Adding plank decking on aluminum ramp

by Kcama
We want to put composite wood deck planking on a standard aluminum wheelchair ramp. We don't need the planking for structure, just appearance. We'd rather not put a gazillion screw holes in the ramp (which is corrugated for traction). Any ideas on the best way to do it? Thanks.
Useful - but so ugly - ramp
composite decking (1" thick)
  11 answers
  • Polly Zieper Polly Zieper on Mar 03, 2016
    I agree they're useful and ugly: /when we put an alum. ramp at our front door we were told not to put anything on the ramp itself because it could get slippery when wet. some people in our area put a line of shrubs/hedges alongthe sides so its a bit less industrial and more natural looking.
    • Kcama Kcama on Mar 03, 2016
      @Polly Zieper Thanks. We're in a dryer part of California, so slipper isn't such an issue here - it's for the back yard, so probably won't be going out in the rain anyway.
  • Moxie Moxie on Mar 03, 2016
    Im not sure how you want to do it but be sure any fastners in contact with alum are stainless steel or you can get a chemical reaction between metals that will degrade the screws and cause failure
  • Liz Liz on Mar 03, 2016
    Another tip for improving the appearance of your ramp is to attach framed out lattice work on either side of it. Paint the lattice work the same color as your house. It can be simply attached to the ramp with plastic covered wire in a matching color. The top and sides of the aluminum rail can be painted with a good, non rusting outdoor metal paint.
    • JOHNNY JOHNNY on Mar 04, 2016
      @Liz Great idea, I would also suggest some potted vegetation along the rails on the ground level. screwing into the decking may weaken he structural integreity
  • Liz Liz on Mar 03, 2016
    Just happened to don't want the composite decking to have any ridges that would cause the wheel chair to catch on it and tip over. You may want to consider painting the ramp, using first a quality metal primer and then a really good outdoor metal paint in the color of your choice. We've seen some of these wheel chair ramps made really attractive.
  • Ton3982497 Ton3982497 on Mar 04, 2016
    my suggestion is to contact your nearest hydro dipping agent and see if the sections and hand rail could be dipped with a pattern similar to wood or any pattern this is possible and can be protected with a commercial grade lacquer and would be cheaper then composite
  • Daw3000588 Daw3000588 on Mar 04, 2016
    I'm afraid changing the ramp it self would make it not up to code and your insurance wouldn't cover if an accident happened doesn't matter if someone is in a chair or walking you could be sued and loose. I would use shrubs or something else that wouldn't attach to ramp.
  • Jan Beaver Jan Beaver on Mar 04, 2016
    Think out of the box on this one. Use cedar strips under (1/2 inch) and put the top wood strips (cedar or treated) going up and down, not across. The top boards are attached to the cedar strips, spaced prudently. You will only need to attach the entire structure at the top (tie the top corners with rope if you find it slides down any, but if you take it to the ground on the bottom it probably won't slide). With the strips going up and down, not side ways you shouldn't have too much to catch toes/wheelchairs on. There will be no reason to attach to the metal. Make sure at the very top to bevel or trim to blend into the top flooring the ramp is attached to.
  • JOHNNY JOHNNY on Mar 04, 2016
    Adding any wood to he ramp may bring more issue's then you desire, weakening the deck, corrosion , dirt build up. I suggest softing the hard appearance w/ as earlier stated a lattice along the rails, Potted vegetation along the out side of the rails, height commensurate to rail height and possibly only a stain added to the deck
  • Comet Comet on Mar 04, 2016
    DON'T DO IT. Composite decking offers NO traction and as a double amputee I can say--you will NOT be happy. I get that you don't like the looks of the ramp but--safety really IS first here. Either the person using the ramp will slide and possibly fall or some one assisting them will. Even wood on a slope might not work. if yu painted it with heavily sanded paint you might get traction then. But in even dew---this WILL be slipperier than goose snot. We had a large flat section of this at the bottom of our step and removed it as so many people had problems with it.
  • Sandy Slade Sandy Slade on Mar 05, 2016
    Hi, In the pic I can see almost separate lines on the surface. I hope this is not just shadows. What about instead of covering with wood taping off the lines and spray painting with anti slip paint and make a really colourful ramp instead Maybe a yellow brick road??? Please let us know what you do decide thanks . Good Luck x
  • Polly Zieper Polly Zieper on Mar 09, 2016
    If you want to change the look of the ramp have you considered outdoor carpeting?