Vitex Hardwood Decking
- Vitex (Vitex cofassus) is a Solomon Islands tropical hardwood used for decking in NZ.
- Attractive light-coloured timber which will quickly age to a driftwood grey if left to weather.
- It has been used extensively as exterior decking in New Zealand for about 30 years.
(Note: in some applications, Vitex can be prone to surface mould build-up.)
Ease of installation
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- Available in 140x19mm
- Lengths random 1800-4800mm
- Will not bleed or leach
- Recommend 316 stainless screw fixings
- Pre-coating is mandatory before laying
- Factory coating service available
- FSC certified is available
- Naturally durable hardwood – chemical free
- Great looking species
- Ensure adequate ventilation around boards
Ventilation- free-air circulation under the decking is very important to help minimize cupping and warping. Proper ventilation ensures the potential difference in moisture content levels between top face and the underside of boards is reduced and extends the life and performance of the deck.
The sub deck should have at least 300mm clearance from the ground. This, in conjunction with suitable board spacing, will allow for adequate ventilation. In wet areas or over water, additional clearance is recommended. Other steps that can be taken to minimize moisture differential are – a ground level vapour barrier*(with slit drainage) and pre-coating the underside of the deck boards. Failure to provide for suitable ventilation is a major cause of early decking failure.
*Note: Using polythene sheet can create water pooling having the opposite effect.
- Joist spacing 400-450mm recommended for 19mm thick decking.
- Joists should be clean and sound and the screws should penetrate at least 40mm into the joists to achieve good holding.
- Pre-drilling and counter-sinking is essential to avoid any splitting or ‘tear-out’ where the screw penetrates the Vitex.
- Vitex hardwood decking should be spaced with 4mm min. gaps between decking boards. This will allow for some expansion & contraction as the decking boards acclimatize as well as allowing for drainage of surface water and good air circulation.
Note: These are recommendations only. An allowance for regional climatic conditions should also be factored in. Ask us for advice regarding your specific requirements!
To minimize surface checking, cupping and maintain Vitex’s good looks we recommend coating the decking boards on all four sides with a penetrating oil prior to installation. An additional face coat following installation is also recommended. Note: When coating decking timber, ensure that the boards are free from surface marks and stains before coating. End sealing will help minimize splitting and “checking” on the ends of the boards
We strongly recommend use of stainless steel screws for fixing your decking to the deck frame. We recommend 60mm long stainless-steel screws through the pre-drilled face of a 19mm thick decking board, two screws per joist.
Maintenance Cleaning & Washing
Hardwood decks should be cleaned with a stiff brush at least once a year to clear gaps between your decking boards and remove dirt and grim. A stiff brush can also remove any surface mould which can be a slip hazard in wet weather. Keeping the deck clear of leaf litter, moving pot plants and other large objects that may hold moisture to the top of the deck, is also important for the life of the deck. Hardwood Decking can be water blasted BUT it is important to do so at a low pressure so you do not damage the fibers of the timber.
Preparation for re-coating: Removing dirt and mould prior to coating is easy with OneStopDeckShop Deck Clean, a simple 4 step system that ensures your deck is ready for re-coating. OneStopDeckShop Deck Clean active restoration agent is the recommended product for general cleaning. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using.
Re-coating. Always follow the manufacturer’s specification for re-coating. We can assist you with choosing the correct coating product for your job as there is a range of different products that are suited to various circumstances.
Wood Guru Pro TIPS
One Stop Deck Shop Products advocates that all hardwood decks are fixed with screws. For 140×19 decking SCREWS ARE ESSENTIAL. We recommend 60mm (for 19mm) stainless steel screws through the pre-drilled face of each board, two per joist. For 90×19 decking screws are also recommended.