All you need to know
on the outdoor decking 
wood floor.

The outdoor wood floor decking

Nature offers man countless species, each with different performance. Mere knowledge of these performances provided an opportunity in history to produce works with specific wood materials that are veritable works of art.
A splendid example of the use of wood in "hostile" environments is undoubtedly represent by the lagoon of Venice, one of the most beautiful cities in the world, built in a dense mesh of wooden stakes; but there are many others to mention, just think of the use of wood in shipbuilding and to traverse all the railways rails in the world or even the home wood mountain still only ever.
So the wood, thanks to its intrinsic characteristics of durability, hardness, flexibility, renewability and aesthetic beauty, is the ideal material to be used outdoors and in environments that require specific technical performance.
For these reasons, it is increasing the demand for use of wood for outdoor floorings like sidewalks, porches, gazebos, swimming pool mats, walkways along the shores of the most beautiful beaches and the most important docks, bridges, trails, etc.

Technical characteristics and types

Untreated wood
Exist in nature some species that despite not being treated for outdoor use, retain their performance for very long periods.
These woods are united by a high durability that allows them, even without tratment, to resist degradation induces by biological and environmental stresses; so don't fear water and do not require special treatment to their conservation.
Teak, Ipè, Iroko and other species, especially South America, are just a few of the most common wood for flooring are offered by the mrket. Their natural duration is usually estimated at about 20 years.
Technical characteristics and types

Treated wood
The lack of availability of hardwoods and their high cost have prompted producers to seek alternative means, using species more "commercial", suitably treated, given similar gurantees of durability, ease of finding an affordable and raw material. To make up for the shortcomings of these particular natural species and to make them suitable for external use was studied a special treatment, high pressure vacuum, which protects them from mildew and insects:"impregnation in autoclave".

This type of treatment improves the characteristics of resinous woods cheaper and readily avaible in European markets.
The pressure impregnation, also called "vacuum packed", takes place in large autoclaves, managed with computerized procedures, in which the logs are high pressure impregnated with minerals "preservatives" diluted in water. This procedure allows the preservatives salts to enter deeply into the wood providing greater resistance against fungal attacks, mildew and weathering.
The concentration of these "salts" may differ depending on the impregnation class to be obtainded.
After the impregnation process in autoclave, wood takes on a greenish irregular due to the presence of copper salts used in the collection. These products often are treated with paint, stains or dyes to improve its appearance.

It is important to know that after the process of impregnating wood is non-poisonous, however the scrap must be incinerated beacuse of combustion which, if inhaled, can be harmful to health.
Whether you use treated wood or untreated, it should be borne in mind that the wood intended for indoor environments can not be use outdoors.

Engineered wood
In recent years is als growing the use of other types of outdoor floorig made from a special blend of wood (about 70%) and plastic materials. These materials are particulary resistant, resilient and low maintenance. Given the recent appearance of these types of coatings do not have objective references on their real durability.
Formats
The format prevalent in use is individual slats in different sizes (decking), are alwaysmost commercially avaible solutions carpet tiles/wood panelling, they vary in size, laid on a special resin, metal grid or preassembled on morals.
The are removable assemblies on modular panels in different materials (wood, pvc, metal), often with interlocking side connectors.
These features make quick and easy installation and removal, give the floor a gooddrainage capacity, allowing installation on any type of surface.

Elements that make up the outodoor wood flooring

Staves
Contrary to what is expected for the parquet used inside for the wood used as outdoor flooring there are specific regulations that govern the dimensional standards.
These floors are usually sold in large slats (decking) (70, 90, 100, 120, 140 mm wide by 800, 1200, 1600, lenght 2000 mm) and have a thickness of not less than 18-20 mm, depending on the use, loads and stresses that they must endure.
The face in sight can be smooth or ribbed with round corners, to secure and pleasant even barefoot trampling. In addition, they can be processed or "double female", with grooved edges to accomodate the fixing clips to support moral, or be free of injury if you are predisposed for screwed down.

Morals
Morale is an element of wood, aluminium, resin, steel, on which is fixed (with various systems) the wooden stave and/or derivatives and that makes up the surface of the flooring.
Morale must be of a material with hardness (density) equal to or greater then that of the staves on the surface, this to give a greater anchor fixing systems of the latter for morale. Its dimensions and distance that put the morals of each other will vary depending on the thickness of the boards and the use of finished package (wheelwright, pedestrian, etc.).
For the installation you must follow the instruction of the manufacturer.
Clips
You call that element's clip overall stainless steel or PVC, consisting of two fins. The clip is bolted on morale, on whose lugs are engaged the planks. This produces a surface without fixing screws at sight, leaving natural flooring and harmonious. In this case the distance between a Board and the other is determined by the type of clip.

Spacer
The spacer is usually support adjustable in height to use to retrieve drops or slopes in order to obtain a planar space.
They are resting or glued to the subfloor and predisposed to distance to ensure the loads required by the project.
The market offers a wide variety in both steel and aluminum or PVC, but often are also produced with thickness and rounded pieces of wood fastened with adhesives from outside the morale and support base.

Anchor bolts
The ideal anchor bolts must be of stainless steel flat head wood. Lenghts and diameters of screws will vary depending on the thickness of the boards and morale. Life isfully inserted and provision must be made for a special flare, to allow the housing ofthe head. It is essential to use two screws per base on morale. The ideal distance to place the screw is about 20 mm from the outer edge and about 70 mm from the head.

 

Laying systems

Between the different shutter systems are used, the most common are:
  • Ceiling-mounted system with tiles or panels preassembled
  • System with visible screws fixed on morals
  • System with concealed clips fastened on morals
  • System with screws or clips mounted on height-adjustable moral anchored on spacers
The latter system allows greater rainwater drainage and greater aeration of the parquet as well as very valuable aesthetic that hides the normal slopes in outdoor floorings.

Preliminary stages to installation
Forthe correct installation of exterior wooden flooring, it is necessary to pay specialattention to the aspects mentioned below.

Drainage and/or background
The substrate on which it is to be fixed/adapted the parquet to the outside must be designed and constructed so as to ensure the rapid drainage of rainwater runoff and/or.

Wood preparation before the laying
Prior to installation you can scrub the planks with water in order to avoid the release of tannins and/or extractives that my stain the boards and/or other adjacent floors.
This procedure is not necessary if you want to treat the wood with suitable preservatives and/or dyes for outdoor use. In the latter case you should treat the slats on all sides including the heads and/or any millings.

Storage
As you can well imagine, the wood used for the exterior is constantly undergoing extreme temperature changes and humidity which alter the dimensional stability. However it is matured for a fixed degree of himidity determined by the manufacture (usually much longer than the wood used for interiors).
This procedure allows the slats to maintain good dimensional stability at least until the time of installation. For this reason, it is best to store the boards in a covered andwell ventilated, avoiding to subject it to extreme temperature changes that could alter the size of the planks making it difficult or impossible for a regular installation.
Laying systems

Support system with tiles or panels assembled
This method of installation is to simple juxtaposition of "tiles or wooden panels" preassembled on a background exists which can be of various kinds.

System with visible screws fixed on morals
This type of installation requires prefessional equipment and specialized personnel. The material that makes up the morals that create the suspension system to support the decking, must have features of density and durability equal to or greater than those of the wood that is on the same floor.
In this regard, we do not recommend the use of species as pine or fir, not for their low durability, as low density, which doesn't allow a perfect adhesion of the fixing screws. The moral may be laid or mounted on the support by mechanical or chemical means. It is essential to place the moral fall lines parallel to the surface, in order not to hamper the normal outflow of rainwater.
The distance between the morality is determined by the designer according to the thickness of the planks and the load at which the whole package will be submitted. The planks must be secured with 2 suitable screws, at each point of contact with the moral. It is important to remember that since this species with high density, it is always recommended to pierce the accommodation of the screws retaining the right distances from the heads and the edges of the planks. The planks that make up the floor plan, must be equipped with interlocking on the heads and in any case it is preferable that the butt joint from falling morale so that it can be fixed. Particula attention should be paid to the expansion joint that, depending on the size of the stave and the kind of wood used, must remain between 3-8 mm.
 

System with screws or clips mounted on height-adjustable spacers anchored on morality
This is undoubtedly the most complex installation system, but is the only one that can improve both the aestetcs, because the mask "inclines" indispensable for the flow of water, which the thermal aspect, as it creates a ventilation chamber tha acts as an insulator.
The distance pieces (there are various types) are laid or secured with specific adhesives directly on the mounting surface, while the Sauté with several systems are fixed moral depending on the chosen spacer.
In general, this system allows you to pose with the two types of fasteners (screws or clips), however to give increased stiffness and avoid annoying squeaks (dry season) and excessive cracking of the staves, we strongly recommend using the type of fastening with screws.

Retractable fixed on moral system with clips
The staves are used to this kind of attachment must have special grooves (slots) in order to receive clips. While making it faster installation operations, this fixing system is not recommended when using large format boards and/or species more "nervous" because the clips allowing free movement the planks, would facilitate falcature and unsightly twist. Again use less wood species should be "nervous" and/or reduced width slats. The planks/boards that make up the floor plan, must be equipped with interlocking on the heads and in any case it is preferable that the butt joint from falling morale so that it can be fixed. Perimeter closing slats may be placed under the moral with hidden screws.

Maintenance and possible treatments
If the wood floor has been treated before assembly, you must surface to remove any machining chips can sand it out (especially when it comes to rest with visible screws) and then soak it thoroughly.
Please note that the wood left rough, without any treatment, during the first rains tend to release tennins or extractives that often stain the same slats and all the way towater pipe.
If you wish instead to treat the surface with specific products, we recommend that you make an initial impregnation treatment before installation making sure to fully saturate all wood elements of the package and, when the work is finished, after washing with water, proceed to the external oil on floor space, which gives the wood its natural coloration and reduces oxidant and deterioration caused by UV rays.
Oil impregnation treatment also has the important task of reducing the "fast perspiration" of untreated wood that in species with very hard, would cause the "crushing/injuries" during excessively hot and dry.
Technical Normative
Currently not avaible technical standards harmonised at European level to regulate the supply of wooden flooring for outdoor use. In the case of wood impregnated you may refer for example to DIN 68800. With regard to waste, it is necessary to refer to the rules in force (ERC disposition code 040301).
Even the wood used outside the rules relating to consumer information (consumer code) providing for the issuance by the manufacturer of the product.