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choosing the correct decking materials


AC2 pressure-treated lumber (used in structure, decking, railing)

Contrary to its predecessor CCA (chromated copper arsenate), AC2 lumber is less toxic. AC2 lumber uses ethanolamine or ammonia to act as the carrier solution instead of arsenic, a known carcinogen. AC2 lumber is typically used in the floor structure of the deck (floor joists) and stairway structure (stringers) and serves as a common decking material.

[UPDATE: as of Jan. 1, 2004 the EPA has banned the production of CCA treated lumber].

Cedar (structure, decking and railing)

Cedar provides very good structural support on posts, decking and railing systems.

Plastic composite (decking and railing)

Often made from recycled plastics, composite decking provides excellent durability and very comfortable decking surface which requires no sealing, painting or staining. Typically it is not structurally strong, requiring floor joists be 16" on-center or less. UltraDeck(c) is one of the popular brands.


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Reinke Remodeling and Repair, Inc.

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