Discount Hardwood Decking and Wood Decks

Installation Guidelines

Hardwood Exterior Decking

Ipe • Batu • Cumaru • Angelim Pedra Massaranduba • Cumaru • Tigerwood


  • Store material out of direct sun and weather
  • Allow material to acclimate on site for 2 to 3 weeks if using AD / Air Dried
  • For AD / Air Dried at 18%+ moisture content, set spacing between boards at 3/32” for 4” and 1/8” for 6” decking
  • For KD / Kiln Dried at 10-12% moisture content, set spacing between boards at 3/16” for 4” and 1/4” for 6” decking
  • T&G porch flooring used in covered areas only
  • Adequate ventilation under deck
  • Span of 16” max for 1x4, 1x6 (or)
  • Span of 24” max for 5/4x4, 5/4x6
  • Stainless Steel Fasteners
  • Pre-drilling required on ends of boards
  • End cuts are sealed with wax
  • Oil based finish on all four sides
  • Enjoy your new deck!


For best results, decking should be kept out of direct sunlight and not exposed to weather before installation. Be sure you know whether you have a kiln dried or air dried product.

Air dried decking must be allowed to acclimate to approximately 18% moisture content on the job site prior to installation. To determine moisture content, be sure to use a moisture meter that is calibrated for the correct species of wood.

Kiln dried decking can be installed right away. Once a decking package is delivered to the job site, keep the material of the ground by placing a few pieces of lumber underneath the decking package. Cover the material with a tarp to protect from sun damage and rain.


Spacing: Be sure you know whether you have a kiln dried or air dried product. For Kiln Dried decking set spacing between boards at 3/16” for 4” and 1/4” for 6” decking. For Air Dried decking, acclimate on the job site until the material is around 18% moisture content, and then set spacing between boards at 3/32” for 4” and 1/8” for 6” decking. h is space between boards will allow for air circulation, room for expansion, and provide for the proper spacing as boards become fully seasoned. The maximum movement, shrinkage or swelling, is typically 3/16” on 4” decking and 1/4” on 6” decking.

Span: You must consult local building codes to be sure you are following local regulations. Generally, 1x4 and 1x6 decking can be installed with joists on 16” centers. 5/4x4 and 5/4x6 decking can be installed with joists on 24” centers. When installing on an angle, joist spacing should be on 12” centers. Final joist spacing should only be determined after consulting local building codes.

Ground-side Ventilation: Build your deck so that the surface is at least 16” above the ground. There must be adequate air circulation underneath the deck in order to prevent cupping and warping of boards. In wet areas or over water, additional clearance is recommended. In close to ground applications, 60” or less above ground, a vapor barrier is necessary to prevent moisture from absorbing into the underside of the decking boards.

Fasteners: Several different options are available for fasteners and for fastening techniques. We recommend stainless steel screws through the face of every board, two screws per joist. Self-tapping stainless steel screws are available but may require pre-drilling. Pre-drilling is always required on the ends of the boards. We do not recommend the use of non-stainless fasteners since they will cause discoloration near the fastener.

Hidden Fasteners: there are many brands of hidden fasteners available. None of these products are as reliable as screwing through the face, and most customers will experience some additional movement of the boards when using hidden fasteners. Choose a fastener which has the recommended amount of spacing between boards. Spacing between boards is critical and will allow for expansion when the material is exposed to moisture. The minimum recommended height above the ground is 60” when using hidden fasteners. Ensuring adequate ventilation and sealing the wood on all sides with an appropriate oil finish are critical steps when using hidden fasteners.

End Sealer: Our decking is always end-sealed during manufacturing to help prevent splitting and checking on the ends of boards. We recommend that the boards are end-sealed as soon as reasonably possible after cutting during installation. A clear, water-resistant wax should be used. One such product is Anchorseal from UC Coatings, although several other products are available. If the material is not end sealed the manufacturer will not honor any claims under the warranty.


In order to help prevent surface checking, cupping and discoloration, we recommend that deck boards be finished on all four sides, prior to or immediately after installation. Especially in dry, sunny conditions, finishing should be done prior to exposure to weather. Finishing Decking on the underside of your deck will reduce potential cupping by inhibiting moisture from absorbing into the wood. If a natural silver color is desired, finishing can be done with a water seal product such as Seasonite from Flood. For best results, apply the treatment according to the manufacturer’s directions. To maintain the natural color, a high quality penetrating oil finish with UV inhibitors should be used.


SuperDeck, Duckback


Penofin Performance Coatings

PPG/Olympic Maximum

Decking can also be pressure washed, but you must be careful not to damage the surface wood fibers by setting the pressure too high. Pressure washing may be necessary between oil treatments in order to remove surface discoloration.

Porch Flooring: It is recommended that all T&G exterior applications be in a covered environment and be installed with a pitch to allow for proper drainage. Please refer to your local building codes on pitch requirements. Material should be i nished on all six sides before application to prevent moisture from collecting on the underside of the deck. T&G products do not allow spacing for ventilation, which is why only covered installations are recommended. Fastening should be done with stainless steel fasteners.


Decking can be easily crosscut with a good quality chop saw using a carbide-tipped blade. Ripping can be done on a standard table saw, using a well-aligned high quality fence and a carbide-tipped blade.

When drilling, always use the highest quality drill bits available. If screwing through the face, a countersink bit with a positive stop should be used so all screw heads end up at a consistent depth. If not pre-drilling, be sure not to let the fastener sink too deep into the wood. Fasteners should be lubricated for easiest assembly. Routing or planing can be done with both high speed steel or carbide cutters. Feed speed should be fairly slow. Sanding is recommended to complete your project.


Starborn Industries
Headcote Screws, Smart Bit

The Ipe Clip Company
Hidden Fastening System

Simpson Strong Tie
Eb-Ty Hidden Fasteners


Safety glasses and a dust mask should always be worn when working with hardwood lumber. We recommend an active carbon filter dust mask. Some people may have an allergic reaction to hardwood dust. Remove wood slivers immediately to prevent infection.


Drilling Sawing, sanding or machining wood products generates wood dust, a substance known to the State of California to cause cancer. Avoid inhaling wood dust or use a dust mask or other safeguards for personal protection.


Our tropical decking products are carefully manufactured and inspected to ensure quality. However, these products are natural wood products and are subject to variations in weight, density, color, grain and performance. Wood decking is subject to dimensional changes as the moisture content in the wood fluctuates with humidity in the air. Swelling, shrinkage, checking, and other movement of individual pieces are normal occurrences in wood decking.

Local building codes must be consulted when building an exterior deck. Most counties require building permits.