The Decking Debate: Grip Tread – Up or Down?
Ask any builder whether you should install your decking timber with the grooved/ribbed face up or down and you are likely to get a different answer!
So when considering a new deck which is the best option, the reeded face or the smooth face?
This primarily depends on the location of the decking, followed by personal preference.
The New Zealand Building Code requires that decking on the main access route to a building must have a slip resistance of 0.40. Grip tread timber decking will conform to this requirement.
If not on the main access route then the decking can be installed smooth face up.
To help you make an informed decision, I list below the pros and cons of each option:
Grip Tread (Grooved Face) Up
- Better slip resistance (one way only, for travel perpendicular to the grip tread lines)
- Interesting aesthetic
- Grooved face masks surface checks that occur over time
Smooth Face Up
- Easier to clean
- Simple, and clean appearance
- Grooved face down allows airflow between deck and supporting joist
Be aware that many manufacturers grade the best face of the decking on one side (normally the ribbed face) so you will need to check what face has been graded in advance. You may not be able to reverse the decking without exposing some defects on the back face.
Abodo Timber Decking is available in both smooth and grooved face graded options – unlike most suppliers. The ribbed profile is a modern take on the classic decking groove, with a subtle groove that wears evenly.
So go ahead, choose the option that suits you best, and ensure you are getting the best face up.
Happy Decking, Daniel Gudsell, Abodo Wood Ltd