KDAT needs love, too, its beaus say, and the rest of us would be smitten if we’d just give it a chance to win our hearts.
No, KDAT is not the latest hip DJ. It’s treated pine deck lumber that has been “kiln dried after treatment.”
I mentioned it in passing in last week’s column on the dramatic way boards on my deck are shrinking end to end. You’d expect boards to shrink a little end to end, but this is a LOT.
Lumber is treated by forcing water-borne chemicals into the boards. Most treated lumber is sold wet and shrinks – especially across the grain – as it dries. KDAT is preshrunk, sort of like prewashed jeans.
Robert Maier, owner of Target Properties, recommends the KDAT lumber for any deck repairs and thinks it would be perfect for my deck.
“Generally, (boards) do not warp or twist,” he said in an email. “Additionally, they allow for immediate application of stain, further preventing warping or twisting.”
Maier buys the kiln-dried lumber at H&S on Monroe Road in Charlotte. Queen City Lumber on nearby Weddington Avenue also sells KDAT lumber.
Kiln-dried treated lumber has a reputation for costing more, but Maier said repairs will look better and last longer. “It is worth the extra expense,” he said.
Tom Fisher at Queen City said that typical dried 5/4 decking boards – a full inch thick by 5 1/2 inches wide, with rounded edges – are about 15 percent more expensive than the same grade of boards sold wet. That’s not a huge premium for lumber that won’t shrink or twist.
At Queen City, posts and timbers are sold wet. The 4-by-4s and 6-by-6s haven’t been dried. But everything else, including all 5/4 deck boards and 2-by joists, has been dried. It’s from Cox, a familiar name in the industry.
Kiln-dried treated lumber costs much, much less than composites or PVC decking.
I like the look of wood better than composite, and composite isn’t as trouble-free as its earliest promotors claimed.
At Lowes.com, 5/4 treated deck boards at 16 feet long are about $7 to $13 apiece, depending on the grade. Composites of about the same size, 1-by-6-by-16, are about $40 to $50.
Here’s more from Fisher, if you’re planning a deck project this spring.
Pressure-treated lumber is available in both treated for ground contact or use above ground. The difference is the amount of chemical forced into the wood.
Probably, heavy posts will be treated for ground contact and decking boards won’t be. Perhaps joists – say 2-by-10s – will be treated for ground contact. Perhaps.
Perhaps you’ll remember this reminder to read the little tag on the end of each board that will tell you for sure.