Glossary and a list of wood grading terms
Alkaline copper quaternary (ACQ):
ACQ is one of several wood preservatives that has been developed in recent years because of environmental or safety concerns with CCA (an arsenic-based preservative). ACQ is a formulation that contains copper and quaternary ammonium compound as active ingredients. Copper is a very cost-effective fungicide protecting against decay. It also provides some protection against termite attack. The Quat provides protection against termites and certain types of fungi that are tolerant of copper.
Special Note: When using any PT you must use ACQ Compliant Fasteners. If you use fasteners that are not ACQ compliant, the chemicals will destroy them within a short (possibly a year) timeframe.
CCA and MCQ:
Several years ago the pressure-treated lumber industry replaced an arsenic-based preservative called CCA with a copper-based product called ACQ (above).
Now another copper-based preservative, called MCQ, for micronized copper quaternary, is poised to replace ACQ. Expect to see MCQ in the Pressure Treated woods soon. Like the ACQ they are replacing, you must use ACQ compliant fasteners when working with MCQ treated wood.
CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.
Cupping causes the edges of a board to turn upwards causing a characteristic cup shape. This is caused by uneven moisture content in across the surface of the wood. See Troubleshooting Cupping in Wood Flooring from NOFMA.org for more detailed information
Ipe is a commercially valuable tree that grows throughout South America in many types of habitats. Ipe is not an endangered species. Some of our current stock of Ipe decking has a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification, which is by far the most respected forestry practices certification in the world. We are constantly assessing the different species of FSC certified South American wood and we will strive to offer as much FSC certified product to our customers as possible. We encourage sustainable forestry practices, which offer the best remedy to exploitative deforestation.
Janka Wood Hardness Rating
Put simply, how hard is it to push a 1/2" steel ball into a piece of wood 1/4"? The harder it is to push the harder the wood. Or if you prefer the Wikipedia verson: The Janka test measures the force required to embed a 11.28 millimeter (0.444 inch) steel ball into wood to half its diameter. It is one of the best measures of the ability of a wood species to withstand denting and wear.
Pressure Treated Wood (PT)
Wood that has had a liquid preservative forced into it in order to protect against deterioration due to rot or insect attack. Because of concerns about the possible leaching of arsenic from CCA-treated wood, the use of such wood in most residential and general consumer construction was ended beginning in 2004. Wood for these uses is now treated with ACQ (alkaline copper quat, a copper oxide–quaternary ammonium compound mixture), copper azole, disodium octaborate tetrahydrate (DOT), or other chemicals. This new product will corrode galvanized fasteners, so stainless steel will need to be used as a more expensive fastener. Other products will be showing up to perform the same function, hopefully with less impact on the environment and our health.
Composite Decking is "wood" made up of organic materials, natural (wood) and synthetic (polymers) that are shaped and molded to look like wood boards.
Wood Grading Terminology
Highest grade with fewest imperfections, no knots or bug holes.
High grade showing character with few knots, quarter sawn marks or imperfections.
kiln dried. Done to help prevent checking and cracking later
Air dried. Sufficient for most Brazilian decking (not for flooring)
Tongue & Groove to allow flooring / decking to fit together nicely
End matched. T&G on the ends of boards.
milling pattern that provides two profiles – one flat and the reverse beveled.
this means that the size is the actual size and not the size before milling.
Eased 4 Edges. All four corners are slightly rounded.
Smooth 4 Sides. All four sides are smooth and attractive.
Center matched. T&G is exactly in the middle allows you to flip board over.
Grooves milled lengthwise into the bottoms of boards to help prevent cupping.