Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I buy Abaco Decking and Railing and how much do they cost?
The complete Abaco line is available at retail lumberyards and through distributors. For more information, visit our How to Buy page. It is competitively priced in comparison to other tropical hardwood decking and railing.
What face-mount balusters do you recommend?
Deckorators® aluminum balusters and glass balusters are just a few face-mount baluster options available nationwide through lumber and building material dealers.
Is the All-Wood Moulded Railing building code-compliant?
Yes. The Abaco 6-foot deck railing system is 2009 IBC/IRC code-compliant and is the perfect complement to Abaco decking.
Will my Abaco copper post caps remain a shiny copper color?
Our copper post caps come with a thin, clear marine lacquer designed to protect them before and during installation. Once exposed to the elements, the sun’s ultraviolet rays, moisture, and pollution begin to break down this coating, exposing the metal underneath. In its natural state, copper breaks down in the elements and patinas. In general, copper progresses from a natural salmon color to a series of russet browns and grays, and finally to a blue-green or gray-green patina.
Will my stainless steel Abaco post caps rust?
Stainless steel is an alloy of iron that contains more then 10% chromium. Stainless steel has a hard oxide coating, which makes it resistant to stains. Corrosion and wear strip away this coating causing the steel to rust. To maintain this coating, clean periodically with a mixture of vinegar and club soda.
How are the railing kits sold?
We package the components separately so you can choose the combination that best suits your taste. All of the components are sold in kits containing the appropriate amount of material and hardware to construct a 6-foot on-center Abaco railing.
What sizes and lengths does Abaco™ come in?
Standard deck board sizes are 3/4" or 1" thick x 3-1/2" or 5-1/2" wide, in random length tallies (grooved and traditional). Railing component sizes: 2"x2", 2"x4", 2"x6" and 4"x4".
How should I store my Abaco deck boards?
Abaco should be stored out of direct sunlight. Prior to installation, it should be allowed to acclimate and stabilize to the installation environment's humidity level. Once Abaco decking is delivered to a job site, keep the material off the ground by placing a few pieces of scrap lumber under the deck package. Cover the material with a tarp to protect it from the elements (sun and rain). If left uncovered, unfinished and unprotected, Abaco decking may warp and split.
Does Abaco decking require end sealing if cut?
Seal all ends after cutting with an end sealer like DeckWise® End Grain Sealer or a paraffin wax in order to help prevent checking and splitting.
Is Abaco Decking FSC Certified?
Aljoma Lumber is strict in its procurement practices and demanding of its vendors; however, for customers who want the extra assurance that wood is sourced from pre-approved mills, Abaco Decking is available as FSC® certified. Lumber with this designation is certified to originate from well-managed and sustainable forests, under strict guidelines from federal and state governments. The importation of the species used in Abaco also goes through strict regulations set forth by U.S. Customs and the Department of Agriculture.
How much ground ventilation is required when installing Abaco decking?
During construction, it is imperative to build the Abaco deck surface at least 16" above the ground or building surface. Adequate air circulation under the deck surface is needed in order to prevent cupping and warping of deck boards. In wet areas over the water, additional clearance is recommended.
What joist spans should I use for my deck or dock when using Abaco decking?
In residential applications, Abaco can be installed on joists spaced 24" on-center when the boards are running perpendicular or diagonal to the support joists. Longer spans may be possible: Contact your supplier for additional information.
How much gapping and spacing is needed during installation?
To allow for proper ventilation and drainage, Abaco decking should be installed with a minimum 1/8" gap in hot and dry conditions and a maximum 1/4" gap in humid conditions. During the first year after installation, Abaco 5/4"x6" decking will typically expand and contract 1/16" to 1/8" as it acclimates and stabilizes to its environment. As with all exterior wood products, values may vary on the same deck based on sun exposure, ventilation and humidity levels. Because Abaco decking will not significantly expand or contract lengthwise, the ends of the deck boards do not require any gapping and should be installed butted together.
What cutting blade, routing blade and drill bit type are recommended?
Because Abaco is very hard and dense, high-quality carbide-tipped saw/router blades and sharp drill bits should be used.
Do you recommend pre-drilling and countersinking?
Yes. Because Abaco decking is very hard, we recommend pre-drilling and countersinking all exposed fasteners.
What type of fastener is recommended?
When the preferred method of installation is face screwing, discreet trim head screws are recommend. Pre-drill and countersink each hole. Use two stainless steel screws to secure each board to each joist. Secure with color-coated screw heads for a more desirable look. One option for a screw fastener similar in color to Abaco decking is the 8x2-1/2" #34 brown Headcote® screw by Starborn Industries.
Stainless steel screws or hidden fasteners designed for tropical hardwood are recommended. Galvanized screws or fasteners are not recommended as they can discolor the wood. Because Abaco’s dense properties can make it difficult to install screws, a screw wax applied directly to the screws can ease installation.
Does Abaco need a specific type of hidden fastener?
A hidden fastener designed for tropical hardwood is recommended. Use hidden fasteners that gap each board with the proper spacing and allow for natural expansion and contraction. View tips on decking installation using a hidden fastener.
Does Abaco decking require water sealing?
Because of the durability of this hardwood, it does not require a water sealant; however, we do recommend that you add a high-quality penetrating oil sealant as the final installation step. Left unfinished, the color will fade to a silver/gray tone.
What are some finishing options for Abaco?
To minimize surface checking, cupping and discoloration, it is recommended that Abaco be finished on all 4 sides prior to installation (especially in dry, sunny conditions). Finishing should be completed prior to exposure in the outdoor environment. Finishing the underside of the deck surface will reduce potential cupping by inhibiting moisture from penetrating the wood.
How do I clean and maintain Abaco decking?
Periodic washing with mild deck cleaning detergent and water is necessary to remove surface dirt, which accumulates on the surface and in the top grooved areas of the board. Use a soft bristle brush to clean dirt and debris from the top grooves of the board. This will also prevent the buildup of pollen and debris that can cause mold and mildew growth. Pressure washers should be used with a fan-tipped nozzle to avoid cutting into or lifting the wood surface.
How do I keep my Abaco copper post cap from turning green/patina?
To maintain the shiny look, apply a car wax immediately after purchasing the cap, and reapply every 3 to 6 months.
Can I speed up the patina process on my Abaco copper post caps?
To encourage a natural patina, remove the lacquer with mineral spirits and grade 0000 steel wool.