Our Top Ten Ideas | Wooden Railway Sleepers

by scott douglas

Railway Sleepers are sitting pretty in Gardens across the UK.

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Why, Because Railway Sleepers are a Great Choice for Landscaping or any Timber Project. 

A Railway Sleeper is Cheap, generally easy to handle, and looks Fantastic.  

The two most popular types of Sleeper which you can buy from Suppliers across the UK are New Sleepers or Reclaimed Sleepers.

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wade building supplies | green railway sleeper

So what's the Difference? The main difference is the type of Timber used; whilst you can find Softwood Reclaimed Railway Sleepers, they are more commonly available in untreated Hardwood. 

Whilst providing lots of Character, the Untreated Hardwood can be tough to work with and require a little more care and attention than a New treated Railway Sleeper. 

We will focus on the most popular option New Railway Sleepers. These are more common in Softwood, tend to come with treatment including Tanalith or Pressure Treatment and is much easier to create your installation.

 So, let's look at the most popular use of New Wooden Railway Sleepers

 1,Garden Edging

 Wooden Sleepers can be Laid directly on the Ground, which means your Garden will Quickly Reinvent itself with minimal effort.

A 2.4m Sleeper will weigh around 25kgs and be slightly heavier when Wet, so your Sleepers will bed in quickly.

When using Wooden Sleepers for Garden Edging, we would Suggest a foundation for your Sleepers filled with Sand or Gravel.

Check your New Sleepers come Treated before laying, which will increase the life of the Timber and fight off Rot. 

A Simple Care program such as Keeping your Sleepers Clean or an Annual Tanalith Treatment will maintain Quality.

2, Planters

Softwood Sleepers are ideal for Planter Construction, being easy to Cut and Drill.

Ideally, lay a foundation for your Planters, but if you decide to lay on the Ground, ensure you use a part of your Garden which is flat and firm.

Join your Sleepers together using specialised Sleeper Screws or Timber Screws.

 If you have laid your Sleepers on the narrow edge, a couple of screws in each corner should do the job.

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3, Patios

This look is becoming more and more popular, and you can see why!

The contrast of Wood and Stone features give a very modern and appealing look.

Wooden Sleepers laid around a Patio would typically be put down whilst the Patio is under construction but can be applied as an Edge later as well

Lay your Sleepers in a foundation on a semi-dry concrete bed to maintain the Sleeper position around the Patio.

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4, Garden Furniture

Wooden Sleepers are popular for constructing a Table, Benches or Chairs.

Wooden Sleeper Furniture can be used indoors or outdoors and is low maintenance and long-lasting.

5, Steps

Railway Sleepers as steps look fantastic and are easy to install.

Combine Steps with materials such as Natural Stone or Paving Slabs to add a Modern Finish

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6, Sandpits

Place your Sleepers on firm, flat Ground and construct as you would Raised Beds.

We would suggest placing a plastic membrane inside your New Sandpit before filling it with Sand.

Once filled, let the Kids Jump in for Hours of Fun.

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7, Fences

Railway Sleepers are used often for Low Height Fencing, but a Trend is emerging using Timber Sleepers for Taller Fencing or as a Statement Piece.

Using Sleepers in an Upright Position will require more planning and Professional Advice; a Deep Trench for Foundation is likely to be necessary.

8, Retaining Walls

Add Character to your Garden using Wooden Railway Sleepers.

Retaining Walls will add Depth to any Garden and are Quick and Easy to Build.

Remember to ensure the Ground is Flat and Firm - The standard method when building Walls is to lay your Railway Sleepers horizontally.

Drainage will be essential to ensure your Walls maintain their Quality and stay Low maintenance.

9, Decking

New Railway Sleepers are ideal and versatile for Building up a Platform for your Decking.

Treated Railway Sleepers are Sawn Cut and typically come in a Straight Line.

Construction is Quick and Simple as well as looking Neat and Tidy

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10, Landscape Design

 Natural Materials are ideal for any Landscape and will be Sure to Bring your Garden to Life.

 Whether you are looking for a Modern Feel or a More Traditional Look - Your Garden Timber Railway Sleepers are the Perfect Solution

New Railway Sleepers come Green Treated or Brown Treated

Both Green and Brown Railway Sleeper Timber will be low maintenance and Long Life.

New Railway Sleepers come Green Treated or Brown Treated.

A process known as Pressure Treatment means Brown Railway Sleepers have gone through deep penetration treatment into the Timber.

Tanalisation means Green Railway Sleepers have gone through deep penetration treatment into the Timber Cells.

Tanalised Sleepers have more protection against Rot, fungi and insects, meaning a Longer Life for your Green Railway Sleepers.

The Railway Sleepers will initially have a Green Tinge. However, it is usual for this to fade to a Honey Shade and then Silver Grey over time.

Both Green and Brown Railway Sleeper Timber will be low maintenance and Long Life.

 Suggested Tools for your Railway Sleeper Project 

  • Hammer - Ideally, both Steel and Rubber heads
  • Spirit Level - Ensuring your Sleeper Level is Correct
  • Screwdriver - Typically a Cross Head Screwdriver 
  • Saw - Circular will be the Quickest Option ( Always take Professional Advice before Using)
  • Safety Equipment - Gloves, Goggles & Hard Boots are essential

Whilst your Sleeper is relatively Simple to Install, we would always suggest planning out your Project and taking Professional Advice.

Natural Timber does come with some Limitations. 

Take extra Care During Installation to avoid Injury.

 Treated Railway Sleepers are available in Value packs or Purchased as Singles.

Treatment applied to our Sleepers will prevent Rot, and with very Little Maintenance, your Railway Sleeper will add Character and Depth to your Landscape Year after Year.

 

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