EachK~Decking board is roughly 1 1/4" (often referred to as 5/4Ē) thick and 5 1/4" wide. Allow for at least an 1/8Ē gap between boards when figuring coverage. It is a solid board; the same as wood and K~Decking does not shrink post-installation so be sure to gap between boards (end to end and sideways).
Cutting, Drilling, and Routing K~Decking
Any quality deck screw works well with K~Decking.
Most nails do not work well.
The best glue we have found is Gorilla Glue. Use sparingly - it foams as it forms a bond and you don't need a thick layer. Most construction adhesive will work. Keep in mind that the boards will not warp or pull, so they may not need glue the same as wood might. Glue should not be used as the only fastener, use only in conjunction with screws.
Screws with finish/trim heads and sharp, self-tapping tips can be used without pre-drilling, if the drill has a clutch. K~Decking will not dimple around a fastener as much as other composites.
Galvanized screws should be avoided because they are weaker and will likely stain a deck. It is okay to use only one fastener per joist, except on the ends. Pre-drill for fasteners that have to be within Ĺ inch of the edge to avoid a split.
Fasteners, which are recommended for exotic woods like ironwood are usually a good choice. Those woods are very hard, like K~Decking.
The #8x2 1/2" GRK Trim Head Zip Tip w/ Climatek coating (a 5# ProPak is item #772691-16079 and contains 605 screws; it requires a high-grade #10 star-driver and a drill with a clutch) is the fastener we are most comfortable recommending if you do not wish to pre-drill. However, this screw can be hard to find. But if you call GRK at (800) 263-0463 they can ship direct... This screw can be driven below the surface of the deck and the nibs pounded over to hide the screw. Get plenty of extra drivers, as they break easily.
Hidden fasteners are very popular. Eb-Ty, Shadoe-Track, Deck Master, and Tebo are the ones we are familiar with. Tebo and Eb-Ty allow you to work from above. Tebo requires a special gun and works like a staple from the side. Eb-Ty is placed in a slot made in the side of the board with a router or biscuit joiner and fits between adjacent boards; it gaps the boards for you (as does the Tebo); you drive the screw down through the Eb-Ty instead of the board. Shadoe-Track and Deckmaster are attached to the joist and then you lay the boards on top of them and reach under and screw up from the bottom. We have worked with Shadoe-Track and it works nicely. It comes with its own screws, which work well, even though they look too long - don't forget they go in at an angle.
Pre-drilling for stainless nails is actually a good way to put these boards down. A stainless siding, trim, or finish nail works well. Do not use galvanized! We cannot say this enough. Pre-drilling/countersinking is easier with a fast change combination drill/driver such as the Stanley STC-1890 or Craftsman 00926222000. Or just use two drills. Don't pre-drill your joists.
Temperature changes cause K~Decking to expand and contract lengthwise more than wood. As such, leave at least 1/8" of end-to-end spacing. By back-cutting the end cuts away from the top of the board youíll reduce the appearance of a gap. A staggered layout tends to create the best appearance.
Remember to gap around posts as well. The colder it is and the longer the board youíre putting down, the bigger the end-to-end gap you need to allow.
Pre-drill for fasteners at butt joints that fall on a single-width joist. Put the fasteners in at an angle so they do not have to be as close to the end of the board.
You may wish to double your joists at butt joints to allow more fastening area.
Donít butt the boards up tight, expecting them to shrink like pressure-treated pine. They wonít. Use a normal decking gap - a minimum of 1/8".
If the gaps in between boards fill with leaves or dirt, clear them, to avoid water pooling on your deck. Itís often necessary to do this post-installation.
It is not necessary to stain K~Decking. However, you may do so to achieve a desired look or color. Stains go on K~Decking much like wood and will fade over time in the same way. To be sure you'll get the look you want, test your stain on a scrap piece first. For best results, allow the boards to weather for 2 weeks prior to staining.
Paints may be used but are generally not recommended for outdoor applications. Sherwin-Williams UV Sunblock Deck and Wood Seal, and Sherwin-Williams Clear Deck and Siding Finish work nicely. Most types of solid stains and paints will have problems with chipping away in areas of high foot traffic. That is why a semitransparent is recommended.
Periodic Maintenance and Cleaning
Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) is effective for cleaning, as are Simple Green and Flood Dekswood. Bleach may be used to lighten stains or spots. We suggest you sweep your deck every so often, whether it appears to need it or not.
It is advisable to pressure wash your deck yearly, paying particular attention to cleaning out debris from the gaps between boards. Most deck cleaning products work well; bleach-based cleaners are allowable.
You can also use a 1:1 mix of bleach and water with a bit of laundry detergent.
For stains caused by mold, mildew, berries or leaves, the above mixture of bleach, detergent and water works well. For best results, follow this procedure for these types of stains: Thoroughly sweep deck free of any debris and clean any clogged gaps. Take necessary precautions to protect any nearby plants. Apply the cleansing mixture to a dry deck. Scrub using a stiff brush or broom. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes. Rinse. Let the deck dry and repeat the procedure, but do not rinse off the second time. Regular deck cleaning and proper gapping is the best preventative care for mildew.
Grease is probably the toughest stain to remove from a deck, so consider placing a mat under your grill. If you do have stains, grease-eating deck cleaners work well. Food stains, such as butter or spaghetti sauce, usually go away naturally in a few weeks. Spraying the deck with water on a sunny day helps.
Do not put out cigarettes on your deck. They leave a smudge that can only be removed by using a block sander with a fine grit. A block sander also works well for leaf stains.
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Kenaf Industries of South Texas L.P.
Route 2, #50 Kenaf Road
Raymondville, Texas 78580
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