3 Ways to Install Your New Deck

Posted July 3rd, 2013 by Decking Materials

When it comes time to install your deck, there are several methods. It’s a good idea to decide exactly what method you’ll use before buying the material, since different techniques have different requirements.

To help you decide which installation method is right for your project, here’s a quick rundown:

Face Screw Method

This is what most people think of at first. It definitely has some merit, being both the fastest and cheapest method available. Standard boards are simply screwed straight down onto the joists. Pretty straightforward. There are a few downsides, however. For one, the finished deck will show the screw heads, which can tarnish the look you’re going for. Also, this method doesn’t allow for the natural expansion and contraction of the wood boards. As moisture and temperature levels change, the screws will be pulled back and forth, loosening and popping out.

If you choose to go with the face screw method, here are the materials you’ll need:

  • Standard (S4S E4E) Deck Boards
  • Stainless Steel Screws

Plug Method

The next method is a natural extension of the face screw technique. The key difference is that the screws are countersunk into the board, and a matching piece of wood is used to plug the hole and hide the screw head. The main improvement is in appearance. The main drawback is the increased effort required to glue the plugs in place and sand them down to create a level surface.

If you choose to go with the plug method, here are the materials you’ll need:

  • Standard (S4S E4E) Deck Boards
  • Stainless Steel Screws
  • Wood Plugs

Hidden Fastener Method

This last method is the most recommended. When it comes to appearance and long-term deck performance, it is easily the best, but there are also a few drawbacks that you should be aware of. First, unless you buy pregrooved deck boards, this method will be very labor-intensive, since you’ll have to manually cut grooves in the sides of the boards. Second, replacing damaged boards can be a serious hassle.

The key upside is no screws will be visible in the finished deck. Also, the unique fastening system allows for expansion and contraction, which means less cupping and no screw popup.

If you choose to go with the hidden fastener method, here are the materials you’ll need:

  • Pregrooved Deck Boards
  • Stainless Steel Screws
  • Hidden Deck Fasteners
  • Wood Plugs (for end boards)

Conclusion

So there you have it. ?Weigh the pros and cons of each installation method against your unique project and skill set, then get started building your new deck!

Wood Decking- What Composite & PVC Companies Don’t Want You to Know

Posted March 16th, 2010 by ipemadeira

The decking industry has grown exponentially over the last two decades. There are many companies that have come and gone over that time. Many people are familiar with the terms composite decking and PVC decking. The idea of such a product has merit. No maintenance, durable, consistent, warranted and several colors to choose from, sounds too good to be true. The green movement has prompted many people to look for an eco-friendly deck to help the environment. What’s not to like? Let’s take a look at the facts.

Composite decking is made of wood particles mainly sawdust and resin (some recycled). The idea is simple enough but what happens when you take plastic (which by the way comes from petroleum) and mix it with saw dust? The lawsuits and complaints found all say the same things. Warping, discoloration, de-lamination, injuries, molding, fungus, blistering, rotting and splintering are just a few of the problems that have been reported. Warranties have not been honored, businesses have gone bankrupt trying to resolve issues and lawsuits and customers have been left to figure it out on their own. What I don’t get is how any company that makes composite decking can state it is a green product. The resin even when recycled is made of plastic, a petroleum product and one of the two top carbon emitting products produced. Recycled resin has been tested and is not as resilient and durable as the original plastic composition. The lifetime of the deck must be considered and also where does the deck go at the end of its lifetime?

Polyvinyl chloride commonly referred to as PVC is a manufactured plastic with toxic byproducts. Dioxin (potent carcinogen), ethylene dichloride and vinyl chloride are made in the production of PVC and causes health problems. Some of the problems are neurological damage, birth defects, impaired child development, endocrine disruption, endometriosis, immune system damage, reproductive damage and cancer. This is the material used in PVC decking. In 1998 there were attempts to recycle this product that were considered a failure by the Association of Post Consumer Plastics Recyclers. The dioxin in PVC is a persistent toxin that does not break down rapidly and migrates in the air via wind and in the water transporting itself in the fatty tissues of sea life. It has been discovered in dangerous concentrations in the tissues of whales, polar bears, fish and Inuit mother’s breast milk. The lethal additives such as lead, cadmium and organotins used in PVC used to keep it from breaking down is known to cause cancer, lead poisoning and asthma. Does this sound like the type of product you want your children, pets, environment and yourself exposed to?

Now let’s take a look at natural wood decking. Yes the original materials used to make homes and structures from the beginning of time. A hardwood such as ipe will have a lifetime of 40 years without any treatment and over 100 years with one application of UV inhibitor. Ipe is a tropical wood that has grown in popularity for its beauty, density, resistance to mold and insects and longevity. This hardwood is used in commercial projects such as the Miami Beach Boardwalk for good reason. The Lacey Act, GFTN (Global Forest & Trade Network), IBAMA and other organizations have helped to keep illegal logs from coming into the country. You can now get FSC certified decking for LEED projects or for your own peace of mind. Rest assured this product will break completely down without harming the environment, is completely recyclable and sustainable. What we have been looking for has been around all along. What’s not to like?

The Hardwood Wrench Deck Straightening Tool Delivers

Posted August 10th, 2009 by ipemadeira

The Hardwood Wrench? for Your Decking Installation

Are you in the market for a new deck? Looking to install one this summer? Maybe you install decks for a living. If you have ever installed wood decks such as Ipe decking you will want to hear about a new tool out on the market the Hardwood Wrench?. This amazing tool is a self locking deck board straightening assistant while you are installing your deck. Now you don?t need someone to hold the board in place while you install.

This easy one man operation cam locks in place and straightens the deck board. It is easily reversible with no extra tools needed. The quality of this tool is top notch. It adjusts to various sized joist thicknesses. The Hardwood Wrench? is made of high quality anodized aircraft grade aluminum with hardwood handle for longevity and strength. It is also rather light for the construction but heavy duty enough for your toughest application. Another great feature is that it is made in the USA.

So stop wasting time and labor, get yourself this product. It is new on the market but has a website and is already in high demand. This heavy duty tool is constructed for the professional to be used multiply times. If decking is your specialty than you can not afford to be without it. Anything that speeds up installation, gives you more precision and simplifies is worth looking into.

The Ipe Clip Hidden Deck Fasteners

Posted August 10th, 2009 by ipemadeira

The hidden deck fasteners have become the hottest thing to hit the decking market. This product gives a seamless and custom look to any deck. The Ipe Clip brand fastener is the one I recommend for several reasons. They offer several models in 3 colors for wood and composite decking and a quick and easy installation process plus they have 3 times the strength of competing fasteners. This product is made in the USA and has many dealers through out the US and internationally.

The standard is recommended for air-dried wood and composite made with fiberglass-reinforced materials that is up up to three times the strength of the other fasteners. This model as well as the others is available in brown, black and grey to match any of your decking needs. The fasteners work great with decking grooved with a biscuit jointer since the size allows for plenty of tolerance within the cut. The installation steps are quite simplistic. Secure the first deck board to the joist with a 90 degree vertical screw, can install an Ipe Plug if this is an Ipe deck. Place an Ipe Clip fastener into the board groove above the joist, than run a screw at 45 degrees (for hardwoods) or 90 degrees for composite decking. Slide the next deck board over the exposed half of the previously installed fastener. That is it and the process is the same for all models.

The Extreme Ipe Clip brand fasteners are recommended for air dried wood and composite wood as well but include a premium grade stainless steel reinforced insert molded inside the fastener for increased holding power. This makes it nearly unbreakable and provides maximum holding strength in extreme hot and cold climates. This model is recommended for stronger hardwoods such as Ipe, Cumaru, Tigerwood, etc.

The Extreme KD hidden deck fasteners are made out of a pliable material with a hollow leg that compresses as kiln-dried material expands on its width, this model also contains the stainless steel insert. The soft body allows for expansion of the deck boards, while the rigid stainless steel insert maintains maximum holding power to keep the boards held firmly to the joist. This model is suitable for kiln-dried wood and many composite materials. If you are not certain what model to choose from than this is the one for you as it has all the properties available for strength, durability and longevity. The website http://www.ipeclip.com has easy to follow instructions and detailed information as well as contact information for your purchasing needs.

If you are building a new deck, you want it to look nice without screw holes all over the top of the deck plus it won’t snag your feet.

Ipe for Docks & Piers (Marine Use)

Posted August 6th, 2009 by ipemadeira

 

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you are thinking of building a dock? Longevity, durability and something that will age nicely are some considerations. Cost is always a factor and once you?ve been in a house for 5-10 years, it goes by quickly. If you have to replace one over that timeframe you will understand the first three options I mentioned and why I mentioned them first. For you environmentally correct out there, ipe wood(tabebuia spp.) has no chemical treatments as the wood is so dense non is required and it will literally sink if put in water. This means safety for our marine life and ultimately us and our children as well. The fact that you won?t have to replace it several times over your lifetime will also account for some green points. FSC? certified Ipe is readily available for those of us who would like more reassurance that strict guidelines above and beyond government regulations were adhered to and LEED points are available on projects that are adhering to specific materials. Ipe has a life expectancy of well over 40-50 years surpassing 100 years in some instances with sealer application.

Ipe is long known for it?s hardness and strength and is the best choice if you don?t want to worry about replacing your dock or pier but rather enjoy the waterfront you?ve invested in. Nothing is worse than having to replace something that if done the first time properly with the right materials would be saving you a headache now. The durability and strength of the wood will keep it looking new for years to come and you can preserve the color by sealing it. The fact it comes from an area in Brazil where there is a lot of rain and sun helps when you will place it in the same type of environment where it was derived. The warm rich brown, red colors keep it looking rich and beautiful. Many commercial projects have invested in this wood, such as Atlantic City Boardwalk. This is of course because of the research they have done and seen that the investment is well worth the cost.