National decking law

19 October

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Our sector is regulated by specific laws referring to certifications of materials, European and international classifications, and much more. However, this is not the case for outdoor wooden floor, since one month ago there were no decking regulations at national or European level.

In 2014, A.I.P.P.L. (Associazione Italiana Posatori Pavimenti di Legno) proposed a project in order to solve this problem and close the regulatory gap. It received the approval for the Norma UNI 11538 -1 “Pavimentazioni di legno per esterni – Parte 1: Elementi di legno – Requisiti” (UNI 11538 -1 law “Outdoor wooden floors – Part 1: Wood elements – Requirements”), outlining the requirements that wood should meet in order to be used outdoors.

The new national law also defines many technical characteristics of wood, such as reference moisture content, size, warping, and the species of wood that are suitable for decking.

In particular, it describes the relevant features and the methods of evaluation to outline the requirements that coating elements should meet in order to be used in outdoor wooden floors, for the mechanical fastening on the laying surface. On the contrary, elements that are glued or just laid on the ground, or elements made up of composite materials are not taken into account.

The provisions contain indications with regard to “durability of wood, resistance to termites and fungi, dimensional stability and length to diameter ratio, the most used species of wood, and/or butt joints/multilayer elements.”

Moreover, they define the requirements coating elements should meet with regard to:

  • Mechanical characteristics
  • Appearance
  • Geometric characteristics of wood

Product labelling upon delivery to the customer is explained too. Labels should contain information about:

  • Species of wood (trade and scientific name)
  • Thickness, length, and width in millimetres
  • Reference moisture content: 15% ± 3%
  • Any type of applied treatments
  • Any risk related to the release of tannins or resins

This law is meant to protect final users by giving them further information about the material they buy, and companies working with quality materials.