Jul 28, 2023 Off Comments in General News by

Ensuring that roofing battens meet British Standards, as captured in BS 5534, is crucial to ensuring both the quality of the battens and the security and safety of the roof. However, it can sometimes be difficult to know what exactly to look out for when assessing if a batten is BS 5534 compliant.

Our ‘Guide to Graded Roofing Battens’ booklet seeks to address this by focusing on four key checks that should be carried out at each stage of purchase to ensure adherence to BS 5534.

These four checks are sizing, markings, due diligence, and knots.


In terms of thickness, the allowed tolerances stated in BS 5534 are 0mm/+3mm, meaning that the roofing batten should be a minimum of 25mm to a maximum of 28mm in thickness.

This changes for battens that are 38mm or 50mm in width. A 38mm batten, should at a minimum be 35mm and at a maximum be 41mm. Whilst a 50mm batten should be a minimum of 47mm and a maximum of 53mm.

Good quality graded batten should be consistent in both thickness and width. This will help ensure that the roof coverings sit well when in situ, specifically on the thickness of the batten.


Check that the markings and stampings on each piece of batten show exactly who the manufacturer is and where the batten originated from-whether it was imported or the species code, as either is permitted. Furthermore, the batten dimensions should be clearly visible on each piece.

Manufacturers that follow best practice within the industry will apply 3rd party accreditation on their battens. This independent 3rd party accreditation will record correct compliance and management records of the production of the correctly graded roofing batten.

Due Diligence

Due diligence in this context means ensuring all documentation show the following:

The name of the supplier and origin including whether its imported and or the species code.

Whether the batten has been graded in accordance with BS 5534 and the basic size or sizes, which should be indicated on the batten itself.

Type of preservation and method of treatment used on the batten.

Good suppliers will also state and offer a Full Chain of Custody certification. This is normally FSC or PEFC. The suppliers’ chain of custody membership certification number should be shown on documentation. This should match the chain of custody product e.g., FSC membership number matching physical FSC stock supplied.

Suppliers’ delivery notes should also state the timber species, and treatment use class-for battens this is Use Class 2, and treatment conforming to BS 8417. A good manufacturer will offer the supplier certification Quality Approval Scheme, via WPA Benchmark (Wood Protection Association) as an approved treater.


Finally, we recommend ensuring that the knots on the batten match up to standard.

Shaun Revill explains.

“I’d recommend checking the size of the knots on each face, the 38/50mm part of the batten. If any knot is bigger than half the width of the batten and appears on both faces (widths), it’s most likely outside allowed tolerances and isn’t BS 5534 compliant. If this is the case, don’t use the product and make sure you notify your supplier of your concerns and ask for the material to be checked.”

Why use SR Timber?

SR Timber Premium Gold Battens provide consistent and clear documentation providing you with the information you need to be reassured that the battens are BS 5534 compliant. This includes information about the supplier, that the material is imported, sizes, the type of treatment used to preserve the batten and that it has been graded in accordance with BS 5534.

Furthermore, SR Timber Premium Gold Battens are third party accredited by CATG and have a FSC provided Full Chain of Custody Certification and a WPA certification. Providing you with peace of mind and ensuring use of a high quality and safe product.