Raidata Pine by DreamDex question

by Warren Beam

Replacing some redwood decks and considering the use of Radiata Pine by DreamDex. How effective is this product for decks, and what are its spanning, durability, workability, staining and paintability characteristics?

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Oct 31, 2010
Plantation grown Radiata pine looks good for decking
by: Editor - Rich Bergman

This is a very intriguing product. It is essentially a treated pine which renders the wood harder, more impervious to moisture and consequently, more stable - all things with pressure treated pine is weak on.

Radiata pine is the species used and it is naturally one of the hardest in the pine family. Specific gravity of about .48 compared to Ipe at over .90 but it becomes almost as hard as Ipe after their proprietary treatment process.

Radiata pine is actually a very rare type of pine which is native to only a few places along the southern coastal areas of California. But it is very commonly used for plantation forestry and grows quickly to maturity (about 40 years) and with relatively clear grain and less knots than common southern yellow pine.

But what makes this product really interesting is the polymer treatment process they use. They do not saturate the wood with nasty chemicals used in the common pressure treating process but infuse it with polymers and when it cures the wood is hardened significantly and it doesn't absorb moisture much at all.

This means it doesn't expand and shrink so much as all the regualar PT pine on the market. You can sand it and work it just like regular pine. It takes stain well and it spans 24" easily because of it's increased density. It also has a Class A fire rating. These are impressive qualities.

I have never used this product before but I am quite intrigued by it for many reasons. It looks great. It tends to be very clear grained with few knots. It comes from a plantation rather than a forest so it doesn't or shouldn't affect the naturally occuring varieties negatively. Its stronger and stiffer than other types of pine after the treatment process. It does't corrode fasteners like ACQ does. It doesn't off gas or leach chemicals. And it is engineered to be warranted for 25 years.

The only issue seems to be it is not readily available on the market yet. Just a few lumber yards are carrying it. There could be a lot of market competition reasons for this because it does seem to be a good performer. So I can not vouch for it as someone who has used this because I haven't - yet. But I sure would like to.

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