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Roof Batten

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Roof batten goes by many names: tile batten, wooden batten, counter batten, roofing lat or cladding batten. These lengths of timber are used in roof construction and are relatively cheap, due to the fact that they aren’t graded and serve no structural purpose. Here at Materials Market, we are a leading supplier of roofing materials and sell a range of roof batten sizes.

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Where Are Roof Battens Used? 

Timber roof batten is a small piece of wood that's widely used in the building and construction industry as a spacing material between two different surfaces; such as plasterboard panels and damp external walls (to prevent dampness from affecting the plasterboard). 

Roof battens are the pieces of wood that are placed between the rafters to hold the roofing felt in place and to accept the tiles/slates when they are installed.

Whilst they play an important role in the construction of a roof, timber battens are not load-bearing and therefore don't have a grade for that characteristic.

Many Benefits of Using Roof Batten

  • Suitable to provide the fixing point for roofing materials such as shingles or tiles
  • They keep the roof covering in straight, uniform rows and provide a solid foundation for nails or clips used to attach the tiles or slates
  • They keep clips and nails securely in place, even in high winds
  • Roof tile battens also have an effect on the weatherproofing 

Please note that our suppliers stock varying roof batten colours, therefore we cannot guarantee the specific colour you will receive. This being said, you can rest assured in the knowledge that the dye colour does not affect the performance of the battens in any way. What's more, roof battens aren't exposed within an application so there’s no aesthetic consideration. 

How Is Timber Sized On Materials Market? 

Here at Materials Market, we list timber sizes in a couple of different ways. Timber lengths are usually referred to in imperial terms (inches rather than millimetres) and are characterised by their width and height. 

The most popular way we refer to size is in inches like '7 x 2' but we also use metric, which measures in millimetres (mm). 

For 7 x 2 timber this would be 175mm x 50mm or 47mm x 175mm. We sell 47mm x 175mm on this website and this is used interchangeably with 7 x 2 to refer to the same size of product. The slight discrepancy of 3mm between 47mm and 50mm just means that the finish at the ends is a lot more even and easier to work with.

Whatever your project, our site is proud to present a wide range of standard sizes for easy fitting; offering timber products that will be of interest to both new and seasoned builders. 

How Do I Install Roofing Battens? Important Considerations

One of the biggest questions we get here at Materials Market is how to install timber roofing battens. 

In order to install wooden batten, it is first necessary to install a roofing underlay as this provides insulation and extra waterproofing. There are a variety of options for these and some popular solutions include bitumen and felt, though there are also more modern solutions.

We've put together a quick list of things to consider before cracking on with the job: 

  1. It is important to check that you have selected the correct tools and size and gauge of slate battens for the job at hand, and this depends on the span of the rafters and the roof covering that you are using. This will have a direct effect on the weather tightness of the finished roof and should be a step that is considered very carefully.
  2. You must make sure that you are using the right size of nails to affix the wooden battens to the rafters. 3.35mm nails tend to be the recommended minimum diameter, along with a penetration of at least 40mm in order to ensure they are securely and safely fixed. 
  3. When installing roof battens, we recommend starting at the lower edge of the roof and nailing them into place or otherwise affixing them directly over the rafters. This adds to the sturdiness of the job and ensures that there is a firm base to attach the outer roof covering.
  4. Once the wooden battens are installed, the final roof covering is applied (tiles, slates etc). If the roof battens have been applied correctly, this should make the final steps a lot easier. 

Roof Batten Installation - Tips

It is important when installing treated roof battens to ensure that they are all perfectly horizontally and vertically aligned, in order to provide a sturdy fixing point for the roof tiles. 

If there are irregularities, this could have an impact on the integrity of the roofing structure and the weatherproofing and protection that it provides. 

It may be necessary to use small pieces of treated timber as packing behind roof battens to even out any irregularities.

It should be noted that when fitting roofing, a horizontal treated wooden batten should be used just above the bottom of the roof cladding in order to deny entry to small animals and pests. 

This markedly reduces the risks of pests getting in and helps to secure the structure against the hazards that this can ultimately cause.

Frequently Asked Roof Batten Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about Roof Batten

What Are Treated Roof Battens?

All timber battens on our site are responsibly sourced and made from pressure-treated sawn timber. The treatment process serves to strengthen them and enhance resistance to fungal and insect attack as well as routine decay.

Untreated or sawn timber, by contrast, offers no protection at all from adverse environmental conditions. In order for the battens to work correctly and satisfy modern roofing requirements, it is important that they are made from treated timber.

What Are The Timber Roofing Batten Sizes For Cladding?

Although timber battens are known predominantly as a roofing product, they can also be used for cladding. Cladding batten sizes are very similar to the roof batten range, with dimensions of 19mm x 38mm, 25mm x 38mm and 25mm x 50mm. These then come in lengths of 3.6m and 4.2m respectively.

The timber battens should be at least one and a half times the thickness of the cladding to ensure that they are thick enough to take the fixings where overlapping cladding panels are used. Again, this is a way to ensure the strength and durability of the finished project as well as ensuring that the work done is able to keep out the elements.  

What Is The British Standard For Battens?

BS 5534:2014 is the British Standard for roof battens and all of the roof battens for sale on our website conform to this as a matter of course. We sell a variety of competitively priced solutions for roofing requirements, as well as a huge range of other good quality building materials to suit any project.

For further information/details on each product, please refer to the datasheet of specified manufacturers. 

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