Wood For Outside Deck Flooring


Old 03-23-13, 07:19 AM
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Wood For Outside Deck Flooring


Live outside of Boston.
Know very little about wood(s), as you can probably tell.

Would like to ask the following, please:

Have an outside Deck with some of the floor boards that need replacement.

Will obviously use Pressure Treated Wood.

a. are there different qual. levels for pressure treated wood ?

b. Deck is old, and no way of knowing the type of wood used.

For a Deck flooring made without the fancy stuff like Trex, etc., what
should I probably use ?

Just pressure treated ordinary Pine, or are different types of wood more commonly used and better suited for deck flooring ?

e.g., Spruce, or...? (avail. in p treated ?)

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Old 03-23-13, 08:04 AM
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Are you going to replace all the decking? What is your joist spacing, presently? Is the joisting and framework in A1 shape?

Pressure treated lumber, usually #1 is used for decking. You can use #2, but it will have knots and boogers throughout. If you have 16" oc or less then you can use 5/4 x 6 lumber. Further apart you will either have to install intermediate joisting or go with 2x6 lumber.
Old 03-23-13, 02:53 PM
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To answer the question about varieties of treated wood, there ARE a wide variety of grades of treated wood. Some are suitable for above grade use... others for ground contact. It all depends on the treatment used and the amount of saturation. (represented by a decimal on the tags)

All treated wood is labeled on the ends so that you can compare. It will also help you understand why one treated board might be $3, while the same treated board elsewhere is $8. The grades of lumber that Larry mentioned is also important (#1 being best). You have to use special fasteners in any treated wood. Simpson makes some nice deck screws- stainless steel square drive and 6 point torx. (Especially nice when using cedar, which is prone to staining.)
Old 03-25-13, 10:56 AM
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From OP: What Type Of Wood: Just regular pressure treated "Pine", Or... ?

Hi All,

Thanks so much for help.
Really good info., and what I was looking for.

Joists and structure appear fine.
Only the deck floor (planks) are in poor shape.

Will certainly go with the highest grade of pressure treated that I can find.

The planks are about 3 inches wide, and about 3/4 to 1" thick.
The reason I'm not too sure, is that I'm really getting ahead of myself here.
Deck, believe it or not, is still totally covered with snow, so hard to get out and actually measure them.

But, still a bit confused over wood type.
Is "pressure treated" available in the normal Pine, as well as Spruce, or other types ?

This Deck is a very "basic" one. Plain; nothing fancy.

What do I likely want; just normal pressure treated Pine, or,...?
(will probably re-stain with Cabot preservative stain, or similar)

Thanks again,
Old 03-25-13, 11:17 AM
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Some PT wood is specified as SYP (southern yellow pine) so I have always assumed that if it isn't specifically labeled as SYP that it is probably treated SPF (either spruce/pine/fir).

SYP naturally has a little better density and strength than SPF, so it is probably of better quality. I'm just not sure how available it is out east. Surprisingly some grades of lumber aren't as common in some parts of the US as others.

You will want to use a minimum of 1" thick planks for your decking.

It is also a possibility that your existing decking is NOT treated, and instead is made of cedar, but again- not sure how common that is out there. Cedar decks would probably take stain better than treated wood.
Old 03-25-13, 12:07 PM
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Cedar is available in the east but it's pricey, we can get redwood too but it's harder to find and really pricey

PT wood will take stain fine [once it's dried] but the colors will show different than the same stain will with cedar. I think the main thing is to get boards similar to what are there now ...... or am I misunderstanding - just some boards are being replaced, right? or is it the entire decking?

If you need help identifying what you have, pics might help clarify things.
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