cupping worse for 1X6 than 5/4X6???

jaansuApril 14, 2012

I see a lot of posts about cupping. I'm thinking of putting down a new ipe or massaranduba deck of 6" boards. Yes, 5/4 is more $$$$ than 1" but I'm willing to pay the extra $600 if that gives more chance of a good deck. Maybe 4" width would be even better but what about the 6" width lumber?

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jonnyp

Cupping usually is a result of boards being laid down improperly.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 12:47PM
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marven

Cupping is caused by tension in the wood fibers. If the tension on the fibers on the bottom of the wood is greater than that on top, the wood will cup. Straight grain wood is less likly to cup. If you look at the end grain and the curved rings are as if you are looking at hills (as apposed to valleys), cut several 1/8th slits down the length of the board bottom to relieve the tension and the board should not cup.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 7:46PM
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jaansu

That's an interesting solution! So the newer rings (hills) go up? In general, is that how decking is supposed to be laid anyway?

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 4:34PM
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millworkman

yes, when using most softwood deckings that is the proper way of applying the decking

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 8:24PM
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brooklyndecks

With Ipe, it doesn't matter which side of the board goes up. I pick the nicer side. If you have proper ventilation under your deck, and you install it correctly, you shouldn't have any cupping problems.
That said, 5/4x6 is less prone to cupping than 1x6...and 5/4x4 even less.

steve

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 6:45AM
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millworkman

Very true brooklyn I should have added that to go with my "softwood" comment as Ipe is definitely not a softwood.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 8:32AM
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brooklyndecks

Nobody will ever accuse Ipe of being soft wood :-)

steve

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 5:22PM
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