Design considerations and tips

Like all timber decking every type of pre-treated Q-Deck timber decking has a knotty appearance. Q-Deck Lunawood by the nature of its production has the most knotty appearance of all the Q-Deck timber decking boards. Q-Deck Bangkirai hardwood decking boards are in principle free from knots giving a clear natural, variable wood grain appearance. Being man made Q-Deck Twinson doesn’t have knots and is designed to provide a very consistent a different look and feel to its wooden alternatives.


Like all timber decking every type of Q-Deck timber decking weathers to grey over a period of time. This is mainly due to the greying effects of ultra-violet light. The speed of greying is dependent on a number of factors including the aspect of the deck and in general can be slowed with the application of a protective coating such as Seasonite or protected more fully with the application of a pigmented protective coating such as Textrol or Aquadecks, by Owatrol - on-going maintenance applies with all these systems as with any coating system available on the market.


Q-Deck Twinson is the only decking in the Q-Deck range that retains its colour over a long period of time. This is because it is a man-made decking that uses pigments bound into the plastic element of the material. Note: The original twinson colours always fade a small extent before settling as does the striped effect on the grooved face of new Q-Deck Twinson boards, which disappears quickly on exposure to U.V. light.


Like many hardwoods Q-Deck Bangkirai decking is highly susceptible to staining in contact with iron and water due to the high levels of tannin present. Only use stainless steel fixings such as Q-Deck-Tite Plus Stainless Steel Decking Screws. The black staining that can occur is easily removed using Net-trol by Owatrol.


Over time tannins present in Q-Deck Bangkirai decking can be washed out of the timber. Please note that the fabric of a building or associated landscaping products could become stained by mobile tannin. This washing effect is more likely to occur during prolonged heavy rain and be most concentrated in the period just after fitting either type of hardwood decking. To minimise tannin bleed, Q-Deck hardwood decking can be coated with Owatrol’s Stoptan product.


Choosing grooved or smooth deckboards – By far the majority of timber decks, boardwalks and piers built around the world are surfaced with plain timber boards. Whilst grooved deck boards are often marketed as “anti-slip” there is no evidence to suggest that they perform any better or worse than smooth decking. Choice of deck board style is therefore a matter of personal preference.


Where there is a higher than normal requirement to prevent the risk of slipperiness, for example on ramps, stairs, bridges or on public/commercial installations, then you need to consider Q-Grip decking products that have enhanced grip characteristics or Twinson composite decking that is easier to keep clean.


A way of minimising the distance between the aggregate strips that provide the enhanced grip is to consider the use of new Q-Grip Strips™ and Q-Deck York/Q-Deck Canterbury deckboards or Q-Deck Lunawood hidden fix.

Fitting Q-Grip slip resistant strips for Q-Deck grooved decking

When designing a deck to incorporate Q-Grip slip resistant decking or Q-Grip Strips™ it is important to consider the direction people will walk when using the deck. Q-Grip deck boards are most effective in providing slip resistance when they are placed at an angle perpendicular (at right angles to) to the direction of pedestrian traffic (like that of a boardwalk). See figure (i). When placed parallel to the direction of pedestrian traffic the chance of slipping increases i.e. a slip could occur between the slip resistant aggregate strips within a board or within adjacent boards. See figure (ii)

Perpendicular anti-slip resistant decking - Q-Grip  Parrallel anti-slip slip resistant decking Q-Grip

(i) Deck boards placed at right angles to pedestrian traffic.   (ii) Deck boards parallel to pedestrian traffic.


A way of minimising the distance between the aggregate strips that provide the enhanced grip is to consider the use of new Q-Grip Strips™ and Q-Deck York/Q-Deck Canterbury deckboards or Q-Deck Lunawood hidden fix.

For commercial pub and restaurant type decks it is wise to consider the use of fire retardant treated subframe and deckboard components and/or the use of deckboards with enhance grip characteristics. Q-Deck can offer Non-Com® fire retardant treated components as special order products so please consult your Q-Deck retailer who will pass the enquiry on to Hoppings SoftwoodProducts for consideration. Two Q-Deck slip resistant deckboards are available from stock and can be used over the entire deck surface for greater reassurance or strategically on areas such as steps or walkways.
When designing and building decks, always plan to achieve a free draining structure.

Deck Drainage - Q-Deck

For adequate water ‘run off’ decks should be laid on a slight gradient (at least 1 in 80). Note: lay grooved decking down the fall to enable water ‘run off’ and ensure the groove ends can drain freely, ie. pack out fascia if required.
Deck ledger board joist construction - Q-Deck

If the deck is attached to a dwelling wall the finished deck height should not compromise the damp proof course (DPC). With ‘old’ houses it is advisable to keep the deck height at least two brick courses below DPC.

We recommend a maximum span between newel posts of 2100mm.


Note: Q-Deck components are preservative pretreated to different levels of protection to the meet the requirements of industry standards. These standards are defined as 'Use Classes' (see below for full details).

Only select Q-Deck components that are suitable (level of preservative treatment protection) for the situation or Use Class they are to be used in (refer to Use Class table opposite).


Use Classes are defined by British and European Standards, providing a guide to the risk of decay or insect attack to timber components, depending upon their end use. The higher the Use Class, the higher the level of preservative protection is required.

1 Internal building timbers with no risk of wetting or condensation.
2 Internal building timbers with a risk of wetting or condensation.
3 External building, fencing and landscaping timbers used out of ground contact.
4 External building, fencing and landscaping timbers used in ground contact.


Use Class 4 components should not be cut, notched or bored if they are then to be used in ground contact. If Use Class 4 deck support posts are cut then the cut end should not be placed in the ground. If Use Class 4 deck joists for ground level or partially elevated decks are cut then they should be laid on a free draining area of compacted hardcore (or similar) not straight onto earth or areas of lawn. Subframes that are laid in direct contact with earth are at increased risk of fungal decay and subsidence.

In working with Q-Deck products, if you decide to combine a decking subframe component into your scheme from an alternative supplier or manufacturer then the Q-Deck warranty cannot be honoured as Hoppings Softwood products have no control over the specification or quality of the non-Q-Deck components. If you still decide to use non-Q-Deck products then it is advisable to ensure that they are treated to Use Class 3 requirements as a minimum or use Use Class 4 for components used in ground contact.


Ensele End Grain Preservative for Decking Ronseal Decking End Grain PreserverHickson Decor End Grain Preservative for Decking


To meet Q-Deck warranty conditions any timber exposed by cross-cutting, notching or boring after treatment must be liberally swabbed with two coats of Ensele® brush-on end grain preservative or Ronseal end grain preserver or Hickson® Decor End Grain Preservative, in accordance with the manufacturers instructions.

ENSELE® has a pale blue colouration which quickly changes to a pale green after application to blend with the treated timber.


Further information on Tanalised® E / Tanalised® Extra treated timber visit or contact the Lonza Wood Protection Advisory Service - telephone 01977 714000.


  • When designing and building decks always plan to achieve a free draining structure.


 Q-Deck Newel post decking water run off

Top tip logo - Q-Deck Treated softwood decking should be surface dry and laid with no less than a 6mm gap between boards (this allows for seasonal shrinkage or swelling). Maintain this gap when fitting boards around newel posts for a neat finish whilst still allowing water ‘run off’.


 Angle cut posts Q-Deck

 Top tip logo - Q-Deck Cut the top off the support post at an angle to aid water run off.


Top tip logo - Q-Deck If you need to attach a ledger board to the wall of a dwelling it is advisable to leave a gap between them - use a 10mm thick spacer/packer. This will maintain ventilation and enable the wall andledger to dry.


 Q-Deck support post in beveled concrete footing

Top tip logo - Q-Deck Bevel the top of the concrete footing around the support posts to aid water 'run off'.


Top tip logo - Q-Deck

  • Don't let dirt and organic debris accumulate. Sweep your deck regularly and if needs be wash it if dirt does accumulate, particularly if it hinders drainage.
  • When using Q-Deck, Bangkirai or Twinson decking it is avisable to use Q-Deck Use Class 4 subframe components. For Q-Deck Lunawood the use of these specific components are a condition of the Q-Deck Lunawood warranty.


We also strongly recommend the specific deck building publications shown below. These publications are available to buy at good book shops or via the internet.

Note: the construction information provided in this brochure can be used as a guide for decks up to 600mm above ground level (for domestic applications/loadings). For decks 600mm or more above ground level, those requiring Building Regulation conformity or those used in a commercial application, it is necessary to seek advice from a professional deck installer.