Tiger Deck Installation Detail
TOOLS YOU WILL NEED
The following tools are the basic tools necessary to install a Tiger Deck. You may need other tools depending
on the complexity of the project. For example; if you wish to really dress up your deck (takes very little
extra time and effort) by plugging exposed screws you would need: a plug cutter, a diameter matching counter
sink drill bit, glue (we recommend exterior Titebond III) and a belt sander (always sand with the grain and
use 120 grit or finer sand paper).
CIRCULAR SAW - (we recommend a minimum of 12 amp power) with sharp carbide tipped hardwood crosscut blade.
SAW HORSES - to allow trimming at a safe working height (you may want to setup a miter saw or radial arm
saw for safety, speed and accuracy in trimming)
REVERSABLE ELECTRIC DRILL - (we recommend minimum12volt power if cordless) with variable speed settings
and clutch. You will need drill bits and screws to pre drill holes for occasional stainless steel face
BOW WRENCH® - This tool (or similar) is ESSENTIAL for proper installation of Tiger Deck deck boards using
our patented stainless steel clips.
BEFORE YOU BEGIN
Tiger Deck is a very dense hardwood with amazing strength and durability properties when compared to other
wood and composite decking products. Tiger Deck is a natural product and though our graders and quality
control people attempt to ship a 100% usable product you will see pieces on each job which will need to be
trimmed. We adhere to or exceed industry (West Coast Lumber Inspection Bureau) standard maximum 5% off grade
pieces per shipment to our customers. Your installer will need to inspect the pieces and may need to trim out
the following defects BEFORE installing the piece:
ENDS - each deck board has 1/2” to 5” of excess length. Our mills do NOT trim to exact 2’ multiples.
SHAKE - shake is break in the fibers of the wood which occurs in the tree while it is alive (from wind or
other natural stresses). After kiln drying and processing it is sometimes difficult to see. It appears as
scalloped splits along the edge of a piece or as a ‘fish scale’ on the face. It causes sharp edges which
can give slivers when handled. Tiger Deck is otherwise very smooth and almost sliver free. Shake is the
main defect to look for and trim out.
CROOK OR WARP - Crook is the result of natural stresses in the wood fiber. Tiger Deck products are kiln dried
to 8% +/- 3% moisture content. At this moisture content most crook and warp which may have happened over time
is complete. The decking application is a very harsh environment for wood. Moisture and heat gradients will cause
the wood to try to move over time. Install Tiger Deck as soon as practical after acclimating. Proper and tight
installation of our system greatly minimizes splits and other time related defects. The Bow Wrench will straighten
most of the crook during installation. However, if there is still too much crook, trimming the board into shorter
pieces allows utilization of the piece.
KNOTS AND HOLES - Very few knots and holes get by our graders but you may find some. They do not affect the
structural integrity of the piece and may be left in or trimmed out for aesthetic reasons.
COLOR - Tiger Deck is tan/gold with black striping and accents. But each piece will be different run from
an entirely light tan piece to one that is mostly black striping. We recommend that pieces be laid out
before installation on the deck to match the color gradient effect desired. Exposure to the sun will even
the colors to a rich reddish tan.
PATENTED FASTENING SYSTEM
Tiger Deck provides a Patented hidden fastening system that will eliminate unsightly penetrations in the
deck except on the ends, first and last board installed. Our clip design allows the clip to flex with the
underlying joist system while maintaining rock solid holding power. The clips are stainless steel alloy
and come with star drive bits and stainless steel screws. The black anodized coating on clips and screws
will last a lifetime. Clips gap to 3/16” by design. For installation over 4” joists or 45 degree
(herringbone) applications an ANGLE CLIP is available from your distributor which does everthing our
STANDARD CLIP (which slides over 2” joists) will do.
STORAGE AND HANDLING
Tiger Deck is kiln dried to provide long term stability. A very small amount of shrinkage and expansion will
happen over time and is dependent upon your climate conditions. Prior to installation, Tiger Deck should be
kept in banded packages, protected from direct sunlight and kept from direct contact with the ground. Due to
the natural properties of Tiger Deck, exposed untreated material will begin a color transformation that will
lead to uneven color if some boards are left exposed to weather and others are not.
Acclimatize your deck boards prior to installation. Like an interior floor, your deck boards have been kiln
dried to very low moisture content and it is designed to fit average climate conditions. The drier the climate,
the more helpful it is to lay out your deck boards upside down (no gaps) to allow adjustment to your climate
prior to installation. If you can leave them for a week or more this will allow them to equalize to your local
climate. The hotter and drier the climate the longer you should let them adjust. Just prior to flipping them over
for installation it is HIGHLY recommended that you apply a ‘sealer’ coat of either Penofin or Messmers to the back
of the boards (or the same UV protector that you will use on the face). You can slop it on, and it is better if
you do NOT wipe off excess as you will on the face. As you install the deck, leave the boards you are not working
on upside down, this will give you a surface to walk on.
The first row of deck boards should be squared accurately to the substructure, predrilled
and screwed through the face with 1-2 stainless steel or ceramic deck screws per joist. (Illustration 1)
Two to five rows of deck boards (or the entire deck) can then be laid out on the joists with one clip on each joist.
Do NOT screw the clips down as you go. Push everything in place with hand pressure and set up Bow Wrench(s)® in
preparation for squeezing a 2-5 row section tight. Natural bow should be placed with the belly out.
Using the Bow Wrench® installation tool (or equal) pressure can be applied to slowly press the section together
(be sure clips are in the grooves, a 16 penny nail inserted into clip screw hole helps clip adjustment). If you
are working by yourself, you can install one board at a time. Pre drill and fasten a screw in the center of both
ends when each board is in place and before you screw the clips down on the house side of the deck board. You can
then screw the inside clips down; this will hold each board as you go. Before the section is squeezed tight be
sure to tap the ends of the boards with a hammer to snug the ends up tight. Look the section over one more time
for defects (which may need to be trimmed out), tight butt joints, boards tight to the clip legs assuring proper
spacing, straight lines and color/aesthetics. Squeeze section TIGHT, clips can then be secured to the joists with
the stainless steel screws provided. The last row of clips which are closest to the Bow Wrench should not be
tighten completely, only enough to hold the last board in place while laying out the next 2 to 5 rows.
Having multiple rows ahead of the Bow Wrench® allows enough holding power on boards to resist natural bow in boards
when the pressure is released to move to the next set of boards. If there is a lot of natural bow in the
last board it may be necessary to provide temporary holding power by shooting a nail or staple at an
angle into the joist to hold the board until the next set of boards are placed and the Bow Wrench® is
again in tension (some contractors prefer to use two Bow Wrench® tools having the next set of boards in
place before releasing the first tool). Boards must be square and tight. Using Tiger Deck clips and
screws will provide the proper gap and are designed to allow small amounts of wood movement yet hold
tight. After installation it is highly recommended that you rent a commercial floor sander. Using the
finest sandpaper available for the sander (120 grit or finer), LIGHTLY sand the surface of your deck.
This will clean all the dirt, water stains and etc off the deck and open the cells to receive your UV
protector. You can of course sand each board lightly with a belt sander prior to installation and try
not to walk on the finished portion of the deck prior to applying UV protector.
Butt joints should have 1 screw predrilled and centered as far from the end of the board as possible but still
allow penetration into the joist. This can be done as you go or after the deck has been installed using the
clip system. Countersink and plugging screw holes adds a beautiful furniture type finished look for a small
amount of additional work.
Facia boards (or any other continuous face to face application) should be predrilled and face screwed 1”
from board edge and through 1/8” or thicker lathe backing every 16” when installed against any flat
surface to provide air space/moisture drain to back of board.
NEVER install any Tiger Deck product flat against green treated wood, roofs, concrete or in any application
which traps moisture behind the piece (the obvious exception is deck board back against any joist edge,
green treat or otherwise). Flat face to flat face creates a moisture gradient and almost always creates a
heat gradient as well. This condition creates stresses which WILL cause ‘cupping’, ‘splits’, ‘warp’ and
other types of damage. ALWAYS use Tiger Deck products as a system and as per our design intent. EXAMPLE:
Tiger Deck boards must be gapped by our clips or 3/16” apart if face screwed to allow air/water flow. If
you want a solid surface with no gaps for covered exterior use then purchase Tiger Deck T&G Porch
Flooring. EXAMPLE: Installing Tiger Deck on a room roof demands a floated system; use 2x2 or 2x4 Tiger
Deck as joists, tigerwood lathe between roof and joists, drill vent holes in facia and use Tiger Deck
fastening system. ALL SCREWS should be predrilled to prevent splitting (the only exceptions are the
screws provided with Tiger Deck clips when screwed into softwood joists). All screws should also be
stainless steel to match the quality and longevity of Tiger Deck products. MINIMUM SPACE between product
and ground or concrete is 16”, installed on wooden joist material with adequate ventilation and drainage
under the deck.
Tiger Deck does not require any sealer if the customer is not concerned with preserving color and reducing
fine ‘spider web’ face checking. Tiger Deck will go through a color transformation from its natural state to a
deeper red tone and eventually silver. If the customer wants to preserve natural color there are many
different products on the market. . Follow manufactures recommended procedure for
applying and for subsequent treatment. If the customer elects to treat the decking material it should be treated
on all sides evenly to maintain the equal moisture condition set by kiln drying and conditioning. An end
treatment (such as Anchor Seal) will reduce potential end checks.
While we have not heard of any allergic reactions to Tiger Deck materials, it is always recommended when working
with hardwood lumber to wear safety glasses and a dust mask. Wood slivers should be removed immediately to
prevent infection. All standard safety precautions should be used when cutting, shaping or drilling the product.
Sizes and Pricing