When it comes to the materials we are using to build a dock, it’s always the #1 Dense Marine Grade (0.20 CCA or equivalent ) lumber. This lumber has been treated with chemicals under pressure to achieve great protection from natural wood rotting. “Marine” or “Ground Contact” stands for protection of the wood when submerged completely into the water, or buried in the soil, due the volume of chemicals given to protect it.
#1 dense grade is the highest quality lumber out of 3 choices. #2 & #3 are commonly used in other construction, mostly for indoor projects. #1 dense grade is the best choice for building docks or decks and is why we supply it. The main difference between #1 dense grade and others is its strength, appearance, and longer lifespan. This wood provides a much stronger and more solid surface for walking on, and has a much tighter wood grain with only a few small knots. It is our highest recommendation to stain/ weatherproof all pressure-treated lumber; however in our experience we have seen this lumber last 15-20 years unprotected. Lower grade and treatment wood may last only 10-15 years. Despite this observation, we still encourage all of our clients to further protect their wood as we cannot guarantee a long life span without it.
NOTE: We purchase all our lumber and timber at specialty lumber yards to ensure the highest quality of wood. You will find that both Home Depot and Lowe’s are stocking only “Above Ground” #2 grade pressure treated lumber.
Most boat docks are constructed with 6x6 poles, but we offer the option to use 8x8 poles instead which will provide more strength and a longer life span. All our timber is thoroughly inspected for strength and appearance before it is used. Our timber is treated with 3 times more chemicals than 0.20 CCA lumber to give the structure more protection. Treated 6x6 posts should last between 30-50 years.
#1 GRADE board: (on the left)
1) Wood grain is much closer together.
2) It is stronger and will outlast the #2 grade.
3) Better appearance due to the fewer knots, edge veins, and other wood defects that you will find in #2 lumber.
When you work with pressure-treated lumber you must only use specially coated fasteners made for the use with pressure treated (PT) lumber. Regular nails and bolts will start corroding immediately after making contact with chemicals used in the treatment of the wood.
We are equipped with this knowledge, as most seasoned handymen or carpenters may not be, and use fasteners that are designed and specifically manufactured for the use with PT lumber. This includes hot dipped galvanized (HDG) bolts, nails, and Simpson- strong ties. Screws for PT decking, handrails and benches are ceramic coated.
And for composite decking fasteners finally the time has come, and we can recommend to save money! The best value choice is always ceramic coated steel screws, these screws have been around for over decade now and proved to be very reliable fasteners for composite decking.
We always use stainless steel screws for composite decking within our Premium PLUS and higher packages or when upgraded within lower packages.