can i build a deck floor/wood patio out of plywood? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 37 Old 04-25-2009, 01:31 AM Thread Starter
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can i build a deck floor/wood patio out of plywood?

i have an area away from my house that i would like to make a small elevated deck. basically a patio but out of wood a few inches off of the ground. i dont have much money so i was hoping i could just use plywood on top of a low 2x4 frame. like i said i want to do this cheap so i think this would be my best bet.

anyways how can i weather proof it so it will last at least 5 or more yrs? what would be the best cheap plywood?

btw i worked at a semi upscale restaurant that had plywood floors with polyurethane and they were beautiful. just so you know im not crazy!
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post #2 of 37 Old 04-25-2009, 01:56 AM
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Short answer, no... Long answer, you can but even if you use exterior rated plywood, you will still have sever warping and strength and rotting issues. You would be better off using regular Doug fir 2x4 or 2x6 and coating them with water sealer. At least then you will not have the issues with standing water.
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post #3 of 37 Old 04-25-2009, 03:37 AM Thread Starter
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thanks. i was just looking at some regular pressure treated lumber and i guess it wont cost to much more. that will work fine right? whats a good brand sealer for it?

this is what i was looking at. http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/...3+90234+500153
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post #4 of 37 Old 04-25-2009, 09:02 AM
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Yes, with marine grade plywood. However, expensive.

G
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post #5 of 37 Old 04-25-2009, 11:29 AM
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Hi. Welcome to the forum.

You can build a deck using plywood, but you have to give it ventillation to help keep it dry. Elevate it slightly, and keep it open underneath. The other thing you have to do is protect it from the weather. The only thing that I have found that works reasonably well is the material that comes in a roll and you apply it with glue. It is waterproof, and quite durable. Most building supply stores carry it. I can't think of the name of it right now. One word of caution. It is not cheap. Whatever you do, don't use Ducan or any other paint on product. My experience with them is that they simply are not worth the money, and do not last.

Gerry
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post #6 of 37 Old 04-25-2009, 01:33 PM
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Hi, Welcome to the Forum

If you must use plywood, make sure that all the lumber and plywood are sealed to prevent rot. Then cover the upper surface of the plywood with a product called "Dura-Deck" or something simmiliar.

good luck with it

Ralph
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post #7 of 37 Old 04-25-2009, 01:45 PM
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Whatever you end up using, don't use Thompson's Water Seal unless you're ready to put it on every year. Thompson's is a parafin (wax) based product. Water really beads up on it when it's first applied and you think it really works good. But it bakes off in the sun in no time. Pressure treated wood itself has a waxy type surface, so it's best to just let it sit for a year before putting on an oil-based water sealer.

I'm going to be re-staining a deck for someone who had a stain of some sort applied right after the deck was built. In a year it's all washed off, and it's down to raw lumber again.
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post #8 of 37 Old 04-25-2009, 01:49 PM
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Wouldn't use PT or plywood. Not plywood due to the lack of durability and not PT (especially if you have little ones around) due to it's toxicity. It causes a nasty rash (or worse) on some folks. Experience talkin', here.

Redwood, cedar or fir. Slather on the sealant of choice BEFORE installing it. Lot's easier.
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post #9 of 37 Old 04-25-2009, 02:41 PM
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PT lumber is alot safer than it used to be, I have heard a few people that have had reactions to it as well.
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post #10 of 37 Old 04-25-2009, 04:52 PM
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This thread brings to mind something I built when I had a camping trailer parked at a campgrounds for the summer. I built a deck out of treated 2 x 6's and 5/8 cdx plywood. I made it in 4' x 8' sections so it could be transported and moved. I had 5 of these sections. I put a concrete block under each outside corner and at each intersection where two sections butted together. When I was done I had a deck that was 8' x 20'. Once they were in place and leveled, I covered the top with that green outdoor carpeting that comes in 6' wide rolls. I stapled it down and overlapped the edges so the treated 2 x 6 was covered. I didn't do anything to the plywood waterproof it. Three years later when we pulled the camper out I took off the carpeting and kept it. I gave the wooden sections to another camper there. They looked like the day I put them together. The carpet had a rubber backing to it, which probably helped keep the cdx dry. Didn't cost much money, worked fine and I still have the carpet. The kids were babies then, so this was about 17 or 18 years ago.
Mike Hawkins
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post #11 of 37 Old 04-25-2009, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
Yes, with marine grade plywood. However, expensive.

G
Marine grade plywood is really nothing special. It is a higher grade of plywood that has no gaps or holes on the inside core. The glue is the same as any exterior plywood. Just found this out when I was ordering some Marine grade plywood from my distributor. I was shocked to hear this. But that seems to be the only difference.

Measure Twice Cut Once -- It's a lot easier to cut more off then it is to cut MORON.
Finishing is 3 parts chemistry and 1 part VooDoo http://lrgwood.com
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post #12 of 37 Old 04-26-2009, 06:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo G View Post
Marine grade plywood is really nothing special. It is a higher grade of plywood that has no gaps or holes on the inside core. The glue is the same as any exterior plywood. Just found this out when I was ordering some Marine grade plywood from my distributor. I was shocked to hear this. But that seems to be the only difference.
That only difference is a big difference.

G
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post #13 of 37 Old 04-26-2009, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Gene Howe View Post
Wouldn't use PT or plywood. Not plywood due to the lack of durability and not PT (especially if you have little ones around) due to it's toxicity. It causes a nasty rash (or worse) on some folks. Experience talkin', here.

Redwood, cedar or fir. Slather on the sealant of choice BEFORE installing it. Lot's easier.


New pt lumber is called ACQ. It doesn't have the same chemical in it that posed a problem (I think it was arsenic). They changed because of all the playgrounds that were pressure treated and kids were getting sick. Whatever is in it now has a chemical reaction with nails and certain metals. You have to make sure it says rated for ACQ on the box of nails or flashing. Otherwise the metal will rot off in about 3-4 years
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post #14 of 37 Old 04-26-2009, 10:23 AM
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That only difference is a big difference.

G
But it makes little difference in the ability to withstand the weather better. I was always under the impression that it was a better glue system that would make it more outdoor worthy. When you get a sheet of regular fir plywood at $1/sq ft and the marine is $3/sq ft. I was expecting a little more than just the voids being filled. That is the way it should be anyway. There should not be voids in the plywood in the first place, but that's another thread in itself.

Measure Twice Cut Once -- It's a lot easier to cut more off then it is to cut MORON.
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post #15 of 37 Old 04-26-2009, 11:43 AM
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PT lumber is not ACQ any more the formula has all ready been changed. The high copper content was eating fasteners and flashings.
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post #16 of 37 Old 04-26-2009, 06:53 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for all the help and info. it looks like im going to use pt deck lumber. i just read that if i use aluminum joist hangers i need to ad a "poly" barrier. what do they mean by poly? also do i have to use joist hangers? can i just nail it together or will it be unsafe?
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post #17 of 37 Old 04-26-2009, 07:08 PM
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Don't know where you are located but usually joist hangers are code. Find some 30 mil poly wrap and put it between the PT lumber and the hanger. BTW, where are you finding aluminum hangers, I only know of the galvy or zinc coated steel.

Measure Twice Cut Once -- It's a lot easier to cut more off then it is to cut MORON.
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post #18 of 37 Old 04-26-2009, 07:28 PM
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PT lumber is not ACQ any more the formula has all ready been changed. The high copper content was eating fasteners and flashings.

The home depot here in NY is still selling ACQ. If they are changing it or already have, that would be nice cause I have a lot of nails and flashing that I could use again.
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post #19 of 37 Old 04-26-2009, 08:27 PM
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Check the content %'s on it. It might only be .020. The old was like .040 which was suitable for ground contact.
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post #20 of 37 Old 04-27-2009, 12:19 AM Thread Starter
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Don't know where you are located but usually joist hangers are code. Find some 30 mil poly wrap and put it between the PT lumber and the hanger. BTW, where are you finding aluminum hangers, I only know of the galvy or zinc coated steel.
im in chicago. im not sure if the ones i saw at lowes were aluminum or not. they were very light and between 60 cents and a dollar.

the deck i plan on makeing will be 12'x14'. would it be ok to just set it or bolt it on some cinder blocks? i only want it to be about a foot high so that would be the right height. i planned on hiding them with latice around the bottom. im just worried if it would sink into the ground. i saw those dek blocks and they just sit on the ground. i figured a cinder block would act the same way.

once again thanks for everything.
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