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Decking material and orientation

1348 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Wright
I am building a 700 sq ft deck about 14 off the ground and would appreciate your thoughts and expertise on the following:

Is Thompsonized material better than Yellawood?
What are the benefits if any of 5/4×6 compared to 2×6 decking?
Can I lay the decking at 45 degree angle with 2×8 16" joists?
Has anyone used the aluminum balusters and if so, is it best to use balusters connectors or drill holes in the rails?

thanks for your help,
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The only thing I can comment on is the 45 degree issue. Placing the joists at 16" for 45 degree decking adds a considerable amount of spring to the span. Acceptable, but not the rock solid feel if you ran them straight. I have put the joists closer when doing 45 degree decking in the past, but that increases the cost of framing considerably.

45 degree decking also considerably increases the number of precision cuts for the decking. Also, make sure your miter saw can handle the width & thickness of the lumber you're using at 45 degrees. It's really frustrating to have to make two cuts.

With all of that being said, I think 45 degree cuts add a lot of visual interest to a deck. Check out what I did.
The benefit of using 2×6 versus 5/4 is that it is slightly less prone to checking. Most of the decks that I have built using 45 degree decking has either been trex, or 2×6. 5/4 will work, but it won't be as solid of a deck.

I have used the fasteners, and drilled holes for the aluminum ballusters and can say that is't all down to your preference. The obvious benefit of not using the fasteners is that you save money. When using the fasteners for a rail going down a set of stairs, you have to make sure you get the correct pitch for them, otherwise assembly of the rail will be a real pain.
Hey Cap'n and Julian,
Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge and experience. Sounds like using the 2×6 instead of 5/4 will be stronger and less springy especially when layed at 45 degree. I will probably try drilling the balusters holes rather than using the connectors - they cost almost half as much as the balusters!

And, Max, thanks for the warm welcome.

Wright (on in a cold night in Kentucky )
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