Keep up to date

with our latest news

When Do I Need a Rail-Based System?

01 June 2022

There are four key problems commonly found in external flooring projects which can all be solved through the use of a rail-based system:

  • - Irregularly shaped areas
  • - Random tile patterns
  • - Installing flooring over utilities
  • - Expansion joints

In other words, a rail-based system can be used when pedestals alone can’t be placed exactly or securely, or if you need a solution that requires a fixed frame.

Irregular Shaped Areas

If you’re working with tight corners, irregular-shaped areas – or any situation where lateral movement of tiles might be an issue – rail-based systems will help. Side-stops (or end-stops) can be affixed onto the rail (joists) to hold pavers in place, whilst ensuring a minimum perimeter gap to facilitate drainage.

If your project features both irregular and regular shaped areas, a rail-based system can be used only when/where it’s necessary, making your project more cost and time-effective. This can be seen in our Stratford Hotel case study, where ALUrail was used to support angled tile cuts used in the areas next to the glass walls and doors of the restaurant (Allegra).

Download Buzon eBook - A Pedestal for Every Project

Why are pedestals alone not suited to tight corners?

With tight corners, space is limited and therefore not big enough to fit pedestals. In this instance, a rail-based system can be used to build a frame that extends out from pedestals.

Random Tile Patterns

Random tile patterns, by their very nature, are non-uniform and often require small tile cuts, and pedestals alone are unlikely to work with the configuration required. Utilising a rail-based system – alongside spacer tabs and other accessories – can help to ensure random tile patterns are appropriately supported without the worry of movement.

The Londoner Hotel 3


Cabling, pipework and other utilities can sometimes make it difficult to install a raised outdoor flooring area as they may be located in exactly the place where a pedestal is required. And of course, any interference with utilities can impact the services (gas, water, electric) a building receives.

A rail-based system solves this issue, as it can span across utilities, concealing them whilst not interfering or tampering with them in any way since the rail-based system is installed well above the substrate (and therefore above the services).

Furthermore, like pedestals, a rail-based system will also allow tiles and pavers to be removed easily for seamless access to such infrastructure for routine maintenance as and when needed.

Rail-Based Flooring Systems for Expansion Joints

Absorbing differential movement between the substrate and floor covering is important when using ceramic or stone coverings. Expansion joints will prevent the tiles and substrate from cracking in this circumstance.

The placement of expansion joints will vary from project to project and will be needed at specified distances across the floor area.

The expansion joist needs a solid structure to work correctly, and this is achieved and held in place with joists such as ALUrail, which are cantilevered off the pedestal and replicate the joint in the concrete slab underneath.


Can Rail-Based Systems be Used For Decking?

Rail-based systems were originally designed for decking applications, so the simple answer to this is ‘yes.’

The versatility of these systems means that they’re suitable for deck boards, as well as tiled applications. Buzon’s Alurail is capable of handling loads of up to 500kg per m².

The Buzon ALUrail System

The ALUrail range for outdoor raised floors is a rail-based pedestal system that provides a simple solution to common, and exceptional, technical challenges. If you’re working with irregular-shaped balconies - or any of the situations we’ve written about above - ALUrail is the answer.

The full system build-up comprises an aluminium joist supported by adjustable pedestals from the Buzon ranges, and a choice of accessories depending on your chosen application, whether it be paving or decking on a podium, balcony or roof terrace.

Practical and functional, this easy decking system can also be used where the void is limited. The system, including pedestals, starts at 35mm.

Get in Touch

If you’d like to find out more about how rail-based systems can help you work smarter on your external raised flooring projects, speak to an expert today. Simply call +44 (0)20 8614 0874 or drop us an email on

Download Buzon eBook - A Pedestal for Every Project

Contact Us to Discuss Your Next Project


For expert technical advice call +44 (0)20 8614 0874