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Individual Pedestals and Rail Based Systems: The Differences [Blog]

Individual Pedestals and Rail Based Systems: The Differences [Blog]

A blog written by Alfresco Floors

Alfresco Floors often get asked about the differences between adjustable pedestals (such as the A-PED) and rail/joist systems (AR-SYSTEMS & REIF DuraLink), since they seemingly fulfil the same function: supporting the application of raised floor areas.

However, different situations may call for different solutions (and in some cases, a combination!). In this blog, Alfresco Floors aim to highlight what they consider to be ‘best-practice’ guidance for any designer or specifier involved in the selection of raised flooring products.

Adjustable Pedestals vs Pedestal/Aluminium Joist Systems For Paving

If your proposed area incorporates ‘unusual’ paver layouts, rail-based systems are the suggested solution. Challenges may include a ‘tight’ shaped area where lateral movement of tiles might be an issue, for example balconies.

In this instance, the AR-PAVE system uses side-stops/end-stops to hold tiles in place perfectly. It also ensures that a minimum perimeter gap is maintained to facilitate drainage and meet any minimum-gap requirements.

However, more regular areas may not require the heightened functionality that a rail-based system provides, and therefore a single pedestal, such as The A-PED would be a more appropriate and cost-effective solution.

Mixing A-Rated Paving Systems

In some cases, your paving project may have a mixture of complex and regular areas. It is possible, in this case, to mix systems – another way of reducing overall cost.

Due to the volume of aluminium that is used in a rail-based system, it can be a more expensive product to purchase but the reduction in relative install-complexity can see labour costs reduced.

Adjustable Aluminium Pedestals vs Pedestal/Aluminium Joist Systems For Decking

Build up for decking will always consist of a pedestal and joist in one format or another.

Since aluminium decking is always ‘clipped’ to a joist, it needs to be used with a compatible joist system. For example, the AR-DECK system comprises of aluminium deck boards and joists, providing a complete solution.

Rail systems are designed to work together – note that AR-SYSTEM joists are designed to work with AR-SYSTEM pedestals as well as A-PED pedestals. It is possible to mix and match systems to get the optimum solution for your unique areas.

Again, a rail-based system is good for unusual-shaped areas in which lateral movement might be an issue.

Fire Safety Compliance on your Non-Combustible Raised Floor Project

Whilst providing increased functionality, AR, REIF and A-PED systems all provide Euroclass A-Rated compliance, meaning they are suitable for relevant buildings above 18 metres in height.

However, many projects below 18 metres are calling for increased fire safety, so Class A-Rated products are becoming increasingly popular within a range of applications.


If you would like any more guidance on what systems are best suited for your needs, the technical experts at Alfresco are on hand to give site-specific advice and advice as to which systems will work best.

Give Alfresco Floors a call on 020 8977 0904 or email [email protected].

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Alfresco Floors are experts in Class A fire-rated external flooring systems. Their extensive hands-on experience means they can provide you with the safest and most robust solution to whatever space you are working on.

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