View Poll Results: Decking bark side up or down

Voters
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  • Bark side up

    6 54.55%
  • Bark side down

    5 45.45%
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Thread: Decking bark side up or down?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    The Gorge Area, Oregon
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    Decking bark side up or down?

    So as not to hijack Brents more general construction thread... what say you decking bark side up or down?

    Weirdly I had been thinking about this after looking at the situation on my back porch the other day. I ended up with a few opinions but then some further research confounded the issue somewhat..
    Love thy neighbor, yet pull down not thy hedge.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Thomasville, GA
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    5,992
    I found this reference:

    In 1995 researchers in Wood Surface Chemistry at the USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Lab, R.Sam Williams and Mark Knaebe drafted “The Bark-Side / Pith-Side Debate” Most of the points they make about wood behavior supports orienting deck boards “bark-side up” however at the end they state “These factors, although important, can be overridden by a third factor-the quality of the pith side compared to that of the bark side. If the pith side is clearly better, place this side up.”


    But I solved the issue on the last deck I built by using composite boards.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    The Gorge Area, Oregon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Arnold View Post
    can be overridden by a third factor-the quality of the pith side compared to that of the bark side. If the pith side is clearly better, place this side up.”[/I]
    Ah, you're giving away the surprise reveal early

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Arnold View Post
    But I solved the issue on the last deck I built by using composite boards.
    Some of the new composite stuff is pretty interesting indeed.
    Love thy neighbor, yet pull down not thy hedge.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    falcon heights, minnesota
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    5,609
    i've heard of rough cut lumber, but if it still has the bark on it, that just takes the cake....
    benedictione omnes bene

    www.burroviejowoodworking.com

    check out my etsy store, buroviejowoodworking

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    The Gorge Area, Oregon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Noren View Post
    i've heard of rough cut lumber, but if it still has the bark on it, that just takes the cake....
    We're exceedingly rustic out west.
    Love thy neighbor, yet pull down not thy hedge.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
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    2,746
    Wow! A tie. I find that when you put it with the rings curling upwards (brk side down) the boards tend to dome rather than cup as they adjust, allowing them to shed water better.
    Cheers,
    Roger


    The other member of Mensa, but not the NRA

    Everyone is a self-made person.

    "The thing about quotes on the internet is that you cannot confirm their veracity" -Abraham Lincoln

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Oliver Springs, TN
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    1,726
    I generally put the best face up.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Yorktown, Virginia
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Tulk View Post
    Wow! A tie. I find that when you put it with the rings curling upwards (brk side down) the boards tend to dome rather than cup as they adjust, allowing them to shed water better.
    I'm with Roger on this one. These steps I replaced about a month ago have cupped upward. They shed water lengthwise, so all is not lost, but had I put them on bark side down they would have domed and shed the water both ways. I still might swap them around since they're only temporarily fastened.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Delton, Michigan
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    17,471
    bark side up for the water problem, but pithside is ok if you have best face. screw not nail. composite is nice but pricey.. and has its own problems its not fool proof

    i put vote in wrong spot, correct it if someone can on mood staff
    Last edited by larry merlau; 07-04-2016 at 01:53 PM. Reason: head was reading backwards")
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Florida Keys
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    85
    I would have to say that no matter what you do, up or down there are always a few wayward boards that do it their own way. Twisty or cupping the opposite of what you hoped. In general I go with up and hope for the best.

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