Slip-Resistant Decking & Building Codes

Slip-Resistant Decking & Building Codes

Perth has an ideal climate for outdoor entertaining, especially during the summer months at the end of the year. External living areas have become even more popular, but unfortunately, the incidence of injuries resulting from structural collapses and slipping has increased.

We hope this article will assist trades and homeowners with what it takes to keep decks and other external structures in a safe condition at all times.

Building Codes

Slip-Resistant Decking & Building Codes

Decks constructed today must comply with the National Construction Code (NCC), which provides the current requirements for new building work throughout Australia. If the value of works exceeds $20,000, the person you have contracted to perform the work must be a  registered builder.

 Your local government office should be consulted and may need to approve the construction before any work can commence and there are two parts to approval;

  1. Planning Approval which may be required if the deck is higher than ground level or if there are issues of overlooking involved.
  2. Building Approval requires a building license issued by your local government after you have submitted detailed drawings and other information. Contact your local government for more information.

Slip Ratings & Testing

Slip ratings help us evaluate slip resistance in wet conditions based on the intended use or context of the flooring. Internal timber flooring, for instance, would need a much lower slip resistance as it is unexpected to be covered with water unlike timber decking next to a pool.

The Building Code references two types of classifications based on two fundamental test methods. The wet pendulum test gives a P classification, and the oil ramp test gives an R classification. Higher classifications (e.g. P5 or R13) indicate an excellent slip-resistance value, there is now right or wrong method although it is expected the “P” classification will become more widely used because it is a simpler testing method.

                                                                                                 Surface Conditions

 Application                                                                                Dry                Wet

Ramp steeper than 1:14                                                           P4 or R11        P5 or R12

Ramp steeper than 1:20 but not steeper than 1:14            P3 or R10        P4 or R11

Ramp not steeper than 1:8                                                     P4 or R10         P5 or R12

Tread or landing surface                                                         P3 or R10         P4 or R11

Nosing or Landing edge strip                                                      P3                       P4


The wet pendulum test is conducted in a wet condition by spraying the surface with water. The pendulum is swung across the surface and the more slippery the surface; the higher the pendulum swings back up.

The oil wet ramp test involves two testers walking up and down a ramp until they find the point of slip. The slope of the ramp is increased incrementally until the testing personnel slip, and their scores are averaged.

Timber Decking

The slip resistance of timber varies primarily based on the cut and finish. Reeded timber along with rough sawn timber will typically have a higher level of slip resistance. However, timber is rarely left in its raw state, so it’s usually the surface coating that influences the slip resistance. Because of these variables associated with timber decking testing is not particularly common however it can certainly be done where required.

Composite Decking

Slip resistance of composite decking is more commonly documented because it is a manufactured, consistent product that does not have a finishing system applied to it. For example Millboard has been tested using the wet pendulum test and achieved “P5” whilst NewTechWood had testing performed and it returned a “R11” classification.

At Austim, we’re the leading timber supplier in Perth and we offer complete timber and composite decking resources to suit all your indoor and outdoor building needs.

If you have any questions, contact us online or by phone (08) 6558 1266

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What our clients say

Austim are a great partner and timber supplier. Our business is based on the East Coast of Australia and we partner with Austim for WA projects. We have had a long lasting and great working relationship with Austim for many years. Highly recommend them.
daniel wright
daniel wright
06:31 18 Jun 19
Austim is always the first place I try when I need timber and it’s rare that I can’t get what I need there. Stuart is a rare gem of a gent to deal with – quick to respond to any queries, full of good advice and goes out of his way to help get whatever project I’m working on happening to my schedule, even when all I need is a few sticks and a handful of fixings. Highly recommend Austim, the team and young Stuart.
Anni Lilford
Anni Lilford
00:51 16 Nov 18
Stuart went out of his way to make sure we got the product we wanted. He made suggestions on possible constructions and timbers suitable. Very knowledgeable friendly staff all around. Excellent experience, highly recommended.
Holger Butenschon
Holger Butenschon
05:14 22 May 18
Hi Ben,Just wanted to thankyou for your help and advice in our selection of the Millboard Vintage Oak decking also in you recommending Grant from Premier Hardwood Decking. Grant has just completed our decking and we couldn't have asked for a more professional, reliable and competent tradesman. The decking has been installed to a very high standard and the decking itself is stunning. Ian and Sue
susan smith
susan smith
06:27 08 Oct 18
I've used Austim on a few occasions for home projects like decking and pergola, etc and each time the response to my requests for price and delivery have been excellent, the deliveries took place as negotiated, the timber quality was great and value for money. The team at Austim do a great job and make dealing with Austim a breeze.
Michael Robinson
Michael Robinson
09:06 25 Oct 18
I have worked with Austim for around 8 years now and they are one of the best suppliers in perth to deal with. I would highly recommend to use them for any timber needs!!!
Art of Timber
Art of Timber
07:55 05 Mar 20
I had been looking for some cedar for my kayak project and had rung a couple of other places with no luck. When I contacted Austim they were very helpful, had the timber in stock and I was on my was in 20 minutes. The wood was very good quality and has really finished up beautifully. Thanks to Austim.
mark alderson
mark alderson
02:03 08 Apr 17
I"d like to thank Austim for there help in supplying me with material that firstly I thought I'd have trouble sourcing as it was marring up with originally 30 year old existing timber.My project was not a massive project but still needed the attention of an new build.The timber supplied by Austim was machined to size with absolute perfection, where I had to remove old pieces and replace with the new pieces they fitted perfectly.once the floors are re-sanded and varnished they will be back to there former glory. Thanks again to the staff at Austim.Regards Bob Heppenstall.I've just added a finished photo after the Floor Sanding was completed.Original timber was Tassie Oak, and the new is Vic Ash, as you can see there is only a slight variation in the final product.I hope this gives anyone thinking doing the same the confidence to proceed. Regards Bob Heppenstall.
Robert Heppenstall
Robert Heppenstall
10:05 12 Oct 18
Great service over phone and by email. Product supplied is high quality - no issues. Staff accommodating and friendly.
M F
M F
00:18 07 May 20
Good service with fair prices.
Colin Della Bosca
Colin Della Bosca
08:14 04 Jun 20

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