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Installing hardwood decking


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I know that with tanallised softwood decking you're supposed to leave expansion/drainage gaps between planks to prevent it from rotting, but I have some hardwood decking which I think is Iroko and I'd like to butt the planks up together. Is that possible with hardwood or do I still need gaps?

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9 minutes ago, blackrose said:

I know that with tanallised softwood decking you're supposed to leave expansion/drainage gaps between planks to prevent it from rotting, but I have some hardwood decking which I think is Iroko and I'd like to butt the planks up together. Is that possible with hardwood or do I still need gaps?

 

When Iroko decking is laid on lumpy water boats it is normally caulked between the planks to allow for thermal expansion.

I think if you put them down tightly together you'll find that it ends up 'corrugated' as they expand and lift.

 

You'll need something like this :

 

Sikaflex 290DC Pro Deck Caulk Sealant 300ml - UKSealants

 

Sikaflex 290DC Pro Deck Caulk Sealant 300ml

Edited by Alan de Enfield
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1 minute ago, blackrose said:

I'm not actually using them for a deck so they won't need caulking as they don't need to be waterproof.

 

Perhaps I'll just leave a 2mm gap. 

 

 

 

Caulking also takes up the expansion constraction gap.

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Just now, Alan de Enfield said:

 

Caulking also takes up the expansion constraction gap.

 

Yes but the reason caulk is used rather than  just a gap is to make the deck waterproof. I accept I may need to leave an expansion gap, however I don't need to fill that gap with caulk because I'm fine with water going through.

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I'm sure it is asthetically pleasing, but the question isn't really about caulk. I don't need caulk and won't be using it. I simply asked the question about whether the planks can be butted up against each other.

 

It sounds like that's not a good idea. However, I know that some people laying softwood decking butt the planks together because new planks have a high moisture content and as they lose moisture they shrink and a gap appears between them. I assume this isn't the case for hardwood planks especially since mine were reclaimed and are at least 20 years old, so I'll have to leave a small expansion gap between them because they're bound to expand a bit during the warmer months.

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Just out of interest, 'caulking' is the cotton stuffing between the planks, the waterproof filler that goes in after that is the 'paying'. Not a lot of people know that, as some bloke once said. :)

 

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1 hour ago, blackrose said:

I'm sure it is asthetically pleasing, but the question isn't really about caulk. I don't need caulk and won't be using it. I simply asked the question about whether the planks can be butted up against each other.

 

The answer, in my experience,  is "yes".  These are butted mahogony (recycled, I hasten to add!) strips.  They weather to a pleasant greyish colour.  No problem - they don't move and don't need caulking.

 

P6290457.JPG.1ae28b7ee2c09bfb02ab3e65206bcdaa.JPG

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, koukouvagia said:

The answer, in my experience,  is "yes".  These are butted mahogony (recycled, I hasten to add!) strips.  They weather to a pleasant greyish colour.  No problem - they don't move and don't need caulking.

 

P6290457.JPG.1ae28b7ee2c09bfb02ab3e65206bcdaa.JPG

 

Thanks, so they haven't expanded and buckled. Are they laying directly on the deck? The fact that they're butted together and laying on a deck doesn't trap water and lead to them rotting or steel corrosion underneath? How long have they been down there?

 

I decided to use the hardwood planks I've got on my new bow well benches rather than buying phenolic ply. I laid the planks on the frame and jumped up and down on it with a neighbour and it was fine.

 

I'd like to butt the planks together like this but don't want trapped water between the planks to rot them or expansion to buckle the whole thing. I don't mind a 2mm gap but no wider as you see the frame and it's not aesthetically pleasing. I think I'll have a 2mm gap to be on the safe side.

 

 

IMG_20210318_194356.jpg

 

IMG_20210318_194429.jpg

Edited by blackrose
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10 hours ago, Sea Dog said:

Just out of interest, 'caulking' is the cotton stuffing between the planks, the waterproof filler that goes in after that is the 'paying'. Not a lot of people know that, as some bloke once said. :)

 

Canal and River Trust at Newark certainly don't know that. They do know about corking though! Perhaps @blackrose could use cork tiles instead? ?

 

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of course you should leave gaps in that situation, Mike. 

- the planks are exposed to the weather and will expand/contract slightly.

- you must allow any rainwater to drain through the seating.

 

 

 

Edited by Murflynn
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4 hours ago, blackrose said:

 

Thanks, so they haven't expanded and buckled. Are they laying directly on the deck? The fact that they're butted together and laying on a deck doesn't trap water and lead to them rotting or steel corrosion underneath? How long have they been down there?

 

I had the wood on the deck for about ten years (I sold the boat a couple of years ago).  The planks are about 1/2" thick and were laid directly onto steel and well anchored with nuts and bolts.  I never took them up, so I don't know if water ever managed to percolate through - I doubt it though.  I've just remembered I put a thin line of Sikaflex where the wood butted up to the steel cants.

 

eta: Originally I used ash.  It looked terrific, but was not a success because the wood warped and I replaced it with the mahogony.

Edited by koukouvagia
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1 hour ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

Canal and River Trust at Newark certainly don't know that. They do know about corking though!

I'd missed that thread at first pass! @matty40s earned himself a well overdue (over-dieu?) greenie as a result, so methinks you should be similarly rewarded Jen... so you've been done!

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47 minutes ago, koukouvagia said:

I had the wood on the deck for about ten years (I sold the boat a couple of years ago).  The planks are about 1/2" thick and were laid directly onto steel and well anchored with nuts and bolts.  I never took them up, so I don't know if water ever managed to percolate through - I doubt it though.  I've just remembered I put a thin line of Sikaflex where the wood butted up to the steel cants.

 

eta: Originally I used ash.  It looked terrific, but was not a success because the wood warped and I replaced it with the mahogony.

 The unsuccessful attempt to use ash. 

 

Backdeck2.jpg.0b893b5ac9952127068f999d0d036f4f.jpg

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