Roof battens

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Roofing battens are fundamental to a roof structure and are used in a loadbearing capacity. They are designed to carry the load of slated and tiles roofs as well as imposed loads caused by wind and snow. In addition, they may be required to provide a reasonably secured foothold for roofers while slated and tiled roofs are being covered.

This Choose and Use sheet offers builders advice when installing roof battens, including the minimum requirement for timber batten sizes, health and safety requirements and the different grading types which are applied to timber roof battens.

Although there are no legal requirements for the quality of roof battens, this sheet covers the BS 5534:2003+A1:2010 code of practice for slating and tiling which is the standard that sets out the preservative treatment, grading, species and marking requirements for timber battens.


  • Sizes
  • Should I use 'BS 5534' battens?
  • Demand for graded battens
  • Health and safety in roof work
  • Durability of battens
  • How to tell if battens are fully compliant with BS 5534
  • Do factory-graded BS 5534 battens cost more?
  • Fixing battens
  • Nailing battens to rafters

Suggested Reading

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