Welcome to our Frequently Asked Question page. You may also be interested in some of our other references including Care & Maintenance , Deck Building Guide, Fastener Information, and Glossary of Terms. Also please check out our Blog and feel free to ask a questions via facebook, twitter, or our contact us page.

What is Hardwood Lumber?

Hardwood is wood from angiosperm trees. They are usually broad-leaved; in temperate and boreal latitudes they are mostly deciduous, but in tropics and subtropics, mostly evergreen. Hardwoods have a more complex structure than softwoods. The dominant feature separating “hardwoods” from softwoods is the presence of pores, or vessels. As their name suggests, the wood from these trees is generally harder than that of softwoods.
Hardwood lumber is lumber derived from these types of trees.

Why does your hardwood decking not require preservatives?

The natural oils and hardness of the woods allows them to weather well in the outdoors. This means that they do not need any preservatives added.

What fasteners do you recommend for Hardwood Decking?

Please check out our Fasteners page and contact us if you have any questions

If my project has become gray and has some surface mold on it, what can I do to restore it?

Please look over our Care & Maintenance Page and contact us if you have any questions.

What maintenance is needed?

Please look over our Care & Maintenance Page and contact us if you have any questions.

How does your pricing work?

Our lumber and decking pricing is based on the lineal foot (LF).   Prices on lumber, a commodity, tend to change frequently so please reach out to us for a quote including shipping.   We can help you convert your square foot measurements into lineal feet and figure out how much you need to order.

What is the difference between "nominal' and "net" sizes?

The “nominal”  size of a board is its listed standard lumber unit measurement. The “net”  size is the actual measurement of the board put to a tape measure. We’d be getting into centuries-old lumber speak with a full explanation, but think of it this way it’s just easier to say “1 x 6″  instead of ” 3/4 x 5-1/2 ” .

What is 4/4, 5/4, and 8/4 ect?

These fractions are the “nominal”  thickness of each board, standard to the lumber industry. A board that is 4/4 (1 inch) wide finishes out to 3/4″  net width. A 5/4 (1-1/4″ ) board finishes out to 1″  net width.   Think of it like this ( 8 divided by 4 is 2, so 8/4 is a nominal 2 inch thick board.

Do you provide samples?

Yes we do!   We will send up to 3 samples that are typically 6-8 inches long and unfinished to you free of charge.   Each additional sample is $5.00, and that includes shipping charges.     Some of our competitors charge as much as $10.00 + shipping for one sample! Contact us to order a sample

How is your lumber different from that of other companies?

We are a direct importer and have the highest quality control at every part of our lumber process. We check all raw lumber that we import for quality and moisture. Then, we hand sort and inspect it as we finish it into dimensional lumber, decking, millwork, and mouldings. We also put the customer first and strive to grow long term relationships that last.

What steps do you take to insure quality control?

We visit all of our Foreign Suppliers once or more a year to check on their operation and the quality of the product they are sending us. We direct import only from the best suppliers available. Once we receive imported containers, we inspect all bundles of rough lumber to assure quality, moisture, and optimum width needed. As we work through any lumber finishing, we take  care in to ensure that every piece of wood is properly cared for and inspected.

Do you offer FSC-certified products?

We do please visit CertifiedHardwoods.com our FSC specific website.

What products are made with your lumber?

Our Ipe and Teak is used for everything from outdoor decking, structures, furniture, marine decking, marine interiors, boardwalks, and more. Our fine hardwoods, like Sapele and African mahogany are used for cabinets, closets, tables, counter tops, desks, flooring, paneling, and more. Anything that you would want, whether a resistant wood or fine hardwood, we can help you with.

What type nails or screws are recommended for use with your hardwoods?

For Decking check out our Fastener information. If that does cover the wood you are using please contact us and we can help.

How do I know which product to use in which application?

Please look at all of the product specs and our blog for more detailed information about comparing our wood products. If you need any further help, contact us and we can help you find the right wood for your project.

What is kiln-dried (KD) wood?

Lumber that has been dried in a kiln with the use of artificial heat and seasoned. Freshly cut green lumber may be sold green, air dried, or dried in a kiln to accelerate removal of the moisture in the wood. Drying wood in a kiln is an art to ensure that the wood dries evenly to retain its strength and aesthetic properties. Different species dry at different rates. Kiln dried lumber commands a higher price than green or air dried lumber.

What is Flatsawn?

Lumber that has been sawed parallel to the pith and approximately tangent to the growth rings. Lumber is considered flat grained when the annual growth rings make an angle of less than 45° with the surface of the piece.

What is Quartersawn?

Lumber that has been sawed so that the wide surfaces extend approximately at right angles to the annual growth rings. Lumber is considered edge-grained when the rings form an angle of 45° to 90° with the wide surface of the piece.

What does FAS and SEL mean?

These are also called Clear Grade which is a generic term that refers to the highest grade such as First European Quality (FEQ) or Firsts and Seconds (FAS). The clear cuttings of a board may not have the following peculiarities that are considered a defect: bark pockets, bird pecks, checks, decay, rot, neither sound or unsound knots, splits, sticker stains, wanes, worm holes, piths or grub holes.

Should I stain my hardwood deck?

If you want to maintain the natural color, then yes. If you want the wood to weather to a natural silver color, then no stain is needed.

How should I clean and Brighten my weathered hardwood deck?

We recommend a product by Woodrich, you can contact us for more information about what is best to us.

How should I store my hardwood decking prior to install?

  • Store out of direct sunlight and keep dry by covering. Covering also prevents pre-mature oxidation and fading.
  • Stored decking should be kept off the ground at least 4″ (used 2×4’s for dunnage, or scrap pieces of lumber).
  • Use dunnage (separating sticks) between rows of stacked lumber for ventilation during

What is end sealing and does my deck require it?

End sealing is applying a paraffin sealer to the fresh cut ends.. East Teak recommends and sells Anchorseal.

How do I clean and maintain my hardwood decking?

Different care is needed for new decks and existing. Contact us and we can provide advice for your specific age of decking.

How long will my hardwood deck last?

25-50 years depending on the species and installation. Contact us with your location, the direction your decking is facing, and the species you are interested in and we can give you a more accurate estimate.

How should I cut and nail my hardwood deck?

Carbide blades for sawing, pre-drilling only with Stainless steel screws. Nailing is not recommended. Please check out our Ipe Deck Building Guide & Tips .

How much expansion and contractions should I allow for?

  • Expansion – Hardwood decking may expand by as much as 1/8″ on 6″ wide boards and 1/16″ on 4″ wide boards during times of high moisture, thus proper gapping is recommended.
  • Shrinkage – Air dried hardwood decking can shrink laterally approximately 1/16″ on 4″ wide boards, and up to 1/8″ on 6″ wide boards. Shrinkage will be less on kiln-dried (KD) boards. Expect more shrinkage of width in hot or dry areas.

Will the color fade?

If not stained and maintained, yes.

What are my delivery options?

Residential deliveries are LTL unless on our delivery route. LTL is an acronym for Less Than Truckload. This means a shipment that does not require a full 48 or 53 foot trailer.

What is architectural Millwork?

Any worked component that is used in construction to enhance the looks of a building such as Molding, Trim, Cabinets, Paneling etc.

I'm doing a historical renovation. Can you match my custom profile?

Yes, We will need a piece of the existing profile to do an exact match.

Do you offer prefinishing?

We have vendors that will prime molding and apply uv coating to decking, but we do not offer any stains or finishing of hardwoods or our flooring an molding products.

Can it be painted and/or stained?

All woods vary on their ability to be painted and or stained. The best idea is to contact us and we can help you find the best solutions depending on your goals.

What is your lead-time?

A time frame depends on our current workload, the type of wood, and milling needed. If you contact us, we can provide a accurate estimate for you and a quote for cost.

How do I care for my wood moldings and Millwork?

This depends greatly on the wood, the finishing done, and the location of the installation. If you have questions please contact us, and we can advise you based on your moldings and millwork.

What profiles do you offer?

We offer custom profiles for all of your needs. So we can match any needs you have just contact us to get a quote today.

Can these be used for interior and exterior?

This depends on the type of wood use and what finishing is done. Please contact us and we can advise where you can use certain hardwood species and finishes.

What is in stock for quick shipment?

We have an extensive stock at multiple locations, but the best idea is contact us and we can make sure to let you know our stock that is ready to ship.