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Need advice re 140mm Merbau decking

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  1. #1
    Apprentice (new member)
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Malvern East
    Posts
    3

    Default Need advice re 140mm Merbau decking

    Hi all, This is my first post and have read many decking related advice given on this site. I will tell you my situation. I currently have a 5 year old 90mm merbau deck approx 5M x 5M. 80% of the deck is undercover in an alfresco room and the remaining 20% is open to the elements. I had the original deck built by a qualified carpenter and the advice given to me was to use Sikkens 'Cetol Deck' on the merbau. I was told to apply the first cost straight away without allowing the timber to weather and then apply 2 more coats 24hrs apart. I have since been told and learnt that this is incorrect and that I should have let the merbau weather for approx 2-4 months and then wash it down with a deck cleaner/wash, let it dry thoroughly before applying one coat of Sikkens HLS (stain), then 2 coats of Sikkens 'Cetol Deck'. Mind you, the deck still looks great but my wife and I really want 140mm merbau that is screwed down as opposed to nailed as some of the nails are lifting and some of the current 90mm merbau is splitting near the nails. Here is my problem.........I have been told that I should not rip up the 90mm merbau as the holes in the joists could cause issues later.

    A few questions for anyone who is interested:

    1) Will these holes in the joists be a problem later down the track?
    2) Besides the cost, are there any issues with removing existing 90mm merbau in replace of 140mm?
    3) What screws do you recommend for the 140mm merbau?
    4) What is the most agreed weathering time for merbau? 2,4,6 months?
    5) Is there a better product than Sikkens available as it just has a great sealing type smooth finish that some other oils and products don't have?
    6) I am in the Malvern East area so anyone know where I can get 140mm merbau at a good price as Bunnings sell it for $5.95/M?

    I would really appreciate your replies and advice.

    Cheers,
    Glenn

  2. #2
    Golden Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Morley WA
    Posts
    557

    Default

    Can't help in the finishes, but what I'd do for the joists is apply a antifungual / sealer making sure it runs into the nail hole, gaps, cracks etc. Then lay joist flashing on the joists before laying the new deck. The flashing assists in preventing moisture laying on top of the joist.

    This link My Deck - Steel and Composite Decking will take you to my deck I did awhile ago now in steel but with the flashing on top of the joists

  3. #3
    Old Chippy - 4K Club Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Canberra
    Age
    63
    Posts
    5,517

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by revanchism View Post

    A few questions for anyone who is interested:

    1) Will these holes in the joists be a problem later down the track?
    2) Besides the cost, are there any issues with removing existing 90mm merbau in replace of 140mm?
    3) What screws do you recommend for the 140mm merbau?
    4) What is the most agreed weathering time for merbau? 2,4,6 months?
    5) Is there a better product than Sikkens available as it just has a great sealing type smooth finish that some other oils and products don't have?
    6) I am in the Malvern East area so anyone know where I can get 140mm merbau at a good price as Bunnings sell it for $5.95/M?

    I would really appreciate your replies and advice.

    Cheers,
    Glenn
    1) You don't say what timber the bearers and joist are? In any case I wouldn't bother with anti-fungals - just use the plastic barriers under the new decking (eg: Joistrip - What does Joistrip offer? or equivalent, or any suitable flashing.
    2) No.
    3)Just standard stainless steel decking screws - from Scruffydoo http://www.scrooz.com.au/ or elsewhere. As you are screwing into used sub-floor timber I'd use 65mm rather than 50mm.
    4) See Utemad's stickies for info on weathering and oiling etc.
    5) I have used Sikkens stuff for nearly 40 years and it is superb and now not even that exxy. But all sorts of people like all sorts of finishes - you generally get what you pay for, so if you like Sikkens stay with it.
    6) Can't help.
    Advice from me on this forum is general and for guidance based on information given by the member posing the question. Not to be used in place of professional advice from people appropriately qualified in the relevant field. All structural work must be approved and constructed to the BCA or other relevant standards by suitably licensed persons. The person doing the work and reading my advice accepts responsibility for ensuring the work done accords with the applicable law.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    sunbury, vic
    Posts
    180

    Default

    Have you considered another timber other than merbau, have a look at some australian hardwood. They are 100% better than merbau, you will be paying more but well worth it in my opinion.

  5. #5
    Old Chippy - 4K Club Member
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    Mar 2007
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    Canberra
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    Default

    Worth a look. Hardwood is personal choice and the variations in Oz is huge (in colour and quality). Some merbau is not from controlled forests although most of the large suppliers (including Bunnies) only sell certified timbers - most choose it as it is cheaper and 'good enough' rather than the best.
    Advice from me on this forum is general and for guidance based on information given by the member posing the question. Not to be used in place of professional advice from people appropriately qualified in the relevant field. All structural work must be approved and constructed to the BCA or other relevant standards by suitably licensed persons. The person doing the work and reading my advice accepts responsibility for ensuring the work done accords with the applicable law.

  6. #6
    Apprentice (new member)
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Malvern East
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Thanks guys for your advice. I finally ripped up the old 90mm merbau and filled the nail holes in the treated pine joists with a high end exterior gap filler. I then painted the joists with Dulux Weathershield to protect them. I then stapled rubber joist protector strips on the joists and laid 135mm spotted gum I got for $9.30/M using 10 gauge 50mm 304 s/steel decking screws (2 in each board). I then painted 1 x coat of Sikkens Cetol HLS stain in walnut and 2 x coats of Sikkens Cetol Deck over the top. It has come up a real treat and I am very happy with it. Thanks for your advice.

  7. #7
    Novice
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Canberra
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    53
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    33

    Default

    mmmmmm ..............you sure? Don't know if we believe you with out pic's

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