The majority of composite deck board brands including Trex, TimberTech, and more require deck joists spacing to be at 16 inches O.C. Wood decking is commonly available in 2x6 and 5/4 x 6 profiles. 2x6 is thicker and is stronger, but is also more expensive. Most composite and PVC decking brands, like Trex and Azek, recommend a minimum joist spacing of 16 inches OC. We recommend our users to update the browser. In most cases, it’s best to start with a full board on the outside edge of the deck and work toward the house so the odd board is less visible. It is a great irony that the bulk of deck building happens when the thermometer passes 90 degrees. Wood decking will require you to stain your deck at least every year for the first several years to protect the surface from sun and moisture damage. Pull back on the chisel until the deck board is tight to your spacer and drive the nails. In this case, some space between the boards is a good idea because the wood can actually expand slightly over time. Deck boards are laid flat side down and spaced to allow for expansion and room for moisture to slip though. Then measure the distance from the line to the straightedge in the center to make sure it’s the same as the end measurements. Ventilation below the deck is also enhanced by the gaps between the deck boards, but this is only important in ground-level decks. Start nails into the deck board. Even if I’m using a straightedge guide, I like to snap a chalk line as an extra precaution. Spacing on a deck refers to the small edge-to-edge gap between decking boards, not the ends of the boards. If installing, you’ll need all materials for a ground-level deck, plus boards for your stairs, the stair treads, joist hangers and joist support posts that raise the actual deck. Amerisleep’s Extended Sale Is the Best Way to Upgrade Your Mattress, 14 Tips for Getting the Most from Your Drill Press, Do Not Sell My Personal Information â CA Residents. Should you use screws or nails for deck? Drive a 3/4-in. Water that pools on decks will eventually cause the boards to rot. But the downside is that if you miss the nailhead, you’ll leave a deep âelephant trackâ in the decking. Align the first row with the chalk line and nail or screw the boards to the joists. Mark that distance from the line and screw down a straight board. There are over a hundred different man-made decking products on the market today. Run String Lines to Ensure All Joists Are Level & In Plane. Wood decking is usually nailed or screwed to the joists for attachment. The last board won’t look good if it’s skinny or cut at an angle. The spaces or gaps between the floor boards on the deck, also allows the deck boards … The tool is a board spacing tool used in between each board for correct spacing and a combined fastening guide tool to install the nail or screw in the same position on the boards … Space balusters with a jig. Here’s a list. Remove the plywood for the last blow. Plank Rite is a simple and inexpensive tool to use with installing decking boards or planks on existing or new decks. If they’re not, vary the size of the gap between boards gradually over a few rows as needed to straighten them. They tend to push the wood fibers apart rather than tear through them like nails. I have a flat roof and my contractor built a cedar board floating deck. Building a deck? This type of screw does a pretty good job of drilling through rather than splitting the wood. If necessary, bend the guide board until the measurement is the same and screw down the center. Then use spacers at each joist to keep the gap between boards consistent and to keep the boards running straight. Use a 1/4-in. Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you startâyouâll save time and frustration. Screw down both ends of your straightedge after marking the decking. Our latest shed is also a pavilionâand you can build it, too! Position the board so it bends away from installing decking. Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. The primary function is to drain water from the deck. Generally, an acceptable gap between deck boards is between 1/8 inch and 1/4 inch… Do some research on our site to find a material that lends itself to your tastes. Board: Show in Diagram: Running Board Measurements. Blunt the tip of a nail with your hammer to help avoid splits. For lumber decking, both the moisture content of the lumber and the environment its installed in matter. If you will run decking … The decks mentioned above assume you’re building an attached deck. Since you can’t saw right up to a wall or other obstruction, make sure to precut these boards to the right length first. Cutting the ends of deck boards as you go not only takes longer, but it’s harder to get a crisp, straight line. The folks at YellaWood, recommend using an eight penny nail … Alternative decking products have a wide range of hidden fastening systems. Even boards that look good initially can get little âcat’s-eyeâ splits later as the wood dries. And according to code, you will need to leave a minimum of 1/8 in (0.32 cm… Most are composed of wood-plastic composite, capped composite, vinyl and aluminum. Detached Deck. wood chisel into the joist and tight to the edge of the deck board with the bevel facing you. When the decking is installed, it is usually high in moisture content, which can lead to cracks in the wood if it is allowed to dry too quickly. It allows you to concentrate on nailing without worrying about denting the deck boards. Run the saw’s base against the straightedge to cut the deck boards perfectly straight. Start at the center of the rail and work toward the … Even with drill-point screws, I’d recommend predrilling the ends of boards, which are prone to splitting. Deck boards are usually 2”x4”, 2”x6” or 5 1/4”x6”. What Does Deck Board Spacing Mean? The spacing allows the boards to easily and quickly shed water. Most deck boards are relatively straight and easy to lay, but there are always a few that need a little extra coaxing. Can I Install Tiles on Composite or Wood Decks? The first thing you need to consider and check is if your local building code covers deck board spacing. You may want to predrill the screw holes at the ends of the boards to prevent the wood from splitting. So much so, that a length of decking between two adjacent pieces had to be pried up after removing all screws. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions. Set the first board along a chalk line to start straight. Deck board spacing: Plan ahead for the last board Adjust spacing between deck boards Measure to the house at both ends and in the center when you get within about 5 ft. of the wall. Occasionally you’ll run into boards that are too crooked to bend easily by hand. While this gap is fairly small, it is still a crucial component to any good deck. Gaps that are narrow (1/8”), can catch debris, specifically on top of the joists, and can be difficult to clean out. Use two nails for each joist to deck board connection. Answer: You should have a gap or spacing between the floor boards on a deck. Step 8 Repeat Steps 1 through 7 to continue laying two rows of boards until the deck … Start on one end of bent boards and straighten them as you nail or screw them to each consecutive joist. Without the right deck spacing… Lay a second full board in the first row, with the same spacing. Next, learn how to choose the best deck finish here. We’ll show you how to lay your deck boards, … Larger gaps, such as 1/4”… Then pull or push the bent end against the spacers as you work down the length of the board. Trimming the decking around an angled corner. Learning the correct deck joist spacing, beam span, and measurements for your materials is one of the key ways to get to know your deck from the inside out. Deck and floor board spacing diagram: Only Mark Every. If you use 5/4 decking, joists must be no farther apart than 16 inches. Most composite decking materials, like Trex composite decking, require minimum joist spacing for composite decking at 16" on center spacing for straight decking and 12" on center joist spacing for 45-degree angle diagonal decking. A few extra whacks will nudge the board into position. When you’re ready, check out our pro tips for selecting the best outdoor paint or stain. 5/4 x 6 is produced specifically for decking and is milled with a radius edge or bull nose. Next, learn how to choose the best deck finish here. No Set Distance Though there are building codes dictating many aspects of deck construction to insure the finished deck is safe and solid, there is no specific distance required for the spacing of screws attaching deck boards … If you’re willing to devote the time, you’ll find that predrilling decking for all of the screws will result in a top-notch job with zero splitting. Decking must be able to support 40 lbs live load + 15 lbs dead load as it is supported between joists. That way, if the guide is positioned incorrectly, you’ll notice the mistake before it’s too late. Even nails can cause splitting, especially near the ends of boards. plywood over the nail and swing away. from the end of the board. Step 7 Continue laying boards in each row until you have completed the entire length of the two rows. By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine. Stagger butt joints as much as possible for a nicer appearance. Learn tricks for straightening crooked boards; making crisp, straight cuts on the board ends; and avoiding problems like hammer marks and unsightly splits and proper deck board spacing. Avoid this problem by predrilling a hole the size of the nail shank. Many jurisdictions following the International Building Code, which requires a minimum 1/8-inch spacing between boards. Rot – Deck boards that are spaced too tightly together are more likely to trap dirt, debris and moisture, which is the perfect mixture for making rot. âSplitlessâ ring-shank nails work well but can bend and break, especially near knots. People used redwood, cedar, pressure-treated pine and even some exotic hardwoods. Without it rot is more likely, mold can build up easily and slick boards … Spacing on Deck Boards in a Humid Area The summer heatwave is in full effect across most of the country, and we continue to sell a lot of Ipe decking. You can use a chalk line and circular saw to trim the edges of the decking. Tip: Sight down and straighten outside joists before nailing deck boards to them. Your choice in decking is very important because it is the surface you will see, walk on, maintain and have to live with for years to come. Nails are easier to drive if you take a full swing. Snap the cutting line on the deck. Decking comes in many forms these days. Before installing any decking, run string … Hidden deck fasteners are also an option to create a fastener-free decking surface. We are no longer supporting IE (Internet Explorer) as we strive to provide site experiences for browsers that support new web standards and security practices. Look at the ends of the boards and install the decking "barkside" up to prevent cupping. The photos here show three of our favorite tricks for straightening these stubborn boards. Overall, conventional decking profiles should be installed such that when seasoned, will have gaps between 1/8 and 1/4 of an inch. The installed boards were under a lot of stress from taking on moisture from the rains. Straighten a crooked board by slipping a pipe clamp across the end and gradually tightening it as you add nails. For many years, decking was primarily wood. I readjusted the already installed boards to remove the stress and gapped my still dry and uninstalled boards … Many deck builders overhand the decking over the frame by about 1/4". Copyright © 2020 Trex Company, Inc. All rights reserved. Locate screws about 3/4" from the edges of boards. To calculate the square footage of the deck, multiply the two numbers together: 20 ft * 13 ft = 260 ft² You chose a board which is 8 ft long and 6 in … Look for screws with self-drilling points. Then screw a straight board to the deck as a saw guide and cut all the boards at once. Start the holes about 1/2 in. The slight changes inÂ deck board spacing won’t be noticeable in the finished deck. A convenient way to get consistent spacing is by using a 6-penny or 8-penny nail between each course of decking… Start the nail. Can You Install New Decking Over Old Deck Boards. Another trick is to blunt the tip of the nail with your hammer before pounding it in. Spacing between deck boards provide a few critical functions. A better approach is to let the deck boards run wild as shown in the photo. Gaps that are narrow (1/8”), can catch debris, specifically on top of the joists, and can be difficult to clean out. You can easily spot when a board is off. Having appropriate spacing for your deck is important to allow for everything to expand and contract when the temperature fluctuates. Decking is structural in addition to being an aesthetic element. Gap spacing between boards can range from 1/4″ (6.35mm) to 3.32″ (2.38mm) depending on the fastening method you choose. TimberTech PRO™ and TimberTech EDGE™ boards must be a minimum of … Adjust the spacing between deck boards gradually over the next 10 rows of decking … For TimberTech AZEK® Decking it’s recommended to have a minimum 1/8” to 1/4” side-to-side gap between deck boards. Let's say you want a deck that is 20 ft long and 13 ft wide. Water Drainage – Adequate gaps are needed for water drainage. If necessary, adjust number of deck boards … Mark-out: If your deck is slightly out of square (different widths), calculate results for both widths, and set out each end to suit. Then measure when you’re 4 to 5 ft. away from the house and adjust the gap sizes to be sure the last board is a consistent width. They offer low-maintenance and a variety of appearances.