Method 2: With an oil or saturator.

 ◦ Apply a protective oil on the wood in 2 coats to be renewed 2 times a year.

 ◦ You also have the option of applying a wood saturator to protect the wood of the deck.

Materials needed to make a pallet deck

Brick chisel

Turpentine

Geotextile felt

Gravel

Linseed oil

Hammer

Tape measure

Spirit level

Crowbar

Wooden stakes

Sander

Rake

Sand

Jigsaw

Wood screws

Screwdriver

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