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Author Topic: Cedar or ?? for decking  (Read 880 times)

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Offline pabst79

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Cedar or ?? for decking
« on: April 13, 2018, 07:08:37 PM »
I've have a common problem and would like some opinions. 1st mistake, building a deck on the North side of my house. 2nd mistake, using semi transparent stain which lasts 8 months at best. The deck is 10yrs old, the joists and posts are still good, the deck boards are starting to rot. I don't want to use PT lumber again and have it look awful. Soooo... Is Cedar the answer? I would like to source it locally if possible. The big box store cedar I used for my chicken coop was overpriced and a little "bent". I don't want to use composite, as its real expensive and according to a couple builders I work with, it's far from bullet proof if it's always damp, my deck is damp 10 months out of the year. If I went with Cedar, do you use a clear stain? How long should it last? 
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Online Bruno of NH

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Re: Cedar or ?? for decking
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2018, 07:16:16 PM »
I wouldn't use cedar unless you can find it free of sapwood.
Try to find some black locust.
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Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Cedar or ?? for decking
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2018, 07:26:16 PM »
That is a good answer

Offline pabst79

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Re: Cedar or ?? for decking
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2018, 08:13:27 PM »
I'm not sure if anybody near me would have black locust, maybe towards the Mississippi? I've read lots of posts on FF talking about black locust, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't know if I was looking at one or not .
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Offline pabst79

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Re: Cedar or ?? for decking
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2018, 08:19:40 PM »
I should have added that I realize white cedar isn't regarded as rot resistant as red, but is it still suitable? Or is it hard to get white cedar without some sapwood, which I'm assuming will cause spotty rot issues? 
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Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Cedar or ?? for decking
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2018, 08:25:05 PM »
Heavy bark like rock oak, needs sun ,doesn't grow in the woods, seldom straight, fast growing pioneer. The lumber; heavy,very hard, grain like oak, turns red when dry, yellow green when green. Hard to work.

Online Southside logger

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Re: Cedar or ?? for decking
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2018, 01:18:20 AM »
I saw a lot of red cedar, and like the others said I would not use it in this situation.  Do you have any white oak around there?  Very rot resistant, very durable, and if you planed it then sealed it with an outdoor sealer that penetrated it the wood it would look beautiful.  
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Cedar or ?? for decking
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2018, 07:49:36 AM »
   If I could not get locust and did not want to buy PT I'd use White oak if available. I have a deck on the north side of my house and it is PT. Pretty beat up but still sound. It can get downright dangerous it gets so slippery with fungus/slime growing on it if not bleached regularly. The west side of my house is under cover so no problem there. Good luck.
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Offline pabst79

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Re: Cedar or ?? for decking
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2018, 09:33:17 AM »
I came across a post about locust decking from 2012. After seeing the pics, that's what I need I'm pretty sure. After some searching, I found a mill about 80 miles from me that's advertising locust decking for 2.25-2.70 a lin ft, I have no idea what a going price for locust is? The cedar I found was about 1.75 a foot, most composite decking is 8-12$ a sqft.
As WV Sawmiller said, the PT is almost like an ice rink when wet, the guy selling the locust claims it is almost like fine sandpaper when wet, that would be nice.
4th Generation Plumber/Fitter who moonlights in too many hobbies to master any, 2 little girls are a blessing and ensure that a new mill may be a few months...years away.

Offline littlewiz88

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Re: Cedar or ?? for decking
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2018, 09:47:15 AM »
There was a company out of Lacrosse that was advertising Locust decking I ran across a few months back. Prices on their website looked great but when I contacted them the price was far more than shown on their website, $5.75/LF for 5" boards and $4/LF for 3.5" boards. I'm not sure if that's just what the market is at for locust lumber or not, but at that price you can buy some pretty nice tropical hardwood and still have money left over if you shop around.

Offline florida

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Re: Cedar or ?? for decking
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2018, 09:34:19 PM »
Down here in south Florida we call cedar decks "job security."   I really can't say that anymore as I haven't seen a cedar deck, post or even trim in 20 years.
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Offline pabst79

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Re: Cedar or ?? for decking
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2018, 09:48:46 PM »
My fear is, that going with a composite will result in the same issue 10 years from now, due to the fact that it stays so damp 3/4 of the year. A local builder we work with has had issues with a couple brands of composite not "acting" correctly if subjected to harsh of conditions. I really don't want to go PVC, but maybe it's my only feasible option. Or.. I could just flip my house around so the deck has Southern exposure like my Dad,Uncle,The Builder and my Wife told me to do in the first place! dadgum you, Charlie!
4th Generation Plumber/Fitter who moonlights in too many hobbies to master any, 2 little girls are a blessing and ensure that a new mill may be a few months...years away.

Offline bill m

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Re: Cedar or ?? for decking
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2018, 06:22:32 PM »
Over time the Black Locust will also become slimy. Any other type of wood will need treatment of some type from time to time. The new composites are much better then the ones from 10 years ago. When I built my deck I did not want to have to do anything except maybe wash it every couple of years so I went with Trex decking. It's about 15 years old now and no problems.
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