Two common decking issues nailed
Every year, before decking the halls for Christmas, the timber industry finds itself smack-bang in outdoor decking season. It seems the minute the weather warms up and the days grow longer, homeowners become extra keen to get their outdoor entertaining areas in shape for summer. That’s very welcome news for the market and we thought we’d take this opportunity to share a couple of items of important information.
Ripple top decking
Contrary to its name, ripple top decking is always meant to be installed ripple-face down. There is a common misconception that the ripples (also known as reeds or grooves) are either an aesthetic feature or a non-slip function. The boards are designed to go ripple-face down in order to provide better air circulation under the boards and minimise the chance of rot. Ultimately, when correctly installed, the ripples help to protect the structural integrity of the deck and provide greater longevity.
Floor joist spacing
Another important factor in decking is the spacing between the floor joists. Typical spacings would be 450mm or 600mm and the wider the spacing, the thicker the decking should be in order to minimise springiness. When a deck is being renovated, it can often be a good idea not to replace the decking with the same product. Instead, a thicker decking product may be warranted for better results.
As a general rule of thumb, a deck that’s intended for family barbecues and outdoor living should have 450mm centres with 18mm hardwood or 600mm centres with 22mm hardwood. If using 22mm pine, then 450mm centres are still recommended. In the case of a deck that needs to hold far greater weight such as a carport attached to a stilt house, 250mm centres would be recommended for 22mm hardwood decking. It should go without saying that engineering specifications must always be heeded.