I am in California.
I need to build a series of Wheelchair ramps out of wood. I am using
pressure treated wood for all the posts and cross supports, but what is the
preferred wood for the decking? I need a non-slip surface so i don't want to
use an AstroTurf-glued-to-plywood as I have seen. 5/4 Redwood? Any other
Thanks to everybody
For heavy use, harder woods are preferable, and redwood and cedar are
relatively soft. They'd work, but they'd tend to splinter with heavy
use. PT wood is southern yellow pine which is a fairly hard wood, but
the pressure treatment makes the wood prone to checking (looks like
cracks, but they're not structurally significant) and it shrinks a fair
bit. It's still the most common wood for ramp decking. Ipe
(pronounced eepay), and known by other names, is a very hard wood that
looks good and will outlast all of the others.
That'd be my first choice for hitting the sweet spot of affordability,
durability and wearability.
If your ramps won't experience a lot of traffic, redwood is harder than
cedar, and since you're in California I'd imagine it would cost less
than it does here in NY.
Rico's recommendation of IPE for wood decking is a good one. The
wood/plastic composites like Trex and CorrectDeck have excellent slip
resistance. These require less maintenance than wood, but are more
Bob Morrison, PE, SE
R L Morrison Engineering Co
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