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Wood Treatment and Protection
Pressure Treated Lumber
Not all wood called pressure treated is the same, so dont compare boards just on price. Make sure you do your homework before buying any pressure treated wood:
Wood species: At Decks & Docks, all of our wood is Southern Yellow Pine, a sustainable, dense variety known for its longevity.
Grade: Lumber grades indicate number of knots and imperfections in the wood and the straightness of the grain. Decks & Docks only sells the higher grades of lumber, which means fewer knots, consistent boards, and longer life.
Treatment: Chemical treatment levels affect how long wood will last in marine or other harsh environments. Always look at the tags on the end of boards. If you are building near water or ground level you should look for a wood that is approved for Ground Contact. If you are building on or near salt water you should look for a wood that is treated for Marine Grade environments. At most big box stores the boards are not meant to be used near salt water or harsh marine environments. Make sure your investment lasts and buy wood from Decks & Docks, the expert in marine and coastal lumber.
These species are treasured for their rich crimson color and natural beauty. In addition, their tannins and oils make them naturally resistant to rot, decay, and voracious insects. Theyre stable and much more resistant to warping and splitting than PT lumber.
About These Pressure Treated Lumber Weight Values
The following table provides the heaviest approximate weight per linear foot of pressure treated lumber.
The weight values we provide are for the wood immediately after being treated, for the wood after it has dried thoroughly, and for untreated wood with the same dimensions.
The values given are for one of the densest wood species, longleaf pine , commonly used to produce pressure treated lumber.
This table is intended to give you an idea as to what pressure-treated wood might weigh at its heaviest.
The freshly treated column in the chart shows the weight for the wood when it contains the highest amount of water commonly added to the wood during treatment .
Leaving Gaps Between Pressure Treated Wood Deck Boards
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Whether to leave a gap between pressure treated wood deck boards depends on how dry the wood youre using is.
- Leave Gap: If the pressure treated wood has been kiln dried after treatment , leave a 1/8 gap between the boards when attaching, since the wood will expand slightly over time.
- No Gap: If the pressure treated wood hasnt been dried and is still wet with preservative, butt the deck boards together when attaching, since the wood will shrink some when it dries.
Watch this video to find out more.
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Pressure Treated Deck Pricing And Installation Cost Checklist
- Get at least 3-5 estimates before hiring a Pressure Treated Deck contractor estimates are typically free, unless its a service call for a repair.
- Expect the Pressure Treated Deck prices to fluctuate between various companies each and every company have different operation expenses and over-head.
- Try to get prices in late Fall, early winter you should expect aggressive pricing discounts by waiting for a contractors down season.
- Try to budget and additional 7-15% more on top of what our calculator gives out I.e difficult configurations, patterns, the additional complexity of your home will add to the Pressure Treated Deck costs.
- Visit every supply house that sell your particular brand of Pressure Treated Deck and try to negotiate a better price with each supplier I save on average 20%.
- Remember, there are multiple styled homes in the U.S from: Contemporary, colonial, cape-cod style, ranch, bungalow, victorian, etc. So keep that in mind and try to budget a little more, before starting your Pressure Treated Deck project.
Consider All Three Dimensions When Selecting Your Deck Boards
Some deck boards are thicker or wider and some have rounded edges. All perform a bit differently.
Width: Six-inch wide boards are ideal in most cases. Four inch wide material takes longer to install, creates more gaps and requires a lot more fastenersbut you can use it. Eight inch wide boards, because of their greater width, have more of a tendency to crack and cup avoid using them.
Thickness: Radius-edge, 5/4 material has become extremely common. In most cases, it requires a joist spacing of 16 in. for proper support. If your joists are spaced at 24 in. or youre running your deck boards at a diagonal, you may need to use 2-by boards. Avoid boards that are only 3/4 in. thick. They have a wimpy feel underfoot even with closer joist spacing.
Length: When possible, buy decking that can run the full length of your deck. All lumberyards and home centers carry 16-ft. deck boards, but many also stock or can order 20- and 24-ft. boards, though they may cost more. Full-length material allows you to avoid butting boards end to end, which can invite trouble the ends of boards are more absorbent, slower to dry out and more susceptible to rotting, swelling and splintering. Fasteners driven close to the ends also tend to split the wood, making the ends even more vulnerable.
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Grades And Moisture Content For Deck Lumber
Lumber comes in an almost bewildering number of grades, which describe the prevalence of knots, the overall appearance, and the strength. For structural members, choose a No. 2 grade or lumber graded as standard. For decking and railings, some grades are free of knots, but expensive. Choose the best your budget will allow.
A lumber-grade stamp will indicate the quality of the stock and note its moisture content. For framing, air-dried lumber is adequate. Use S-dry or MC-15 lumber for decking and rails.
Grade stamps differ from species to species, and board markings differ from dimension stamps. A PT stamp specifies the treatment chemical, treatment depth, and other data. Pay special attention to both the grade and the moisture content of untreated lumber.
B-grade redwood has only tiny knots and is all heartwooddesirable, but an expensive choice for decking. Construction heart has knots but no sapwood. Construction common has large knots and is partly sapwood.
If you want to retain the brown shade of these boards, plan to stain them every year or two. Otherwise, allow them to weather naturally.
Every Type Of Deck Board Has Its Pros And Cons
There are three main categories of deck boards, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.
Natural woods:The rich, natural color of redwood and cedar looks fantastic when the deck is new. These woods are also naturally stable and tend to lie flat with minimal checking or cracking. But natural woods will turn gray within the first year or two unless you regularly maintain them with a sealer or finish. Theyre also softer and more likely to get scratched and gouged when you drag furniture across them or shovel them in winter. This decking is more expensive.
Treated lumber:This material is strong, long lasting and the least expensive of your options. But often boards that arent kiln dried after treatment will shrink appreciably after theyre installed, creating wider spaces between the boards. And treated lumber has a greater tendency to crack once in place apply a water repellent every year or two to stabilize it. Treated lumber is the least expensive.
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Weight Of Water In Pressure
The noticeable extra weight of pressure treated lumber is due to the water added during the treatment process.
Typically, close to four gallons of water of water is added to each cubic foot of pressure-treated wood. This means that the wood weighs over 75% more when it comes out of the tank than when it goes in.
As the wood returns to its normal air dried weight over the following weeks or months, it also returns to its pre-treated weight.
Where To Use Different Types Of Lumber
Most deck designs don’t use one type of wood across all the elements of the structure. Use these guidelines to select lumber for your deck’s framing, posts, decking, and railings.
Framing: Unless your design requires the same wood throughout , pressure-treated lumber is a good choice for framing. Use lumber rated for ground contact for posts and framing members within six inches of the soil. Look for a grade stamp that says “ground contact” or indicates a treatment depth of 0.40 or greater. Some pressure-treated species are less porous than others, so they’re incised before being treated. These incisions still show after treatment, so place this lumber where it will be less visible. Wood that has been kiln-dried after treatment is the highest quality.
Posts: 4x4s or 6x6s are standard for deck posts. Cut cleats and stiffeners from 2x4s for joists and beams, use 2x6s, 2x8s, 2x10s, or 2x12s. Pick PT lumber with care. Some boards will be smaller than standard nominal sizes. An untreated 2×10 will measure 9-1/4 inches, a PT 2×10 may only be 9-1/8 inches wide.
These are the most visible parts of your deck, so you’ll want to use the best lumber you can afford. Redwood, cedar, and cypress, as well as the imported species, are good choices, but since most decking boards from domestic woods are sapwood and not rot-resistant, you should treat them.
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Production Drop Meets Consumer Demand
Todays shortfall took root early this spring, as the coronavirus began its spread in the U.S. Expecting a slowdown in home construction, lumber mills in North America cut production by almost half.
What they didnt expect was that do-it-yourselfers would spur a building boom. With home centers and lumber yards open as essential businesses, consumers with both the means and newfound time began to spend on home improvementslike wood decks.
Demand exploded for pressure-treated lumber, required for deck structures by many building codes. As The Wall Street Journal reports, saw mills have been caught unprepared, supplies havent met demand, and prices have soared. The spot price of lumber on financial markets is the highest its been in years, and more than double what it was just four months ago.
Whats going on is all DIY-driven, says James Rane Jr., vice president of manufacturing at Great Southern Wood Preserving, based in Abbeville, Ala., which obtains sawn pine from mills, pressure-treats it, and sells it to retailers under the name YellaWood. We cant get enough inventory for the demand, he says. And its not just usits everyone in the industry.
Rane says he cant be sure when the current supply will improve and prices will drop. Retailers arent making promises, either. Our merchandising and supply chain teams are working hard to replenish in-demand items as quickly as possible, Margaret Smith, a Home Depot spokesperson said in an email.
When Buying Cedar Or Redwood Decking Select Decking Boards Cut From Heartwood
Heartwood contains the natural preservative oils that give these woods their resistance to decay and insect attack. Heartwood in these species is the darker core of the tree. Sapwood lighter in color and cut from the outer edges of the treelacks these natural oils. If youre purchasing redwood, you may find two grades. Look for lumber labeled heartwood common, which has more heartwood than construction common.
Install decking boards good side up. Some swear decking boards should only be installed bark side up, the theory being, if a board cups, boards laid bark side up will warp into a hump that water will run off rather than a dip where water can settle. But tests have shown there are many reasons boards cup and they dont always cup according to bark side.
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The Right Lumber Is Key To A Successful Deck
Selecting lumber for your deck is a balancing act between budget, beauty, and quality. For example, the type of wood typically used for framing will be different than lumber you want for decking and railings. Before you begin building a deck, it’s important to get acquainted with the different types of lumber, from domestic to imported woods. You should plan to purchase the best wood your budget will allow, particularly when you’re deciding between pressure-treated lumber or high-quality, naturally resistant wood. You’ll also need to pay attention to the grade and the moisture content, which will determine how well your deck will stand up over time.
Check out our guide to the different types of lumber, including pressure-treated woods, naturally-resistant woods, imported varieties, and more. We’ll walk you through how to calculate how much lumber you’ll need.
Naturally Resistant Deck Lumber
Naturally resistant species, such as cedar, redwood, and cypress, are resistant to rot and insects, a quality most characteristic of the heartwood, the dense centermost core of the tree. You can seal or stain these woods so that they retain their natural beauty, or let them weather to various shades of gray. Rare speciessuch as ipe, cambara, and merantidisplay similar color characteristics and are generally more durable, but more difficult to work with, and more expensive.
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Not All Wood Is Created Equal
Wood is still the king of decking materials, due to its economy and strength. Natural-wood decking products can be roughly divided into three categories: pressure-treated lumber, redwood and cedar, and tropical hardwoods. Which material is best for your new deck will depend on factors including decking color, available board sizes, maintenance requirements, and price.
Tips For Choosing Quality Deck Lumber
A backyard deck is the perfect gathering place for family and friends during nice weather, and it can be a valuable addition to just about any home. Its a great place to socialize, relax after a long day at work, cook a meal on the grill, or stargaze after the sun goes down.
Building a deck is a relatively easy and straightforward process, as long as the deck lumber you are using is the right type for the job and of decent quality. Here are a few tips to help you find the right for your project:
Select the Right Type of Lumber
The most common material used for decks is pressure-treated yellow pine, which is both inexpensive and readily available. It is treated with chemicals to make it resistant to moisture damage, fungal decay, and insect infestation. When compared to other materials, it is easier to work with and can be cut, drilled, sanded, and fastened together using simple hand or power tools. On the other hand, it has a relatively short lifespan of about 15 years, and it must be constantly resealed to keep it protected from the elements. It also requires special handling during cutting, drilling, and installation due to the harsh chemicals used to give it moisture resistance, and it has a tendency to shrink, warp, and twist, like any natural wood product.
Choose Quality Lumber
Properly Size the Lumber
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Introduction: Pressure Treated Lumber Weight Factors
The weight of pressure treated lumber depends on how much time has gone by since the wood was treated, as well as the size of the board or post.
Most pressure treated lumber is made from southern yellow pine, which is a relatively heavy wood to begin with, so pressure-treated wood does tend to be heavier than most other lumber because of this alone.
But the weight that people really notice when it comes to treated lumber is the water weight that the wood picks up while being treated.
A 6×6×10-foot long treated post weighs about 153 pounds immediately after being pressure-treated, but it will only weigh around 87 pounds after it has had time to dry out.
And a 10-foot-long 2×6 pressure treated board will weigh around 40 pounds right after being treated. The same board will only weigh around 23 pounds after it has had time to dry out.
What Is The Life Span Of The Treated Lumber
Typical in-use life span of treated lumber used in swing sets, decks and deck posts is 10-20 years. Keep in mind that actual useful life and warranty period for any product may be quite different, and that warranties are usually limited in scope and conditions.
What is the weight of 2 x 4 lumber?
The weight of pressure-treated lumber varies depending on the size of the boards. A 2-by-4-inch lumber board that is 8 feet long has a weight of 17 pounds. A 4-by-12-inch board that is 16 feet long weighs 224 pounds.
What is the average weight of lumber?
All manufacturers are different. A good ballpark number to work with would be approximately 1.5 pounds per square foot for engineered hardwoods. Solid domestic 3/4 hardwoods weigh in at 2.8 pounds, while exotic hardwoods weigh 3.8 pounds per square foot.
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Buy Straight Solid 2x12s For Your Stair Jacks
Be fussy here. Look for material thats straight, with no splits or large knots. Stair jacks should be straight so that the stairs remain level and strong. Youll cut deep triangles into each 2×12 to accommodate the treads avoid splits along the top edge and knots along the lower edge, which can weaken the already thinned body of the jack.
Type Of Wood Used For Pressure
Around 85% of the pressure-treated wood in the US is made from southern yellow pine.
There are a few different sub-species of southern yellow pine, with different wood densities. We used the longleaf variety to calculate the values shown in the chart.
See Weight of Dimensional Lumber for the weights of other wood species commonly used for lumber.
A much more extensive list of wood densities, which includes the other varieties of southern yellow pine, can be found in Weights of Various Woods Grown in the United States.
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