FREE Expert Advice From The Deck Gurus
Avoid common problems when planning and installing your deck.
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of look?
Decking width and species determine look.
We sell 90mm wide and 140mm wide boards — they can also be mixed.
Different species offer different colours. See photo gallery or come in and discuss your options with us.
Light or dark colour ?
You can use coatings to create different looks using stains or oil coatings.
Note: Most timbers if left will eventually silver off but some will take a lot longer than others. You can use coatings to successfully imitate the silvered off look.
Kwila — is red-brown in colour and leeches a red-brown dye when first laid. Kwila will silver off after a few years if left uncoated or you can use an oil to enhance and maintain the red-brown colour.
Garapa — is a lighter coloured hardwood.
Macrocarpa — is a very light species that also slivers off beautifully and in a very short time.
Heavy Hopea — is light to medium brown colour.
Cumaru — is a golden coloured timber.
Purple Heart — will age from purple to brown to a driftwood grey if left to weather.
Hardwood or softwood?
A hardwood deck is definitely the ultimate look. Macrocarpa is a softwood that silvers off beautifully and treated pine will outlast everything else but will not preform quite as well as the hardwoods.
Do I want an eco-friendly species?
Tropical hardwoods supplied by us are all ‘verified legal origin’. VLO means it is not from illegally logged forests.
Macrocarpa is very eco-friendly and chemical free.
Our treated pine is arsenic free making it safe for human contact.
Do I want maintenance free? Lay and forget.
Typically most timbers require some sort of maintenance depending on the location of the deck and the species used. OR you could use ModWood, a wood plastic composite decking, which is very low – maintenance
Do I want to maintain my deck and keep it looking like the day it was laid?
Choosing to oil your deck means more regular upkeep. You will need to re-oil your deck every year or two.
Using a quality deck oil mitigates splitting and surface checking and helps eliminate mould issues.
Knotty or clear?
Clear (knot-free) timber is generally more expensive than knotty. It is personal preference as to whether or not you use a clear or knotty grade of timber for your deck.
Why cant I make my deck boards wider than 140mm?
There is nothing to stop you using a board wider then 140mm however be warned that most timbers will cup if wide than 140mm.
NOTE: We do not recommend going over width of 140mm for outdoor decks due to cupping issues. But we are able to custom machine over 140mm by request.
Good Design Practice for Decks
Most wood products undergo some degree of expansion and contraction with changes of weather and season. To compensate for these effects the following installation recommendations should be followed to ensure optimum performance of the deck.
- Underside Ventilation — it is recommended that you build your deck a minimum of 300mm off the ground. This allows the deck to ‘breathe’ and will mitigate mould and mildew issues that occur as a result of humidity build up under the deck. If you are not able to have a 300mm gap under you deck then you should consider using a vapour barrier. We recommend a vapour barrier that allows water to pass through it such as weedmat.
- Gap spacings
- Between boards — minimum 3mm
- Between boards and side of building — 12mm minimum
- Board Ends — if KD allow 1-2mm gap.
- Fall — your deck should have adequate fall to stop pooling of surface water. We recommend a minimum of 10mm fall per lineal metre of deck.
Note: Decking shrinks and expands by varying amounts depending on the species. Laying kiln dried decking boards tight (ie with no gap) will not allow water to be shed from the deck.. If decking is green or wet after treatment then this is not such an issue as the deck will shrink as it dries out.
Building code compliance?
Decks 1.5m or more above the ground require a building consent and those 1m or above the ground require a handrail. Talk to your local authority. If the deck is attached to the house then you should allow a 12mm gap on the ribbon plate to stop moisture retention behind the plate which can lead to mould mildew and eventually rot.
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