Deck Design Considerations

Consultation with our experts prior to the design process saves time and money.  Lightning Brand team members are skilled to assist in the design process during all deck building stages.  Our decking calculator is a valuable tool that estimates your deck design in lineal and board feet.

Decking Calculator

Stiffness: Resistance to Bending

  • Cambara 1640 psi
  • Meranti 1770 psi
  • Batu 2,500 psi
  • California Redwood 1220 psi
  • Western Red Cedar 1110 psi

Modulus of Elasticity (MOE) Ratings for Various Species of Wood (1000 psi)

Modulus of elasticity ratings are derived from the stiffness or resistance to bending of the particular wood species. These ratings pertain to longitudinal modulus of elasticity, not tangential or radial ratings.(1)

(1) The Wood Handbook – Wood as an engineering material, USDA, General Technical Report 113.

Strength: Resistance to Breaking

  • Cambara 12,800 psi
  • Meranti 12,700 psi
  • Batu 18,400 psi
  • California Redwood 8,950 psi
  • Western Red Cedar 7,500 psi

Modulus of Rupture (MOR) Ratings for Various Species of Wood (psi)

The modulus of rupture is a measure of the maximum load carrying capacity of a given species in bending strength and is proportional to the breaking point or maximum strength as borne by the specimen.(1)

(1) The Wood Handbook – Wood as an engineering material, USDA, General Technical Report 113.

Density: Measured at 12% Moisture

  • Cambara 650 KG/m3
  • Meranti 730 KG/m3
  • Batu 850 KG/m3
  • California Redwood 450 KG/m3
  • Western Red Cedar 410 KG/m3

Density Ratings for Various Species of Wood (KG per Cubic Meter)

A wood product’s weight is determined by combining the density of the basic wood structure with the material’s moisture content. The density of wood, exclusive of water, varies a great deal within and between species. Density variations within a particular species of approximately 10% should be considered normal. A wood’s weight is always partially contingent on its moisture content, so moisture should always be taken into consideration. The figures left represent the density at approximately 12% moisture content.(1)

(1) The Wood Handbook – Wood as an engineering material, USDA, General Technical Report 113.

Hardness: Resistance to Indentation (Janka), Side Hardness

  • Cambara 860 lbs
  • Meranti 780 lbs
  • Batu 2,100 lbs
  • California Redwood 450 lbs
  • Western Red Cedar 350 lbs

Janka Hardness Ratings for Various Wood Species

The industry standard method for determining the hardness of wood products is called the Janka hardness test. Janka hardness of a given wood species is defined by a resistance to indentation test as measured by the load (pounds of pressure) required to embed a 11.28mm or 0.444″ diameter ball to one-half its diameter into the wood. The Janka values presented are the average of penetrations on both flat grain or plain sawn and vertical grain or quartersawn boards.

(1) The Wood Handbook – Wood as an engineering material, USDA, General Technical Report 113.

Frequently Asked Questions

Our Lightning Brand Decking team members are always available for your questions during any stage of your build.  Consulting with our experts during the layout, design, and build phases will save you time and money.

We take pride in providing our clients with the best resources available to help them build the deck that will improve the value of your home.

What if we only want help with part of the build process?

Lightning Brand team member are trained and certified experts in all phases of deck designing and building process.  Often clients like to construct their own decks with our staff overseeing the process.

What if we want to build our deck in phases?

We work with each client to ensure that the design and build process is scheduled to help reduce time and cost.

What materials are best suited for my climate and weather?

We have many years of successful experience with our products in the U.S. and Canada – just be sure to follow the installation instructions.

Don't Be Shy

Drop us a line anytime, and one of our customer service reps will respond to you as soon as possible