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  • Avatar of waynel2waynel2
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    @waynel2
    Post count: 311

    Hi All,

    I’m laying some decking in my new house and can not decide whether to lay the decking reeded side up or down? I speak to a few different people and I get different answers… so say the reeding is supposed to go underneath to help air out the frame (eg, stops the water from sitting between the joists and decking) whilst others say put the readed side up for grip.

    I’ve looked around and different people seem to have it laid different ways. Is anyone an expert on this? What is the “professional” preferred method of laying it? Or is it just customer preference?

    Also, I was going to use screws and pre-drill the decking before I lay it. Would any galvanized screws be good for this? Can anyone recommend a screw that has a “low profile” or that works well for decking?

    Also, if anyone knows what Oil etc to use that would be great to hear from you.

    cheers

    wayne

    Wayne Leech

    http://www.WaynesGuide.com.au – Accommodation in Western Australia.
    List your holiday home for FREE!

    Avatar of L.A AussieL.A Aussie
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    @L.A-Aussie
    Post count: 1,488

    Hi Wayne,
    Like you, I have heard both arguments – reeded up or down.

    Our own house came with decks front and rear, and after we bought it we decided to extend the back deck. Both are reeded side up. The builder who did the extension on the back deck said they were put on upside down, but the house was owned before us by a builder who put on the decks himself. Go figure. He did put water insulation in between the deck pickets and the support beams – no rotting so far.

    I think the reeded side down looks better, but not as safe as reeded side up. Having said that, they both slip to a degree when wet, and water tends to sit in the reeding grooves after rain.

    As for decking oil; Cabot’s and Wattyl are good, and I’ve heard of another brand called ‘Sickens” but I don’t know much about it. We painted ours with Solargard as we wanted a different look – much less maintenance, but if you prefer the wood look then go for it with oil. You need to re-oil ever year I think.

    Our decks were pre-drilled to prevent splitting, but were nailed down with self-screwing galvanised nails. These worked pretty well – sometimes one ‘pops’ and I whack it with a hammer. I would have used galvanised self-tapping screws myself for extra strength, but no doubt it takes longer to build, and maybe the screws are more expensive than the nails?

    I think go with whatever preference you like. I don’t think it matters too much. Our decks are still in pretty good condition – we have owned the house for 7 years now.

    Cheers,
    Marc.
    erardent@hotmail.com

    “we get sent lemons; it’s up to us to make lemonade”

    Avatar of JFisherJFisher
    Member
    @JFisher
    Post count: 143

    Hi there wayne
    For many years people thought that the grooves in decking where there as a feature and used to lay decking with the grooves up. In fact the grooves are put into the decking to help keep the timber straight. If you look on the bottome of timber floorboards you will see grooves cut into the base also. As far as which side is correct, like Marc says it is personal preference although we prefer smooth side up. Best way we have found to install decking is with a coil nail gun with galvanized nails for durability if the spot will get alot of weather (wet). I am pretty sure you can hire these nail guns from hardware stores. I saw and ad on TV the other day showing Haymes have a new decking oil out that cleans up in water. But the other oils mentioned by Marc have all be used by us at one stage or another and are good. You can apply your oil with a very soft broom or a paint roller which will speed up the initial process as well as the reapplictions every year or so. If you need any more tech advice PM me and I will get Daryl to jot down some instructions for you.

    Avatar of WylieWylie
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    @Wylie
    Post count: 346

    I saw on a renovation show (Australian show) the other day that reeded side faces down. It allows air to circulate between the boards and the joist (or whatever it is called) and allows the water to get away from that joint. I had heard this before, but now I have seen it on tv, well it must be true[biggrin]

    We also have a small entrance deck on an IP with it laid showing the grooves. I don’t like it and think it looks dirty, possibly from having water sit in the grooves too long.

    Wylie

    Avatar of depreciatordepreciator
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    @depreciator
    Post count: 541

    I spoke to a forestry guy a few years ago and he said it’s a bit of a myth. Apparently there was a type of decking that had grooves put in one face to disguise checking i.e. marks. People thought it was put there to stop bowing or keep it dry underneath. So then there was an expectation that all decking had it. He said guys who work in timber retail believe the myth, too.
    I don’t like seeing the grooves, but that’s a personal preference.
    At my PPOR, I screwed the decking down with stainless steel screws – I may need access underneath it at some stage.
    I finished it with a product calle Aussie Clear – I’m 99% sure that was the name. It’s been good so far and is easy to apply. It’s been down a year and is due for another coat soon.
    Scott

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    scott@depreciator.com.au
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    Avatar of JFisherJFisher
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    @JFisher
    Post count: 143

    I agree with looking dirty. The main problem with the grooves facing up (aside from water retention) is that dirt, mud etc gets pushed into the grooves and it doesn’t always come out with a going over from a broom. If you had alot of traffic (kids) and/or had a fair bit of exposed dirt around the place combined with a reasonable rainfall I imagine you would soon be sick of scraping the grooves clean…

    Avatar of gus1970gus1970
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    @gus1970
    Post count: 13

    I did a small labouring job for a chippie in NQ. He layed the decking with reeded side down but he laid the outer border with reeded side up. It looked fantastic!!

    Avatar of p_hewsonp_hewson
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    @p_hewson
    Post count: 10

    If you’re in the Eastern states people say the reeded side will be down, and the opposite in the West. I believe it is actually meant to be down, for whatever reason, but the practicallities are it looks so much better smooth side up. You can only sweep reeded one way – with the groove.

    I used stainless steel nails with an adhesive on the shank, and they are already starting to lift slightly. My advice is to use bugle head screws. It is more labour intensive to start with but they will be there forever!

    P_Hewson

    Avatar of waynel2waynel2
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    @waynel2
    Post count: 311

    HI Guys,

    Thanks all so much for the feedback:)

    Based on this, I’ve just nipped to bunnings and picked up some screws and other bits. I saw the Cabot’s natural oil that a few of you have mentioned, so I’ll nip back tomorrow and pick that up.

    The screws I got are the “allen keys” screws. The ones I got were a little more expensive though apparently they are made for the job. They also don’t seem to stand out as much as normal Philip head screws. I also picked up a little “allen key” drill bit for my battery powered drill so I should be able to whack them in pretty quick:)

    I’ve decided to go reeded down as it seems this is the better way to go. I’ll take some before and after pics and will post them here in the next few days.

    Btw, some one mentioned to be to oil the bottom of the decking as well. Is it really necessary to do this?

    Once again, thanks for the advice!

    Cheers

    Wayne

    Wayne Leech

    http://www.WaynesGuide.com.au – Accommodation in Western Australia.
    List your holiday home for FREE!

    Avatar of mearsbmearsb
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    @mearsb
    Post count: 6

    A couple of things. The grooves in the decking definately go face down. They are designed to keep the moisture from collecting on the timber and causing it to rot. Lay it face up and you will get a very short life span from your deck.

    When it comes to staining, I highly recommend SIKKENS. Expensive at about $175 a can but the results are sensational and prolongs the life of the deck. I wouldnt to both sides but definately do the ends and 2 coats.

    Dont apply the stain immediately after laying the deck. Let it sit for a few weeks and wash it a few times. A pressure washer is the best thing to use. (using a bucket of course). They suggest 12 weeks before staining but this is to long as the timber will shrink. As you wash the deck you will see the tanin run out. Once most of that is out then stain it. The end result is fantastic and the deck will last for years.

    Cheers
    Ben

    Avatar of waynel2waynel2
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    @waynel2
    Post count: 311

    Cheers for the tip – though I’ve heard others say not to get it wet before staining it? especially if your using an oil based stain? I had a friend that laid his then covered it up with tarp until he could get the time to stain it. (This was his first time doing it though)

    Have to head out, but here’s some quick pics of the frame before i lay the decking tommorow:)

    http://www.waynesguide.com.au/pics/IMG_2726.jpg
    http://www.waynesguide.com.au/pics/IMG_2727.jpg
    http://www.waynesguide.com.au/pics/IMG_2728.jpg
    http://www.waynesguide.com.au/pics/IMG_2729.jpg
    http://www.waynesguide.com.au/pics/IMG_2730.jpg
    http://www.waynesguide.com.au/pics/IMG_2731.jpg
    http://www.waynesguide.com.au/pics/IMG_2732.jpg

    Wayne Leech

    http://www.WaynesGuide.com.au – Accommodation in Western Australia.
    List your holiday home for FREE!

    Avatar of waynel2waynel2
    Member
    @waynel2
    Post count: 311

    btw, if anyone wants to know what somerley looks like – there ya go:) our house was finished bout 2 months ago – as you can see there is still alot more construction going on in our street!

    Wayne Leech

    http://www.WaynesGuide.com.au – Accommodation in Western Australia.
    List your holiday home for FREE!

    Avatar of JFisherJFisher
    Member
    @JFisher
    Post count: 143

    Hi Wayne
    I was curious about all the different theories that people had on why they feel the reeds go up or down. I came across this website which not only offers another reason which I never would have factored into the debate, but also answers the fixing question you had and whether (or why) you would seal all ends. I noticed they placed importance on not driving in your screws or nails to deep as they will allow water to collect etc etc – I’ll let you check it out.[happy3]

    http://www.deckmaster.net.au/faqs.htm
    http://www.deckmaster.net.au/construction.htm#Sealing%20cut-ends%20and%20joints

    It will look great when finished.

    Julie Fisher
    Daryl Fisher Homes

    Avatar of foundationfoundation
    Member
    @foundation
    Post count: 1,153

    I don’t think anyone has yet mentioned the #1 reason why the flat side should face up – the reeded side is so uncomfortable as to be almost impossible to stand on barefooted, and if you can’t go barefoot on your deck, then where?

    F.[cowboy2]

    Avatar of v8ghiav8ghia
    Member
    @v8ghia
    Post count: 871

    Guess I’m too late, but apart from agreeing with foundation 100% (can you imagine even worse, trying to sweep rubbish out of the grooves in barefeet??? [upsidedown] ) I would have suggested using a T-nailer to fasten the decking – looksa heap tidier and works fine. ….and cost less to boot. Linseed oil works well if you want to bring out the timbers natural lustre, but don’t put it on too thick to start with (or in fact any oil or stain) as it takes too long to dry, and can go ‘a bit funny’. By now, you’re probably on your third beer looking at the finished product………[strum]

    Avatar of sgnichollssgnicholls
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    @sgnicholls
    Post count: 1

    In my 41 years as a Carpenter and 31 years of that time as a Licensed Builder, I've grown really tired of this silly argument. It's like arguing the benefits of not boiling water twice in case it removes all of the goodness …..  ??

    There was a time that decking was never reeded. In 1983, The "Timber promotion Council Display Centre" in Blackburn, Victoria, began demonstrating "Reeded Pine Decking" as a less slippery, better drained surface on stairs and decks with the alternative choice of also laying it smooth side up.  All of the models on display initially were shown with the grooves (reeded side) up.
    Innovative builders quickly began using this nice looking, cheaper than Merbau, grooved decking as a sales edge. Sometimes there were patterns created by varying the ups and downs.. ie: 4 up and 4 down, or a very handsome looking smooth deck with a reeded edge margain. Many civil engineers specified, for their own good reasons, ribs up on commercial decks, balconies, beer gardens etc.
    Carpenters quickly discovered how hard and painful it was kneeling on the ribs to nail large areas reeded side up and some wonderful <moderator: delete language> stories were invented to convince customers to accept smooth side up.

    It is foolish to think that facing the reeded side down to allow airflow actually aids drying. What really happens is "capillary action" which draws in and stores more water, possibly contributing to swelling and rotting.
    If the job is done properly, the joists are first protected by covering their tops with suitable flashing that drops rain water clear of underlying framing timber. In nearly all cases of rot in decks, it is the unprotected joists below that suffer first and the rot spreads to the underside of the decking later..

    Tradeschool teachers who preach to their students after watching backyard garden shows need to get in the real world.

    It is purely a matter of customer choice, based on the relevant criteria available.

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