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Are you embarking on a project using timber sleepers? As one of the most versatile timber products we supply, our team sees everyone from DIY enthusiasts to construction specialists working with sleepers. They are a relatively easy product to work with, making them ideal for small garden projects. Before embarking on yours, it is a good idea to read up on some tips for smooth installation, and we have put together the golden rules of laying timber sleepers to give you a headstart.

Choose the Right Timber Species

For external use, you will need a wood which is up to the task. Your sleepers will need to handle direct ground contact, rain, snow and the threat of infestation, which is why we recommend Oak sleepers to our customers. As one of the most durable timbers which does not break the bank, it is the smartest choice for your outdoor sleepers. 

Find PEFC-certified Oak sleepers at EcoChoice and lay timber which you know will last. 

Choose the Right Metal Fixings

If you’re going to be fixing your timber sleepers, either to each other or to a stake or post, you need to use metal screws and bolts which are suitable for wood. We suggest sticking to either stainless steel or brass screws, or possibly steel screws which have corrosion-resistant coatings. This is because you want a material which is not going to rust and damage the integrity of your timber, making choosing wisely an essential first rule.

Always Clear Your Ground

Whatever your purpose for laying sleepers, you need to clear the ground of debris. Any rocks, plant matter or other loose materials should be removed from the area before laying your sleepers, creating a stable foundation for your timber. In some cases, you might also want to add a layer of gravel or sand beneath the sleepers to help drainage, especially on slopes or in particularly damp areas. 

Use a Spirit Level

If there is one tool we recommend when laying timber sleepers, it is a spirit level. No matter what method you use to lay yours and whatever their end purpose, a spirit level will ensure an even, flat surface. This lends a professional finish to your Oak sleepers and boosts functionality for a high-quality project.

Treat Any Sawn Edges

At EcoChoice, we can supply timber sleepers which are pre-cut to your specifications. However, if you are cutting them to size at the project site, we recommend treating any sawn edges before laying them. This will prevent any moisture from penetrating the raw wood and keep insects at bay, for sturdy timber which lasts for decades.

Choose Responsibly Sourced Sleepers

Last but not least – and perhaps the most important golden rule of all – be sure you choose responsibly sourced timber for your sleepers. When you opt for independently certified timber, you are choosing to help protect our world’s natural forests, jungles and woodlands, as well as the creatures who rely on them. It is also easier than ever to find sustainable timber sleepers with EcoChoice’s delivery services.

To learn more about our PEFC-certified Oak sleepers or to start an order, get in touch with our team and we will be more than happy to help. 



Using timber sleepers in the garden

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