Jan 19, 2010 12:07 pm
I am doing some research about what sort of deck to put in our house, and so far I am leaning towards using Merbau. First of all, any thoughts on the type of wood to use, it must be a dark wood, I have also short listed Jarrah, but what ever I do end up going with, I want to use a wide board, something like 130mm (or there abouts).
The other thing I am considering is to have no gaps between the boards, so it looks like floor boards, (tongue and groove boards), is this a good or bad move, I am a bit worried about expansion of the boards, especially as the clear I will be using will be a surface coating not a penetrative coating.
Also, thinking of using screws not nails and counter sinking them so I can putty the holes, because I don’t want to see the nail heads.
Any thoughts or opinions would be appreciated
Re: Help with decking2
Jan 19, 2010 1:06 pm
Recently spent a weekend repairing and replacing boards around the veranda at my fiance's parents house.
It was all treated pine and put down with a nail gun by the previous owners.
Well 10 years on its getting a bit sad, so 6 hours and about 200 screws later we'd replaced 15+ boards and screwed down the worst of the boards that were raised.
We'll definately be going with screws for our deck (when it eventually happens), a workmate recently built his merbau deck iirc it was about 5x4m was using 90mm or so boards and he ended up with about 800-850 screws to put in.
What really took the time though was the need to predrill each of the holes so the merbau didn't split near the endgrain. Took a few days but he never has to worry about it coming up over time.
In regards to having it solid (T&G) should work but you'd want to make sure there was ventilation underneath, depending of course of how much room you have underneath.
Personally i wouldn't fill the screw heads makes them much more difficult to get up if it ever become neccisary, that and personally i don't mind the look of S/S screwheads in constrast to the timber.
My two cents anyways.
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Re: Help with decking4
Jan 19, 2010 2:10 pm
you'd want to make sure there was ventilation underneath
This really bad picture is what I am thinking of, the black line around to bottom of the deck would be a small air gap, maybe about 2 – 3 cm that would go right round the perimeter of the deck to allow air flow, Apart from that, all the boards (even the ones down the side) would have no gaps. I am even thinking about painting the underside and the sides of the wood before I lay them to help prevent moisture getting into the wood.
i wouldn't fill the screw heads makes them much more difficult to get up if it ever become neccisary, that and personally i don't mind the look of S/S screwheads in constrast to the timber
I don’t mind this look too, however, what I don’t like is when you get the clear on the screw heads and they turn that orangey sort or colour, it seems like too much hard work to try and not get the clear on them
Re: Help with decking5
Jan 19, 2010 2:23 pm
Merbau is on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) red list of endangered species, categorised as "facing a high risk of extinction in the wild in the near future."
I did not know this, maybe I’ll use Jarrah. If anyone has any other suggestions for a wood to use that has a natural colour like Merbau or Jarrah, please let me know.
Re: Help with decking6
Jan 20, 2010 12:37 am
There's not exactly an abundance of jarrah these days either Our WA forests are decimated but apparently well managed and healthy in their fauna populations. The black cockie numbers are dropping due to habitat removal of old growth timbers.
Re: Help with decking7
Jan 20, 2010 9:45 am
I’m trying to avoid having to stain the wood, I’m still a while away from making this decking happen yet so when the time nears I will do some more research.
But back to my original question, does anyone know if I’ll have any problems using tongue and groove boards? I’m still worried that the clear will crack when the wood expands and contract, or worse still, the wood itself bowing. Any thoughts?
Re: Help with decking9
Jan 20, 2010 11:19 am
Yeah I know it’s supposed to be reeded, but I don’t know what purpose it serves. Ok, so say I can get tongue and groove boards with reeding, will I have any problems?
Re: Help with decking10
Jan 21, 2010 8:52 am
Reeding is suppose to reduce rot etc as less contact of the board siting on the joist(?)
Sorry not my field of knowledge
Where you are coming from is where you are going to...
Re: Help with decking11
Jan 22, 2010 9:55 am
Anyone got photos of their decking they can post please?
Re: Help with decking12
Jan 22, 2010 7:06 pm
The great debate reeded side down or up.........
Here in Tassie they dont appear to finish the non reeded side cleanly, so it really has no choice but to go reeded side up.
I tried putting it reeded side downwards, by going through a pack and finding the best ones.Trouble was once the gaps opened up from drying out, the gaps became way too large for my liking. This was after I used a car jack to push them tightly together and nailing them off. They put a small 45 bevel on the edges of the non reeded side, but this just added to the exageration of the gaps.
I tore it all up, used it for my garden shed base and put some new decking down reeded side up.
Much better. Besides its mostly undercover so to hell with touching surface areas rotting.
Re: Help with decking13
Jan 27, 2010 1:02 pm
So back to my original question then, having no gaps between the boards, good or bad? I still don’t know if I will have problems in the future if I do it that way
Re: Help with decking14
Feb 22, 2010 7:49 pm
Very interesting reading , May i start with all decking should have a gap of minimum of 4mm for expansion and contraction its AUST STDS !!! If you lay tounge and groove out in an open area it runs the risk of buckle , the only time youve seen this was the old victorian homes under the verandahs ?? but many are now changing it to decking with a gap.
Merbau can be bought 100% Fully Sustainable Imported Timber !! We have it , as for Australian hardwoods they are on the janka rating a little more harder than Merbau BUT for stability Merbau is FAR more stable !! Hence why its the most prefered decking timber , the only other timer more stable than Merbau is Teak but you will pay a fortune for teak.
As for the reeded timber is there for air flow ??? Check all our Australian spotted gum etc its smooth all round no reeding !!! Our Decking started in the 70s around the old Clark pools , and the reeding came into production then for NON SLIP !!! ask any indonesian manufacturer , they now think we are mad because we noe lay it up side down ??, it was the T.V shows (back yard blitz ) etc that came up with the notion it was for air flow ??
And as for filling screw holes my thoughts would be the filler will work out in time !!
I hope this has answered a couple of the concerns ?
Cheers Trevor !!
Re: Help with decking15
Feb 22, 2010 8:50 pm
Would leave a greater gap for wider boards due to expansion 6 mm
also coat both sides of boards with oil etc, otherwise cupping is more likely.
use 65 mm screws for wider boards
Re: Help with decking16
Feb 23, 2010 7:03 am
Thanks for the info no nail decking and cherub, that’s the sort of info I am after, I guess I will have to have a gap between the boards then, I just think it would look stunning if it had no gaps. Just a couple of other questions…
1. How do I make sure that the Merbau I am getting is Fully Sustainable?
2. How do I get a copy of the Aust Standards for Decking?
Re: Help with decking18
Feb 23, 2010 2:11 pm
Re: Help with decking20
Feb 23, 2010 3:39 pm
Well I want the smallest gap I can between the boards, I don’t know what width board I will be using yet, but I want the wider board (I think they are about 130mm). I will also be building the deck partly over slab, and partly over dirt, so I guess what the standards are for all that, plus anything else you can think of.
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