How do you treat a wood sleeper?

Asked By: Rishabha Degenhardt | Last Updated: 6th April, 2020
Category: travel rail travel
4.9/5 (293 Views . 38 Votes)
Wood preservative treatments provide garden sleepers with protective properties that help prevent rot, mould and fungal growth, as well as help to form a defence against the elements. It is best to apply a wood preservative before installation of your sleeper, so that you can paint all sides.

Click to see full answer


Similarly, how long do wooden sleepers last?

As a rule, hardwood oak sleepers tend to last the longest naturally with an expected lifespan of around 100 years. An untreated softwood will last for between three and five years if it sits on the ground, whilst treated softwoods can last between 20 and 30 years if they are maintained correctly.

Subsequently, question is, which railway sleeper is best? Used railway sleepers are the top choice for gardeners and designers who would like to add some character to their project. Since hardwoods are more durable, you'll find that the majority of used sleepers that are in good condition will be made from oak.

Accordingly, how long will pressure treated sleepers last?

10 years

What can I use instead of sleepers?

A Railway Sleeper Alternative So anything a railway sleeper can do, WoodBlocX can do better! The hard-wearing nature of WoodblocX means they are perfect for retaining walls, raised flower and vegetable beds, garden benches to relax on, fish ponds, garden and lawn edging, composting area or even children's sandpit.

30 Related Question Answers Found

How long do railway sleepers last in the ground?

New Softwood Treated Railway Sleepers are treated with either a green or brown pressure treatment (Tanalith green or Tanatone brown), both have similar properties and will on average last 15 - 20 years. The treatment colour will however weather to grey within 12 - 18 months.

What do railway sleepers weigh?

Wooden sleepers are also comparatively cheap, as well as light and easy to transport, install and maintain. The average timber sleeper weighs around 160lb-250lb, whereas an equivalent sleeper made of concrete could weigh anything up to 800lb.

How do you fix railway sleepers to the ground?

Cut your sleepers to your required length, which could be random for a rustic look. Then mix up some lean mortar, such as 6:1, to be used as a concrete base and haunching. Place at least a 50mm bed of concrete in the bottom of the trench and start inserting the sleepers, haunching them up as you go.

Can I use railway sleepers as a retaining wall?

Wooden railway sleepers are an excellent alternative to bricks or concrete for building retaining walls in your garden. Sleepers can be used both horizontally and vertically when building a retaining wall.

What are green railway sleepers?


These attractive, new sawn sleepers tend to have straighter edges than reclaimed timber sleepers which makes them easier to stack. All of our sleepers are green tanalised treated, which is a treatment that ensures a deep penetration of the wood preservative into the timber cells.

When should you build a retaining wall?

You Might Need a Retaining Wall If…
  1. You need a way to control downhill erosion. If mountains of erosion materials are clogging important areas on your property, adding a retaining wall is a wonderful idea.
  2. Your home is downhill from soil fault lines.
  3. Your foundation is threatened by a sliding hill.

Are old railway sleepers toxic?

Wooden railway sleepers, or crossties, soaked in creosote are used in railway tracks across Europe. Creosote has been used as a wood preservative for many years and contains toxic chemical compounds including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Some of these are a danger to human health as they are carcinogenic.

Are hardwood sleepers treated?

Both treated and untreated hardwood and pine sleepers are available. Untreated Hardwood Sleepers from selected Australian species may be used in the garden safely. Treated timber is durable and resistant to rot, fungal decay and insects like borers and termites.

How do you fix railway sleepers on a brick wall?

Lay out the first row of sleepers horizontally and then the next layer on top, like bricks. Use landscaping screws to fix these two rows together and then continue this until you have the height of wall you want. 2. Ensure there is adequate drainage to prevent the wall from rotting or deteriorating.

How long will Tanalised timber last in the ground?


In general, we say that the inside of the wood should be protected for about 60 years, and the outside for about 30 years. This is without any extra treatment, staining, or painting on your behalf. Again though, how you treat the wood is going to have an effect on how long it will last.

What can you make with railway sleepers?

3 Ideas for Using Railway Sleepers in the Garden
  • Edging your Garden. Sleepers are perfect for garden edging because they are robust, durable, and extremely versatile.
  • Garden Furniture. Due to their durability and naturally rustic look, sleepers make the perfect material for building many standard pieces of garden furniture.
  • Raised Flower Beds & Walls.

What is a sleeper wall construction?

A sleeper wall is a short wall used to support floor joists, beam and block or hollowcore slabs at ground floor. It is constructed in this fashion when a suspended slab is required due to bearing conditions or ground water presence.

Are railway sleepers safe for vegetable gardens?

Some people prefer a rustic, vintage look and so always look for reclaimed sleepers whilst others look for new railway sleepers as they are safe to use when creating vegetable gardens due to the fact that they have not been treated with creosote.

What size screws railway sleeper?

TimberLok screws come in a variety of lengths to match every situation and these include 63mm (2.5 inch), 102mm (4 inch), 114mm (4.5 inch), 152mm (6 inch), 203mm (8 inch) and 254mm (10 inch) versions.

Do railway sleepers get slippery?


It should be noted that timber sleepers can become quite slippery when damp. This can be ameliorated by sprinkling a coarse grit sand over the surface, by cutting shallow notches into the 'tread', or by stapling chicken wire mesh to the top face of the sleeper.

What wood is sleeper wood?

Sleepers may be made of hardwoods or softwoods, these being used for different purposes and under different conditions. Hardwood sleepers are made chiefly from oak, beech, and hornbeam; softwood sleepers from Scots pine, maritime pine (Pines pinaster), and larch.

How much do old railway sleepers cost?

“A” Grade Sleepers Used
Size $ Each
2.4m $70
1.2m $35