Composite lumber Wikipedia Composite lumber is a material that is a mixture of wood fiber, plastic, and some type of binding . This eventually leads to boards drooping between the joists. But plastic decking has its problems. Some blind fastening systems are installed with a specialty nailer and others require a unique driver tip for their screws. I have some projects coming up that I am using PVC for exterior applications and I will keep in mind what you said to watch out for. Next time you begin a deck installation (or any woodworking project), take a moment to think about the potential humidity and temperature change throughout the year and what kind of sun and rain exposure the lumber will face. And on the opposite leg they file "V" grooves to evenly space the screws. When installing composite decking, I use PVC trim on all pressure treated framing. Your decking installation instructions will likely include recommendations for spacing (gapping) between the boards. “Remember, don’t miter outside corners of the ribbon or post wraps.” could you elaborate more (especially on post wraps). Do you thinks its ok to butt the ends of Azek pvc boards tight or say a 64th” gap? This means that it moves differently in each direction, and this movement will vary based on how the wood was cut. Initially, Trex decking and railing does cost more, board for board, than wood decking and railing. And thanks to Seven Trust& 39;s wood-free non-porous surface it does not support algae growth. Installing composite decking can’t be done like wood decking where you can slam it tight together when it’s still green and then shrinks as it dries. In exterior concrete, joints widen during cold weather because of cooling contraction and get narrower during hot weather as the concrete expands. Wet air expands wood, dry air shrinks it. Install the first piece flush with the edge of the framing, then the next piece so it overlaps by 1/8″- 1/4″ to create a reveal. Your email address will not be published. In the above scenario where I installed the deck in the summer, I could install it with very little gap so that in the winter I would end up with a typical 1/4″ gap. To make this line use the 3-4-5 method, but with the largest denomination possible as per the size of deck being built. My favorite type of wood is ACQ Spruce for its strength; however it is not the most visually appealing. Install was done when temps were in the 30’s to 50’s and it gets up to 90 and very humid in our area (Tennessee). This moisture … With composite decking you have to create the gap right from the get go. Believe it not, aluminum decking stays cooler in the sun than most other decking materials due to its heat-dissipation properties. The amount of expansion and contraction will vary depending upon Solid composite decking will expand and contract more with temperature changes due to its greater mass. If you use a picture frame detail, you should start with the perimeter boards so you have a hard edge to measure for your field boards. mainly for the reasons you stated about the chance of fracture.. mind you the camo screws are basically #6 trim screws so they have little to no drawing power. when you say butt them tight do you mean end to end or side to side… length wise i would go ahead and do it but along side i would only butt them hard tight together if your installing in the warm season.. because it will shrink down. That spacing seems to work well on PT decking. This wood is cheap and readily available. Thanks Rick, azec flat stock is too unstable to mitre.. it moves far too much with thermal expansion and contraction.. the combination of that and the framing expanding and contracting with moisture content will cause the mitre to not only open up but it can literally blow the azec apart which will then need to be replaced, with smaller stock azec you can mitre it such as moldings.. but the larger the stock the more it will expand as with thermal expansion. The installer cut the fabic close the wall and wrapped 1″ triangular wood strips ( like 1/4 rnd) and nailed them in. Personally, I use a 30 degree cut because it moves less and there is less of a chance of shrinkage because less surface is created. Kind Regards. Now not only will the gap change, but it may not change consistently across the entire deck. Many composite decking products have been known to expand and contract readily. If you are lucky, that original 1/4″ gap is gone. Vekadeck is the best vinyl deck board in the entire industry. Solid composite decking will expand and contract more with temperature changes. He completed a 4-1/2 year apprenticeship in 2008. Also, what is the best adhesive to bond pvc wrapped composite boards with wood or concrete. I was thinking a similar colored outdoor caulk would work. I have a cedar deck I’m going to redo with Azek. Compressed-fibre cement is the latest kid to arrive on the alternative … Required fields are marked *. if you mean the deck boards themselves you can gap them as composite typically doesnt grow and shrink in its width. i am aware that composite does grow in its length as it warms up but i have never gapped butt joints. The 1/4" expansion on the 20ft board is in lenghth, not width. I hope the composites hold up. That’s why the board ends should never be installed tight against one another. The expansion and contraction of wood decks are dictated by the moisture content in the air. However, concrete does indeed expand when it gets hot or when the moisture content changes. i typically gap the boards with a regular vinyl siding hand nail. Usually the boards expand beyond that 1/4″ gap, and now the boards are buckling and possibly cracking since they have no place to go. I inspected the deck in winter (30 degrees) and it looked just like it did when I finished. Now you can get away with that 1/4″ gap in the winter, and you will find that it remains very close to the same throughout much of the year. As long as you screw off each board as you go (not just tack and finish later), you can butt the boards tight with no ill effects. Veka invented Cellular PVC decking years ago, and in recent years they’ve beefed it up and added an ASA (acrylic) capstock to it to further help resist fading. I was wondering what you believe is the best retaining system? Ever have a customer tell you the following when beginning a deck installation? Like a stopped watch that is only right twice a day, those deck boards are going to expand and contract as the seasons change, and no matter what you do, the gap between the boards will only be consistent for a certain window of time. Join our growing forum with over 3,000 posts per week and start winning. In the article entitled “Swelling Capstock Decking” in the Sept 2011 issue of Professional Deck Builder, it was stated “that someone very soon would launch a product specifically meant to seal ends and cuts on capped WPCs”… Has that happened? You still want a little gap just to let rainwater drain through. Required fields are marked *. Follow these guidelines carefully, as they will ensure there is adequate air flow and drainage at all times. Deck Layout: The most first and most important step for installing composite decks is layout. in the last 3 1/2 years i beleive weve only done about 4 wood decks, the rest have been composite. The decking has slots in the side of it. As with many things in life, you get what you pay for. Jeff, Credits. Now your Chihuahua just fell through the gap between the deck boards! What are your comments on these situations. Whenever there is a freeze the moisture in the wood expands by about 10%. This increase in demand has created in many new composite deck brands such as: ChoiceDek, CorrectDeck CX, MoistureShield, TimberTech, Latitudes Composite Decking, Rhino Deck, Fiberon, GeoDeck and ROYAL Decks. Composite deckingwill expand and contractwith temperature changes more than honestyly kevin, i do not know about metal stringers. There are a few other options available that maintain the original wood color and don’t need to be pressure treated because they are naturally rot resistant including Western Red Cedar, Cypress and Redwood. My carpenters space decking using a cheap plastic speed square. In other words, the wood will move, but only in one direction (contracting instead of further expanding). If the boards are running out of kilter by more than 5/16”, it’s important to immediately correct them. By summer time those boards have expanded by more than 1/4″. honestly I’m kind of confused as to why the contractor would have Caulked the decking to where it meets the house that’s a very uncommon practice it leads me to believe that a ledger flashing was omitted which is a major no no in deck construction. No brackets anywhere, just screws. During the winter, when the humidity is significantly lower, the wood will dry out and reduce in size. their virtually non existant in my region, ive never used them. I’m guessing you bought it at a big box store where the Staff weren’t overly knowledgeable in the product. I’ve built many azek decks (pvc composite). How homeowners relax on their deck varies by person. I did a deck two years ago when it was 60 in the morning and 124 on the deck at 4pm. It is important to recognize that composite decking expands and contracts with heat and cold. Composite decking does seem prevalent in our area. When it gets warmer that moisture will contract by … How to stop the madness? It’s imperative to keep the overhang even. PVC decking is resistant to moisture and rot because synthetic fibers are not absorbent. or is it at the very end of the deck. Because of this growing trend, composite decks have become the most popular type of deck. Composite Decking vs Wood - GardenStructure.com › Home › Articles - Similar to Composite Decking vs Wood - GardenStructure.com Jan 6, 2014 Many millions of dollars are spent to glamorize composite decking .. Virgin Vinyl decking does expand and contract a great deal and this Can anyone tell me about how much ipe will expand and contract ? What is the solution you ask? I saw your question about Azek deck expanding on contractortalk. Remember, PVC trim doesn’t react well with hot and cold climates and it will expand and contract which causes it to open up or buckle. One of the first decks I did with PVC trim completely fell apart when the 6×6 began to twist after it expanded. You are here: What colors and styles are available? The wood itself does very little expansion or contraction, however the moisture in the wood expands and contracts quite a bit. We are relatively dry in Colorado bu the Sun takes a toll on exterior woodwork. They seem like they could provide lateral stability. Having a proper gap between boards is very important. my first question is how old is the deck itself reason being if the framing is more than 10 years old you might be a risk of spending a lot of money on new decking only need to replace the entire deck in 5 years because It is rotting. Fast forward to the dead of winter, and the temperature is now 25° with the humidity around 25-30%. That's why you need expansion joints in bridges, buildings, and other structures. Seems to be a significant issue. Deck has tuffdeck (exterior vinyl) over 1/2″ plywood with 2″metal flashing over the three edges. Across the Midwest, South, and East coast the decking is swollen with high humidity. Ripped 2″×4″×10’pressure treated wood to 2″×4″×10′ and strapped the floor every 16″ and to edges. Some prefer a 45 degree bevel cut, but I think that’s too large of an angle. To investigate how gases expand and contract with temperature, using latex balloons. Joints were mitered on the picture frame. In the simplest terms, wood decks are not built in climate-controlled environments and are susceptible to expansion and contraction due to moisture. ContractorTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of … it grows and shrinks along its length. For butt joints, butt together on a warm day or leave a 1/8" gap on a cold day and fasten close to the [length] edge w/ two screws per board. In a perfect world we can assume even expansion in both direction, so each board would swell 1/8″ on both sides. The PVC trim will cause the deck to overhang the framing by 1-3/4″ to create a 1″ finished overhang. Jeff, I’ve read through this comment string and just thought I’d commend you for continuing to respond to the posted comments, it’s been over 4 years. There are so many fastener systems to sort through now. This fact will greatly influence how you go about working with the material to reduce waste and make your project easier. Your email address will not be published. There are only a few composite deck installation steps that might require a new tool. How Boards Expand and Contract: When installing composite decking it is important to remember that it expands and contracts; the hotter it gets the more it will expand. Is this right & something I will just have to live with – I do hope not, as it looks quite unsightly & I have clearly made a bad mistake having this type of decking. Once all the handrail posts have been framed, the next step in installing composite decks is to start laying the boards. “I want a 1/4″ gap between my deck boards” 2″1/2 screw toe nailing from each side. The posts, porch roofs and the beam of the roof have PVC trim. The traditional material has been pressure-treated wood. This question may be asked more than any other when it comes to installing a deck. Please let us know how things went. The good news to this is that installing a deck during this weather assures you that your Ipe decking (or whatever wood species you choose) is at one extreme of the wood movement spectrum. It’s faded with corrosion holes. The easy answer is 1/4″. Galvanized nails will bleed over time and stain the PVC trim and result in an unsightly finish. its similar to the kreg system but requires no pre drilling.. i really really didnt like using it. Minimal movement is one key element to Ipe’s incredible longevity. its hard for me to say but you should definitely keep an eye on it and voice your concerns with the company building your deck, Please help. The plugs are made from the same material as the deck and are included also. Temperature fluctuations: PVC decking will expand and contract with temperature changes. Wood expands and contracts mostly across its width. Instead use cortex treated screws with PVC trim plugs or stainless steel nails. For a herringbone design you have to snap a line that runs 45 degrees to the outside ribbon. Composite and plastic decking will also expand and contract significantly over time which compromises the rigidity. 3. You can’t stop it. Lumberock® expands/contracts on the butt ends of the boards and requires a small gap between the boards to accommodate this. There is no difference in the performance of solid and hollow composite decking with temperature changes. i have dealt with the mold issue, last year i was contacted by a homeowner that had a 2 year old composite deck. In reality, boards don’t always expand evenly, and it will vary depending on where the board was located within the original log. Thanks for posting this. That will depend upon air temperature at the time of installation (Read this to learn more). You can also split the difference by snapping a line through the length of the deck which shifts both ends and avoids creating a speed wobble. “I want no gap between the boards” or, Once you know the design of the deck, it is important to choose the correct material. Top. Through the winter the boards didn't shrink at all. The moisture content of the decking boards, how long they have had time to acclimate to your environment. Because it won’t shrink or expand in changing temperatures, it doesn’t gap. Your decking has now shrunk another couple of 16ths of an inch, and that half inch decking gap is closer to 5/8″. proper fastening goes a long way. How do you account for the gap that is created due to the different thickness created with the thinner Azek deck board where it meets the stucco of my house? Wood moves, get over it. Feel free to tweak the miter angle to keep the overhang even, but this is usually a sign that the framing layout was off. Composite decking does not splinter or crack and does not become as slippery as solid plastic in winter months. 5. A board cut across the grain, or perpendicular to the growth rings, may expand as much as 1/4 inch for every 12 inches of width, while a quarter-sawn board may expand 1/8 inch. What percentage of people that you work for are going with composite decks right now? When it shrinks in the winter you will not see right inside the joint; however, this is only for flat stock. As well; your recommended make/model of composite. This means your starting perimeter board’s inside edge needs to be exactly 3-3/4″ from the outside of the framing. Yes, I Did This Project! What is the best method(s) to attach composite board to metal stringers and minimize fastener heads appearing on the surface. just how much of the caulking is smeared is it over the entire surface of the deck or just one piece of decking as its probably easier just replace that one piece of decking instead of painting. there are a couple members here who specialzie in high end decks and are located in the U.S where metal framing for decks is becoming more common, I installed composite decking a few months ago using Camo screws. If we pick a day in early October and assume 50% humidity and 65°, then the Ipe decking will have shrunk approximately 3/16 of an inch. (The spacing determined by the width of the head.) We have not found any info on what you can seal the but ends with to keep out the wood rot. Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death . on the ends i would keep things tight as the boards will only shrink as the temperature drops.. theres nothing worse than going back to a composite job and seeing huge gaps where things have shrunk so much, Hi Sir, I’m building a Timber Tech deck and am not a carpenter but I have had a carpenter help at times. Thanks, the camo system is meant to be used on a full board not the type with a slot in it with a slotted deck boards you need to use Tiger clips or something of that nature there are several different brands on the market they all do the same thing.

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